Eoin Morton and Ronan McLaughlin were present in Dublin this afternoon for the route announcement for this year’s An Post Rás. Morton, reckons the county men can forget about doing anything on the hilly days and should focus on the flat ones.
By Brian Canty
An Post Rás stage winner Eoin Morton reckons this year’s route will be about picking the right battles on the right days.
The UCD CC man claimed a memorable win last year when he snatched victory from Bryan McCrystal in Charleville and says repeating the feat will not be happening in Donegal.
“It’s grand…it’s a bike race, if you’re in form you’re in form, if you’re not it’s going to be…the three days in Donegal for the county riders, I wouldn’t panic too much,” he said.
“In reality you’re going to get over the hill but unless you’re Eddie Dunbar you won’t be in the front so who gives a rats?
“There will be days where myself and McCrystal and the rest of the boys will be making moves, but we won’t be doing 500 watts up the Mamore Gap.
“Look, it’s mainly flat, the majority of it is…flat,” he added.
“The first day to Longford is pan flat. The second day to Newport is flat again with a little bit of bog which could be interesting.
“Newport to Bundoran (on day three) when we hit the Sligo coast, that could be make or break.
“Then the whole way through Mayo you have bog and then tailwind and I think that’ll split it up big time.
“That’s the hidden problematic stage for a lot of people.
“We head to Donegal then and it goes uphill. They’re hard narrow roads.
“I think to be honest, the run home is a saunter…you have a pan flat stage, it (stage seven) reminds me of the day Damien Shaw was second into Dundalk.
“It has that very same feel. I reckon the break will stay and whoever wins will go straight to Slane Castle because Guns N’ Roses are playing that night!”
His winter has been busy with a new job, a new house and the not so small matter of getting engaged, but you won’t hear those as excuses if he has a rough day in May.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve lots going on but training is going well regardless of life milestones. I’m still hitting the road and doing the miles but I’ll see on Sunday where I’m at.
“We can look at the power files on Sunday and see where we are then.”