Contributed by Fabio Calabria
Team Type 1’s goal was to look out for Matt Wilson as best as possible and close the King of the Mountain and take the jersey. We were informed last night that it was going to be quite severe weather: cold, raining and, windy. When we woke up it was confirmed it was going to be wet and terrible for the whole stage.
Number pinning before the stage: every pro has their own way of doing it.
It looked like it was clearing when we got to the start. But when we got out of the car, it started raining and didn’t stop until shortly before the finish. So as soon as the flag went down, the racing was fast and hard. The combination of bad weather and wind and sheets of sideways rain made it quite challenging for everyone. Several large groups of 10 or more kept breaking away. That made it fast and really hard.
Even driving the final stage was a white-knuckle ride.
I wasn’t having a good day from the get-go. I made it over the first categorized climb after seven kilometers with the group, but the race continued to remain hard and it became evident quite quickly that my race was going to be quite short.
I spent quite a bit of time in the cars after getting dropped on a slight rise. But then I rejoined the group, only to get dropped again. Eventually I pulled out of the feed zone at kilometer 101.
The right-hand turn that leads onto St. Patrick’s Hill is a tight one.
My teammate, Aldo Ino Ilesic, was also at the feed zone, having also pulled out. He and I and a soigneur and our media officer, Sean Weide, drove to finish. I was cold and disappointed that I didn’t have very good legs and I couldn’t help my team today. But that’s bike racing. I hope to come out of this weekend feeling good and looking ahead to the Tour of Missouri.
Jonathan Boyer, the first American to ride the Tour de France, was here with the South African MTN Energade squad.
Everything was perfect throughout the race as far as managing my Type 1 diabetes. The race provided us with good meals and I was able to sleep as good as I expected. When I get back to the States, I’m going to sleep and primarily rest. Once I’ve rested well and am feeling good again, I’ll try and do some good training in the week before Missouri.
It was wall-to-wall spectators for the finish in Cork.
It’s been a great few days of racing in Ireland. The race organizers did a great job of providing good courses and organizing road closures and things like that. I look forward to coming back next year and sharing it all again with you.
The champagne was more than flowing on the podium afterwards.
Thanks for reading. Cheers, Fabio.