I had the option to race with TIBCO in the Nature Valley Grand Prix Stage Race before returning to Ireland for the National Champs, my main goal event for the season. I decided against staying on so that I could get home earlier to get over the jetlag and have optimal recovery time. I was very happy that I did, because it took me over a week just to get over the jetlag. I had no power in my legs and was feeling wrecked and tired all the time. On the upside, I was finally united again with my husband, who I had not seen for 3 long and crazy months of racing with Team TIBCO in the USA and Ryan himself racing with Polygon Sweet Nice in Asia.
Upon return I had a light training week and to open up the legs took part in the Bobby Crilly Memorial near Belfast with Ryan. I had done this race before, Ryan likes it because it has a mountain top finish. The race starts handicapped, with the A2s (with me) starting before the A1s/A*s (with Ryan). The weather for the race was nearly the complete opposite of what I had been treated with over the last 3 months: it was freezing cold (single digits) and pouring rain - I was seriously questioning my choice of leaving the USA early.... Anyhow, during the race, the A2s worked together well and we stayed ahead of the A1/*s until we approached the final climb. I had managed to stay with the A2 bunch which fell apart on the drag towards the start of the final climb proper. I caught a lift with two of the A1 guys that had caught us for a bit and then went up the hill on my own pace. I got caught up in a tractor parade up the hill, but finally finished 9th overall, which I was super happy with, especially since Ryan hadn't caught up with me either ;) It's not often that I beat my husband in a road race ;)
|Freezing and wet after the Bobby Crilly Memorial|
|Stealth - thanks to Black Umbrella for the pic!|
|Leading the bunch through the village (photo credit: Toby Watson)|
|Giving the peloton a world class lead out ;) (pic by Black Umbrella)|
|Only one rider can win (me :P) (pic by Black Umbrella)|
|Women's Podium l-r: Siobhan McNamara, Mel Spath, Mary Costelloe|
I'm really happy to get to wear my national champs jersey for another year and would like to take this opportunity to thank those that have supported me so much this year, especially my husband Ryan, and my friend Stewart Carr.
Here are some links to interviews, reports and videos from the race: