On Stage 1 we assembled feeling fresh and free and fine
There was an almighty pile up where I did lose a whole lot of time
Just 5 k in bikes slipped and clattered to the floor
When I picked myself up off the ground I could see the race no more!
With GC hopes in tatters and a graze upon my knee
I pedaled on and soon found friends to make the chase with me.
63 k’s later we crossed the the finish line
I sadly got into our van (named ‘Red Suze’) covered in grease and grime.
Stage 2 was aptly titled ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’,
The plan was to race up the Irish coast and have a smashing day.
But all too soon I floundered and was spat out of the back,
Yet miles of road still lay ahead (I tried not to picture that!)
So pedal on I had to as the race cracked on ahead,
I thought of wine and chocolate to motivate me instead.
100 odd k’s later the finish line appeared,
A wave of relief swept over me and I fought back the tears.
Stage 3 sounded fecking awful (it was called ‘The Beast of the East’)
50 miles of pure pain and even worse was the fecking rain!
The road went over mountains, the rain came down in sheets,
I couldn’t see in front of me and I couldn’t feel my feet.
Yet kiddies came out to cheer us on and I found my frown had gone,
I had team mates riding strongly up the road and so I soldiered on.
I hammered up the climbs and hung on down the slopes
And joy of joys the end arrived and all my teamies were still alive!
Day 4 had lots of treats in store (but did not leave me wanting more)
A 5 mile long time trial started off the day, and even rain and wind couldn’t keep my grin away.
Just 4 k out and 4 k back, well me and my bike could handle that.
Job done in 13 minutes 25 cheered along by Graham and Matt.
Later on that evening a crit race was on the cards,
With sore legs from the morning it was bound to be very hard.
We blasted round a circuit cheered along by the crowds,
I hung on for dear life and of my bunch finish was very proud.
That brings me to today’s final stage – the ‘An Post Rás na mBan’ parade.
The final battle ground for GC, 85 kilometers and then we’d all be free!
We rolled out in high spirits from the Inn at Dromoland
(After thanking everyone who’d given us all a hand).
The route was a stunner and I felt all emotional inside,
This had to be the hardest race I’d ever tried to ride.
With a big grin on my face I crossed the final finish line,
Thanks to all at Ras n’mban, you can be sure I’ll be back again next time.