Moynalty GP

I was full of confidence coming off, what I felt, was a really good 7th place finish in Russborough House in the club league on Thursday evening. Tough punchy climbs and a fierce pursuit with Eoin Ahern, Cormac Bracken and Stephen Rowan. I felt good being able to stay with these lads so there was no reason why I shouldn’t do too bad in Moynalty.

Conor talking to Killian at the start, with Daragh Boyd passing by (photo with thanks to Sean Rowe)

After a brief warm up I bumped into Killian Doyle. He, being an experienced rider, again filled me with confidence saying how I should do really well with my climbing ability and my good results. I could see my name in lights already! That was until he called me Kevin and the realisation that he was confusing me with someone else!

The race set off at a decent pace but with rain and wind, it was fairly crap. Killian had told me about the 2 climbs that I needed to be aware of, especially the one near the end. Get up near the front and don’t get caught behind a fat lad! I did this and managed to sit on the front for a brief period before sitting back onto the 5th wheel to hide from the wind and trouble.

Coming around the halfway point I was sussing out the finish line. Downhill with a swirling wind. There were some strong lads in the field that I knew I wouldn’t outsprint, so I didn’t want it to come down to that. I wasn’t the best climber in the field either, so a breakaway on the final climb wasn’t gonna be where I could attack either. I felt good so I thought to myself, if I’m still up around the front near the end, im gonna just go early and see what happens!

Things started to get a little hairy with about 10km to go. Everyone wanted to give themselves a chance and there was a crash on the last climb. Thankfully it was behind me and I just kept going forward and didn’t look back. Coming up to the finish, I was right up there… there was some bunching on the tight road. I had to get out and stay near the front. Bang, another crash, again behind me. Time to get out of here! I saw a gap to the side of me and as I got out someone went for it. About 1km to go, I felt it was still too soon but I had to go so I gunned it after him! Caught him almost straight away but there was no time to sit in, just take the momentum and keep going! I hammered into a speed bump but just shook it off and kept going. Legs were screaming at me and I glanced back with about 400 metres to go and saw I had about 10 metres on the guy behind. Just keep going!!!!! The line couldn’t come quick enough.

The finish (photo with thanks to Sean Rowe)

Head down pushing with everything, a lad from Yeats came by with a perfectly timed sprint. No catching him at that speed… I gave one last dig and held off another lad to claim second place. My first points as an A4 and absolutely delighted with the result!

Conor being awarded for second place(photo thanks to Moynalty Cycling Club)