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  • Line-out to Skerries

    The RAS for me, is a dream, a ambition, a goal, it is something I wanted to do when I was at my fittest back in mid nineties but never did, back then I raced internationally on the M.T.B and raced on the road purely for training. I stopped cycling after two years as a senior, and took it back up just over 4 years ago, with the goal to lose weight and have a bit of fun, but as all cyclists know its like a drug once you get the taste your back hooked!! From that point on I couldn't get enough and rode on the mountain bike as well as the road, I stared riding open races and was doing alright but last winter I realized that my fitness was coming backed and that maybe just maybe I could realize my dream and ride the RAS in the next few years. So I broke it down to mini goals, what do I need the do? firstly I needed a A2 license, I was fortunate enough to get this on St Patrick's day last year in Dunboyne, I had got a number of places before this race, equating to points of which I needed 15, I only needed 3 more to move up, and with my first win in Dunboyne since I got back into cycling came the A2 license , in the summer I got married and life took over but I still raced and went out on the bike, knowing that if I put in a good winter's training I might just be strong enough for a eight day stage race. Now I won't bore you with the training details but I started training in September and then had a VO2 max test done in November and from this point onwards with the help of Oscar all my training spins were specific and road based, on average I was doing 13-16 hours a week.

    For all those that don't know; the RAS is an annual eight day stage race around Ireland. This year the race will take place from the 20 - 27th May, The open racing style of the RAS pits amateur riders from county teams against international teams, allowing the best Irish amateur riders to take up the challenge and race against the professionals. The RAS has a worldwide reputation of being one of the more challenging tours in the elite international calendar. The RAS is a UCI ranked event and this year route covers 1168 kilometers with 28 categorized climbs, including three of the country's most challenging ascents.

    The RAS is a different event for everyone, some are looking to win stages, some to place high on GC other like me it is a matter of survival for the 8 days, with all my hopes pinned on getting to Skerries and complete the RAS to become a "Man of the RAS", everyone's journey is unique and over the 8 days I hope to keep you all up to date with the stages, the range of emotions, the up's and down's in the "line-out to Skerries"

    Line-out to Skerries - Just over 3 weeks to go

    As I log onto the An Post RAS official website to get the updated news of the different team confirmed to ride the RAS, I see the countdown timer ticking away "24 days 19hours 1min" left to the hardest race I'll every do, my head is playing mind games with me, and my body is tired from the training load. I keep saying to myself only 4 weeks left, just keep going! I feel good in one race and bad in another, this all takes it toll. However I'll find out how my form is, Saturday week when I line out with the team I'll be doing the RAS with for the Tour of Ulster. The team is made up of 5 riders and I am on the Louth/Cuchulainn CC for the RAS.

    Even though I am a rest week now I still have a 2 hour spin planned, on probably the wettest day of the year. I hope you find the read interesting and if anyone has any questions/comment please feel free to post them on the forum.

    I'll update again soon.

    Cheers Daragh
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Line-out to Skerries started by Morty View original post
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. OZ's Avatar
      OZ -
      Great to hear your thoughts Morty. Its an achievement in itself to get picked for a RAS team. Looking forward to your reports during the race(s).

      Good on ya mate
    1. Mcnipples's Avatar
      Mcnipples -
      fair play Morty
      best of luck, you are very lucky to be in a position like this, so as tough as it is, enjoy every minute.
    1. RichardL's Avatar
      RichardL -
      That's great Morty! It would be great if you could give us an update on a daily basis during the race ..... if you have the energy!
    1. Andy's Avatar
      Andy -
      Great read. Best of luck Morty. I'm looking forward to rest of your updates.
    1. Marko's Avatar
      Marko -
      Best of luck, it takes guts and courage and hard work to follow your dreams , fair play keep it lit, great read .
    1. harri's Avatar
      harri -
      well done Morty! it's an amazing road that you've paved! keep it up and you'll be amazing at the RAS! we're all behind you!
    1. Byrner's Avatar
      Byrner -
      you're some feckin steamer !
    1. Byrner's Avatar
      Byrner -
      My friend Tiornacht Murphy , or Tarquin as we call him, says he won the RAS in 2 hours..actually he says he did a 90k stage in 2 hours , thats some going !!
    1. Mickkky's Avatar
      Mickkky -
      Wish you all the best Morty,you'll have no trouble finishing the 8 stage's.
    1. ricardo's Avatar
      ricardo -
      Morty When your on the start line in a couple of weeks all those ****ty training spins all the doubts all the going hungry will be worth it.The ras is the only show in town and when your sitting in the line outs getting the **** kicked outta ye you won't wanna be anywhere else.Having done the ras in 2010 every other race pales into insignificance in Ireland .

      And as I said before when your getting it real hard remember the ****er beside ye is getting it just as hard.Ive seen the effort you have put in over the last six months you deserve to be on the start line.as a very wise man once said "let's hear it for the men of the ras "
    1. Byrner's Avatar
      Byrner -
      where this ****head Brian Feeble now with his sh1ttalk about EPIC..We're all behind you Morty, and we will be at Skerries ( wherever the hell that is !) to see you win it..
    1. Smithers's Avatar
      Smithers -
      I like the title of this post
    1. Max Power's Avatar
      Max Power -
      Great write up Morty and it's fantastic to see you've made it! I'm sure you will enjoy it and wont have trouble finishing it, best of luck! I'll defo make it out to Skerries with the welcome home party!
    1. Morty's Avatar
      Morty -
      Thanks lads for all the support and comments, RL the plan is to wirte a stage report each eveing and post it. I'll update before the start as well.
    1. Hoppo's Avatar
      Hoppo -
      Best of luck Morty! Nice write up. Looking forward to following your tour. You've come a long way since James's wedding!
    1. carolinem's Avatar
      carolinem -
      Cool write up Morty. Best of luck with The Ras. We should get as many people as possible to the finish line in Skerries to cheer and congratulate Morty.....whos with me??!!
    1. RichardL's Avatar
      RichardL -
      Quote Originally Posted by carolinem View Post
      Cool write up Morty. Best of luck with The Ras. We should get as many people as possible to the finish line in Skerries to cheer and congratulate Morty.....whos with me??!!
      Yep ... I'm planning to organise a road spin out to Skerries for the finish! Epic kit cumpulsory!
    1. carolinem's Avatar
      carolinem -
      Ah come on now Richard lets not ahead of ourselves......we can drive out!!
    1. RichardL's Avatar
      RichardL -
      Quote Originally Posted by carolinem View Post
      Ah come on now Richard lets not ahead of ourselves......we can drive out!!
      Ah sure I know how much you enjoy your road bike Caroline .... nice Sunday spin ..... coffee in Skerries and back! Don't forget we're going to the Roc in October!
    1. Byrner's Avatar
      Byrner -
      i'm not feckin cycling to Skerries