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RAS Stage 7

RAS Stage 7

BACK IN THE DAY...and so very nearly back from the dead

Coming out of retirement for his 21st RaS MarkLovatt was insulted by his own team mate at dinner and it sparked an epic dayof riding for the returning Planet X stalwart.

Remarking about former glory he was asked "what was it likeback in the day". This brought a smile to his face and lightning bolts to hisnever say die spirit.

Stage 7 was the day of the big climbs over the Wicklow Mountains.

The race started again at over 50kph as the GC contenderstried to break each other down. They, Lovatt used a lull in the peloton toskuttle away with only 50km gone. He was joined immediately by Planet X Teammate Dodger.

They made light work of the chasing group as theydisappeared up the road. Charging along the roads the two PX men workedtogether as they closed down the leaders. The front group formed with 5 riders.3 more came across. Riding on the front Lovatt was BACK IN THE DAY.

Another 50km later, 100km into the race and they hit forfirst big climb, the Shay Elliott. Lovatt climbed steady as Dodger followed themoves. Going over the top 4th Dodger was poised and with the leaders.Lovatt was just behind.

Up the 2nd climb, Wicklow Gap, Dodger was stillaway. Lovatt by this time had been joined by around 15 riders including theYellow Jersey.  Over the top and Dodgerwas 3rd over. Still around 1 minute clear of the chasers.

The run in from the top of the 2nd mountain was apainful one as both Lovatt and Dodger paid for their efforts as the leaderscame together with around 25km to go.

Out the front of the race for 80km the two men came in withthe yellow jersey group for 21st and 22nd on the stagebut with a moral victory for Old Skool, hardcore, headsmashing attacking ridingthat PX have become famous for.

The Ginger Avenger lost touch with the main group on theWicklow gap and rode the last 50km on his own. Arriving about 4 days later atthe finish he was unable to comment on what can only be described as PAIN.Losing 34 minutes today in the final 65km is a sure sign of his climbingability.

A great ride by Dodger who, an amateur, mixed it all daywith his Professional competitors. And by Mark, who after a serious operationlast August has not raced this year until Stage 1, and really smashed the raceregardless. A True Legend.

30 May 2010


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