Daire Feeley battles hard in France on tough day in the trenches

Posted on: March 18th, 2019

Daire Feeley Paris-Troyes EvoPro Racing

Daire Feeley is a very experienced campaigner already but his education continues with Irish Continental squad EvoPro Racing. He rode Paris-Troyes on Sunday in epic conditions (All photos by Audrey Waltisperger)

 

Daire Feeley has had a very useful race outing in the 184km Paris-Troyes in France on a day when almost 90 riders were non-finishers.

Roscommon’s Feeley (22) gave a very good account of himself, making it into the front group on a day when crosswinds split the racing to pieces multiple times.

And while he would slip back a little in the closing stages, he survived in the lead group of 30 riders deep into the final 10km of the UCI 1.2 ranked race.

It was won by Jérémy Cabo (SCO Dijon) who came out best of the 25-man group sprinting for victory.

That group was made up of ProContinental and Continental team riders, though the winner rides for a French elite team.

Best of Feeley’s EvoPro Racing squad was the Australian Harry Sweeny. The 20-year-old put in a tidy shift to survive in the front group, taking 22nd place.

Kiwi Shane Archbold was the team’s man for a sprint finish. But an untimely puncture on the penultimate lap of the finishing circuit ended his chances.

That left just Sweeny and Feeley in the front group for EvoPro Racing; the Irish rider eventually finishing in 34th at 1:24.

 

Daire Feeley Paris-Troyes EvoPro Racing

Daire Feeley Paris-Troyes EvoPro Racing

Top, Daire Feeley got back to the front of the race on a day when the crosswinds and hail were a killer in France. Shane Archbold, middle, would have been a great bet for the sprint but for his bad luck.

 

Aaron Kearney and Cormac Mcgeough were also in action for EvoPro Racing. However, both Irish riders were non finishers, as was Conn McDunphy riding for CC Nogent-sur-Oise.

“The weather was very bad, with the crosswinds and we had very bad hail showers as well,” Feeley told stickybottle.

“Guys were just pulling up mid race because they weren’t able to keep going due to the hail showers.

“You couldn’t eat or drink because we rode extremely hard all day. And because of that I lacked the legs I would normally have.

“It wasn’t the best day in terms of results for the team; we had some bad luck but we showed ourselves reasonably well.”

 

EvoPro Racing: Daire Feeley in Paris-Troyes

Feeley’s performance was better than the result suggests as just 83 riders finished, with almost half of those between eight and 10 minutes down.

The first 70km of racing in the crosswinds in north central France saw the peloton split, with Feeley finding himself in the second group.

He spent about 90km fighting to get back to the front of the race, which he eventually succeeded in doing.

And as just two laps of the finishing circuit remained, the front group that Feeley, Sweeny and Archbold were in numbered about 35 riders.

However, Archbold’s flat changed the complexion of the finale for the Irish team. And Feeley decided to have a go on the climb on the last lap.

Unfortunately he was pegged back just before the top. And with the attacks coming thick and fast, he struggled to recover from his effort and just about lost contact, riding in to the finish.

 

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