Irish rider’s brilliant response to mishap that cost him certain victory
Some would lament their misfortune within touching distance of the finish line while leading solo, but not the Donegal man (Photo by Eire Og, homepage photo thanks to Saddle Rock CC)
By Brian Canty
It says a lot about a person when he can crack a joke after breaking his rear derailleur as he was about to celebrate a big win on a summit finish in an A1 race.
That’s exactly what Sean McFadden did yesterday at the Markievicz Cup in Sligo.
He came over the line with his bike aloft over his head and a rather tongue-in-cheek smirk across his face.
The Donegal man, whose daughter Shauna is one of the bright young things in the sport, was in all the main moves throughout the 75-kilometre handicapped race.
In fact, race director Jesse Mooney said he was “flying all afternoon”.
McFadden waited until the final ramp up to the line at Hungry Rock before delivering the killer blow. And when he did he glided clear of the bunch he looked set for victory.
But then disaster struck.
“I got away on the last lap and then I hit the last climb with 20 seconds of a lead,” he recalled.
“We just hit the 200 metre to go mark and I broke the derailleur hanger.”
McFadden, who was set to ride the Des Hanlon today couldn’t believe his luck when he looked down.
In an instant, his race was over as the others screamed past him to take all the placings.
He did a Chris Froome and just ran the remaining metres to the line, his bike across his back.
“It’s just one of those days. I’m not annoyed, that’s bike racing. The legs are good, I raced on Friday and got fifth and I’m doing the Hanlon as well.”
We hope he found a mechanic overnight…