By Mick Leonard

Today was a hard hard day. I rode the whole of today with the legs feeling heavy and just had to keep pushing through it. The whole stage was a fight. It was strange to ride a complete stage with the legs hurting.

The speed from the start was the fastest yet. For the first 55k or so, the lineouts were so intense. Things calmed down after that, but the kilometers kept on chipping away at the legs. After 100k, the pace picked up again and there was a crash which I was caught behind like most others.

The lineouts here to get back on were the most intense I’ve ridden, the roads had turned and we were in a savage crosswind. I had to give it all just to hold the wheel, praying we’d catch the bunch soon and it would ease up. It didn’t.

We caught the bunch but it didn’t ease up. The pace ramped up as the finish was drawing near. It was a surreal experience tearing down the dual carriageway on the edge of Galway on the right hand of the gutter with it closed just for us, weaving around the many roundabouts.

I was in Stagg Cycles there picking up a few pieces last week and the chief mechanic Andy gave me some advice, the old saying which has been my mantra the last 3 days: “pain is temporary, regret is forever”

5 to go,




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