Matthew Teggart’s Rás Diary – Stage 4 Bundoran to Buncrana
I thought that I couldn’t top yesterday when I won the stage, but moving into yellow today was unreal. It took about twenty minutes after the stage for it to be confirmed that I had the yellow and getting on the podium again was great. Just looking down and seeing my family there was class.
This is the first time I’ve been in the lead of a race in my life. I’m not usually a GC rider as I can’t time-trial so with no TT in the Rás, it suits me.
It was inside the last 15kms or so that I realised I could take yellow. I saw the yellow jersey getting dropped on the Cat. 3 climb, but we were all under pressure and I never really thought about it at the time.
We’ve got five riders from Banbridge CC in the race and it seemed like the whole of the club were on the Gap of Mamore today. My legs were good, and I managed to get over the climb with the leaders. It was my first time up it and I wasn’t sure where the top was, so I didn’t want to go all out and blow.
With about 10kms to go, Kasper who had been in the break dropped back and Kurt told us to ride and he also told me that if I could get a high stage placing, I could take yellow.
We also wanted to make sure (stage winner) Michael Storer didn’t get too much time as he’s a danger. He held on for the win, and I just missed out on third behind Morgan Kneisky (Equipe Cycliste Armée de Terre).
On the podium, Morgan who I know from France, was just saying to me that “this is a crazy race, I can’t handle it.” My team mate Kasper is the same. Some of the foreign guys can’t believe their eyes, it’s the unpredictability of the Rás. A guy can have a ten minute lead on GC and be dropped the next day.
Some races on the continent are so controlled, but not this. A break can go clear with a lot of pro riders, and if all the teams are represented, then the pros are happy to work. Then some county riders get across and really shake things up. They attack and the pros don’t know if they should leave them, follow them or what. Fair play to the county lads for racing the way they do. Also, five-man teams make it so much more difficult to control and it makes for more exciting racing.
Tomorrow is a flat enough stage, but anything could happen. If it’s windy, it could split to bits. I just really want to enjoy my day in yellow. The team have a couple of cards to play. Damien is on the same time on GC, and Sean and Kasper are not too far down either.