Ras Report Stage 6

The day started with a drama over john Kenny’s gears and finished with a continuation of the same drama.

Just before the start we noticed they were giving trouble so Micky Kennedy got them sorted and all was well until the vertiginous slopes of Seskin Hill where the gears went into the 11 and stayed there. So he lost some time there but he still put out about 3000 watts coming up the 20% slope.

Now we have to sort it out.

The stage was controlled by the pro teams and all was well until 120 kilometres when the race lined out at 55kph into a cross to headwind and it split into two groups with John Kenny making it into the first split.

Earlier both Stuart and Stephen punctured at the same time but they did well to get back on except that we were progressing at 80 kilometres per hour.

With Stuart writing his initials on the rear bumper when the ambulance behind the race pulled out in front of us and we completely lost our momentum.

We heard Stuart politely asking the ambulance to please vacate the planet.

Coming out of Dungarvan there was a vicious shower of rain and the temperature went from 11 to 6 degrees so they were going from riding in a crosswind to riding into a headwind at 45 kilometres per hour in the freezing rain

It was a bit like racing in a cold shower for an hour with no waterproof or warm gear on.

Loads of guys came out the back in the last 20 kilometres shivering on the bikes in the February-like conditions.

Our lads changed on the side of the road then huddled in Volvo heat inside the car during the one hour traffic impeded transfer to Clonmel.

In fairness to them they never complain but when you hear delirious sandwich fantasies you know they are beginning to go under.

Tomorrow is a real mother of a stage there are only 127 riders left in the race with only 4 Irish teams still with 5 riders left thankfully we are still one of them and hopefully they will all make it home.

John Kenny is now on the first page of the classification sheet and if it was a power output race he would be leading overall.

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