During the ras you soon realise the different tiers regarding the level of riders in the race.
There are guys there to hide and simply survive.
Others that want their day in a breakaway.
Others race for county prizes.
And then there are guys racing for overall and stage glory.
This year Anthony, Mc Kenna and myself spanned across these different levels.
The funny thing is I have a perspective from each of these levels because I’ve been at each of these levels.
Séan (Lurky) was racing to win or at least helping his teammates to do so.
Anthony wanted a crack at a stage and done so by getting in the break – but seeing as he can’t even finish his dinner the result unsurprisingly didn’t come his way.
Then there was me – 100 % pure unadulterated survival mode.
The next step and me
The difference between Anthony and I in the rás was actually large enough on paper but in racing terms it was not being able to hold on that extra two minutes before the elastic snapped or simply poor positioning.
For me to get to Anthony’s level the changes wouldn’t be all that severe I didn’t ride much over the winter.
I done tonnes of gym work as it just fit easier with work and studies.
I’d have to keep the legs turning over winter.
I haven’t raced this year or last which was arguably the biggest hurdle I faced because not only was the speed a shock riding in such a big group was also new again.
Simply put a bit over winter, start racing earlier than stage 1 and some hard structured work in the 2 months prior to the rás would put me up there with Anto.
Anthony’s step up to Lurky
The step from Anthony to Lurky to the naked eye doesn’t look too much.
There is at least a 5 % gap here all the same but people might think that gap is easy to close.
For Anthony to get there the sacrifices he’d have to make would be huge.
He’d struggle to continue working as we do at A1 so business would struggle.
He’d almost certainly be single – yeah I know.. he actually does have a mrs.
In other words it would be a complete lifestyle overhaul.
I know what its like the higher the level the bigger the sacrifice.
The higher the level the smaller the improvements are.
You have to claw with your fingernails for every 1 %.
For me I enjoy my balance and while I done the rás well under par I am content with where I’m.
I wouldn’t do it again at that level of fitness however – next time I’ll prepare accordingly.
One thing is certain however neither Anthony nor I would be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to compete with the long string of misery that is Lurky.
We have the t-shirt and wouldn’t go back for love nor money!