Monday mornings will always bring the remnants of the weekend, afterthoughts, memories, the highs and lows of what could and should have been. The weekend of February 20th brought with it the first race of the year for VC Iveagh, the hallowed black jerseys were pulled on by new and seasoned alike and at 12pm bikes were brought to the Travers Engineering Annaclone GP start line. This was a proud day for a club that has only been in existence since October 2013 with seven of the VC Iveagh lads taking on the tricky Annaclone circuit, three rookies among that number.
This race was always going to be a tough one with some big names within the local race scene using it as a season opener. Annaclone is renowned as a race to gauge winter fitness levels; it’s a chance to see if all the training has brought you to the level required for the season ahead, or if much, much more is required. It is also an ‘eye opener’ for newcomers into the world of competitive cycling and will generally have a healthy A4 field littered with first time racers.
It was definitely mixed fortunes for the VC Iveagh lads with Annaclone showing exactly what is required for the season ahead. Our three new ‘racers’, Simon, Mark and Ryan held their own initially and gained great experience sitting within a fast moving peloton on slippery country roads. With gritted teeth and determination all three guys will knuckle down and be more determined than ever to break into the ranks of A4, they relished the experience and each one of them is looking ahead to the next race.
It says a lot when even our seasoned racers struggled with the conditions, course and speed increases at this year’s race. With a 25mph average the Annaclone GP was definitely for the elites, in fact so quick was this year’s A1 group that they were close to breaking the lap record on several occasions. Dan, Neil, Paul and Davy gave their collective all and done the club proud once more, and like our rookies, I’m sure a doubling of efforts and gritted determination will be seen in the coming weeks and months.
It’s most certainly on wards and upwards from here, a base level has been set and the guys are in buoyant mood ahead of preparation for the next race. The club in its entirety is proud of the collective efforts and with a few off the ‘big guns’ yet to make an appearance, things are looking good…