Charleville 3 Day Race

Jerry McCarthy, Cillian Tierney and Oran Pierse represented the club in last weekends Charleville 3 Day race. Strong riding by all three riders over the whole weekend saw Tralee Manor West take 3rd overall in the team prize which was a superb achievement with the strength or riders on show. A special mention though to Cillian who took 8th overall which is an excellent result and congratulations from all club members. See Cillian's report below:

Stage 1
I signed on at 10.45am in the hotel. I felt good but was unsure about what sort of form I was in after county TT champs on the Thursday.
After getting into gear and a warm up we were rolling out. It was an 85km stage but would feel a lot longer than that. The bunch was a big one but I didn't mind too much after the junior tour. After about 2.5km of neutral roll out the lead car accelerated out of the way and the racing began. The pace wasn't too hectic at the start but somehow a group of about 18 riders got a gap and I started to become uneasy as that gap widened. My initial few attempts to get across were unsuccessful but then I managed to pull away from the bunch with 3 other strong riders on my wheel including Chris Dunworth. I was very happy to get across I knew we had a good chance of staying away with riders like Darragh O'Mahoney and Sean Yeleverton in there. We had the gap stretched to about one minute when I heard crash in the break, almost half of us had come down on a straight stretch of road. This meant the work became that bit harder but everyone worked and I felt very good so it was all good. On the last lap on the steepest hill Darragh and Sean powered away, I tried chasing but they were gone. Two of the other breakaways managed to slip away straight after. We pushed harder, at this stage my legs were burning and just wanted to get across the line. Then the sprint started but I didn't participate, a bad decision that I paid for with 5 seconds. I was still very pleased with the stage with 2 minutes 10 seconds on the bunch. 11th on GC

Stage 2
This was a 6.1km TT. I like time trials, they would be my strongest disciplinebecause of triathlon training. So I was looking forward to this even if the distance was a lot shorter than I was used to. My legs felt tired in the morning, I could feel the work from the day before lingering. I got advice from a few friends who told me about a few little things on the course to look out for. After the warm up I had forgotten about it I was in the so called "zone". I was on the line and I heard ten seconds. I could feel my heart starting to beat faster in anticipation. My thoughts were focused hitting maximum effort. Then I was off. I went off strong and quickly tucked down as aero as possible. I found it difficult to generate the power I wanted. I put it down to heavy legs but I wasn't sure, I saw the bridge I was advised to look out for and I drilled it as hard as I could. Then I could see the line and then it was over. I was worried. Very worried I didn't think it had been enough but I was going to have to wait to find out.

Stage 3
We got the results from the TT about half an hour before the start of the last stage. I was surprised. I had moved up three places to 8th. The pressure was on to hold it. I was reassured by Oran and Jerry before the start that they would do what they could to help. We rolled out at half 12. Then it started. I felt surprisingly good. I stayed up as near to the front as possible to stay in touch with the moves. Most of the early moves were easily chased by Sean in yellow.  Two riders got up the road, one was in the break with me the day before. Then he nearly got away with a group so I had to join in on some chasing but then he did get away. I was worried about him getting to the other two before the climb. Then we were on it. I wanted to attack I knew this was the place but timing would be important. I got this wrong the first time no one even thought about following me and I knew I'd need someone to work with. Then Darragh broke out of the bunch. He put a gap in. I reacted and started to close with a few chasers. Oran came to the fore to take up the chase with me for the second time bringing within touching distance. But then we were over the top. I knew the opportunity to get away was gone. I'm not a very strong descender and restricted gears don't help. My main concern was to stay upright. I did not want to come down. Not now, not anytime but especially not now. So I came down in one piece. Then we caught the group that was away. I stayed near the front for the finish and held my placing.