Stage 4 of Rás Tailteann from Lisdoonvarna to Kilbeggan started off with tailwinds and as a result the race covered first 90km with an average speed of 50kph. It was impossible for anyone to get clear at those speeds. The race came to a bunch finish with Rory Townsend taking the win for Team Ireland. Luke Smith was the highest Moynalty CC finisher coming across the line 14th but on equal time as the winner. He still sat 2nd overall in the Irish County Rider competition and 6th in General Classification. Stage 4 was one of the fastest ever stages with an average speed of 47.72kph for 154km!
Stage 5 was the final stage starting in Kilbeggan and traveled 135km to Blackrock with 4 laps of Blackrock itself. The race managed to stay together with any breakaway attempts being caught as we battled a headwind on the whole stage. The win went to Kevin McCambridge from Trinity Racing who managed to counter attack a failed breakaway attempt with a lap and a half to go around Blackrock. Luke Smith once again was right at the pointy end all day for Moynalty CC and finished the stage in 11th in the bunch. Luke ended the race 6th overall on the General Classification just 1 second of 5th and 2nd in the Irish County Rider Classification. Picking up punctures on both Stage 4 and Stage 5 continued my run of bad luck at this years Rás left me chasing back on both days after stopping for bike changes. With the average speeds we seen it was an impossible task to get back on. A huge thanks need to go to the 6 support crew who followed us around Ireland for the past 5 days. Team Manager Enda Murray, mechanic Andrew Kelly, Meabh Holmes Richard Cahill, Kieran Meegan and Ciarán Smith for looking after everything from massages to manning the feed zones and everything else we need to keep us in good shape all week. Marion Murray played a blinder and booked great accommodation for us all week. Paul Kelly and his team helped us run a very successful Sportif which help raise much needed funds and a massive thanks to everyone who donated on our GoFundMe page. We also had some great local sponsorship come onboard for the Rás. McNally’s Pharamacy and Kingspan Group. Again without these local companies supporting a local club, we would never have made the start line.
Let’s hope we can do it all again next year.