After 8 tough stages our team finished 3rd in the County competition. A group from the club cycled from Belfast to Skerries to see the finish and cheer on our riders. Lots of other club members made their way down by car to join in the celebrations. Our first team in the Rás nobody anticipated they would do so well. Congratulations to the riders, Mike Millar, Brian Stewart, Ali MacAuley, Daniel Stewart and Alex Donald, the manager Cormac McCann and the backup team, Joe Henry, Geoff Hewitt, and Anne Helion. Here are the team on the podium at the end of the race.
Monthly Archives: May 2014
Wednesdays stage four, on paper at least, is the most difficult stage in this years edition. 183.6km long, with ten categorised climbs, including two category two ascents and one category one mountain – it will push every rider to the limit. Luckily the sun came out for most of the day to make it slightly more bearable (and safe) than earlier in the week.
The Phoenix guys put in a great ride to catapult themselves to 4th in the county team ranking. Just over a minute off third position! Quite an achievement when you consider the strength of the Aquablue and DID teams, both containing ex-professional and international riders.
|1||CORK City Aquablue||44h26’06″|
|2||MEATH Dunboyne DID||@ 16’22″|
|3||TIPPERARY North Visit Nenagh.ie||@ 25’19″|
|4||ANTRIM Phoenix McConvey Cycles||@ 26’30″|
|5||DONEGAL Inishowen Gateway McCafe||@ 34’55″|
Unfortunately Alex crashed on what looked like a stage well suited to his abilities, but still finished well. Mike fared best of the Antrim team, finishing in the second group home, with Ali and Daniel just behind. Brian rolled in with the grupetto to secure a strong result for the team.
The scenery around todays stage was stunning at times, but I’m not sure the riders got much chance to enjoy it. At least the team mechanic Joe did. Thursday is another hilly route, hopefully the guys can keep up their great form!
This week marks the first time in it’s history that Phoenix CC has put forward a team to represent ourselves (and indeed Co. Antrim) in the islands biggest race – the An Post Rás.
What makes ‘the rás’ so important? It’s the islands highest ‘ranked’ stage race, holding UCI 2.2 classification. This means it’s open for entry to Irish UCI professional continental, UCI continental teams, National teams and Regional and club teams. That bottom rung, ‘Regional and club teams’, is what makes it so important to us and amateur riders around the country. It’s what enables the countries best local riders to compete with some of the worlds brightest talents. Phoenix are lucky enough to have a considerable number of the provinces top riders, and are proud to support them as they represent the club and county on this brutal race around Ireland.
The team which began this eight day stage race on Sunday is:
|Antrim Traction-McConvey Cycles|
|Manager: Cormac McCann|
All of our riders except Brian Stewart are rás first timers, and it will without doubt be the hardest eight days any of them have had on a bike. You can show your support for the riders by following them on facebook (PhoenixRas), twitter (@PhoenixRas14) or our own message board thread (An Post Ras thread). We’ve also set up a page on this site to help you keep tabs on the guys activities. In their downtime they have even managed to put together a few videos so you can track their progress.
After stage three the team is a solid 5th in the county team classification, and well within striking distance of the higher positions! We will also post updates on the teams performace stage-by-stage.