It was a 40km, 2 lap race starting in Roundwood, Wicklow. It was a challenging course - tricky, very fast descent followed by some draggy sections, and a tough climb back up.
I had planned on making a proper effort at this race, but had not done the usual preparation I would for an XC race. The legs were a little tired from the week and I was hoping to sit back a bit in this one and try to do something later in the race.
However once the lead car tooted it horn to notify that the race had started the speed went well up. We quickly reached the descent and everyone was well spaced out. I hit 65kph with people passing me.
About 15 to 20 regrouped after descent and 3 or 4 guys kept the pace going. As we got to the climb proper the pace pushed up another notch and on the climb the 4 guys just cycled away. It was the type of climb I enjoy doing but I found it hard going today. On the second (and last) lap after the descent, about 4 of us got organised and we attempted to bridge back to the leaders who were about a minute ahead. But despite our best efforts we did not get them before the climb. And at this point my legs gave up. I lost contact with the chasing group - they were never more than 20 second ahead of me, but it might well have been an hour - I wasn't going to get back to them.
So I rolled in a minute or 2 behind the winners. The race was only a little over 1 hour in duration, but it was hard, probably the hardest one this year - there was absolutely no letup. Can't complain about the result, but I am a little disappointed I got dropped out of the chase group. There are plenty of road races left this year and I will make a proper effort for one of them!