Ras 2017: Stage Six – Yellow socks on Glengesh
AFTER yesterday’s epic, it would surely calm down on Stage Six?
The race to Donegal town did indeed begin calmly, with a non-GC break establishing after a few minutes. For the ones looking for a day of respite this was a positive. The bunch didn’t pursue over the first KOH at Loughnambraddan, all OK. Then there was a right turn at the bottom of the descent that changed things.
Team Wiggins went to the front and drilled it (emphasis on the drilled), blowing the race apart before it even got to the bottom of Glengesh. County man Paddy Clarke described it as ‘a butchering operation’.
Our James Quinn only had words for his club-mates, the slopes of Glengesh filled with their shouts of support. “You can’t describe the boost you get from the faces at the side of the road like that,” said James.
Man of the Rás Dave Reilly was on the scene too, slipping some cans of red bull in the back pockets of the jerseys as they passed – a godsend later on so thanks to Dave and SDCC!
It was fitting to have such support on such a poignant stage, and James showed his own support for the man who would have been leading this team, but for his tragic passing, Martin Vereker.
To remember Martin and the former trips to Donegal and Glengesh over the years, James wore the famous yellow socks – bought by the racers in the club to honour the man’s beloved yellow Mavic shoes.
James, Ronan Killeen and Niall Dwyer were together almost all day, under the impression that the time cut would not be a threat. They ended up cutting it fairly fine, but I’m going to call that a top class calculation.
Adam Greally put in another top class ride to finish in the main bunch, holding his own as most of the pro teams took terms to try to shred the race to pieces.
The roads of Donegal are left behind tomorrow as the race heads onto Ardee. An early categorised climb should be manageable, should, and then it is the long road to the finish. Making it to Ardee with the fatigue of six stages won’t be easy, but there is nothing easy about this race.