Distance: 104.82 miles
Work: 4349 kJ
Maximum Power: 739W
Average Power: 174W
Maximum Speed: 43.5 mph
Average Speed: 15.1 mph
Maximum HR: N/A
Average HR: N/A
TSB Today: -70
ATL Today: 199.1
CTL Today: 111.9
Very hilly stage today for the final ride to the finish. Started the ride in group 3 with Dave who had decided to ride with this group until the lunch stop and then set off early stopping only briefly as he knew what was ahead in terms of climbing and wanted to get a head start and see how he got on.
The good news this morning was that one of the organisers had managed to make a temporary repair to my rear wheel so the PowerTap wheel could be used again. He warned my to use "as low a gear as possible" to not stress the repair which kind of stuck in my mind during the ride. The thought of a sudden wheel failure was not a nice one, best not to think about it too much.
So, at the lunch break Dave set off pretty much immediately and I hung around having lunch and chatting pondering what to do. Decided in the end, instead of waiting for group 3 to set off, to go with group 2. This was the group I'd originally been riding with on stage 1 and when I punctured back on stage 2 when Dave had kindly stopped and waited for me.
Decision made and set off with the bunch without problems. The climbs were challenging but never really too steep and I was able to stay with the group for the remainder of the ride. The scenery on this section was spectacular and the descent from the Wicklow Gap towards Dublin a lovely descent on good roads in dry conditions, good fun.
The finish itself was in the grounds of a small hotel rather than in the town itself. Unfortunately the finish and onward transit arrangements were, I felt, very poor and riders having just ridden just under 600 miles over 45 days and over 100 very hilly miles today were left hanging around outside in cold conditions which was a great shame.
A memorable trip for many reasons, some good and some not so good. Once I'm home and have had the opportunity to reflect on things I may well write a short summary of my thoughts on the event, time permitting. Most importantly however I have completed the ride successfully, safely, and comfortably. I have proved to myself that my indoor Winter training arrangements allow me to complete consecutive 100+ mile stages in bad weather in the early season and to keep going which was my objective for this trip in readiness for Le Tour next year. I have now also developed a nutrition and hydration strategy for multi-day events which certainly works for me and which I can repeat easily. The Tour of Ireland 2009 has served it's purpose.