Prologue

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Just going to sleep on last night at home before les etapes. Filled in my last note in training diary. The next entry will be Monday 15 th two days after Act II. I have driven over 2000 km in the past week. An unscheduled trip to Dublin and back on Thursday night and today I left at noon to drop my bike to the ferry ay Ringaskiddy only to have to turn and drive to Portlaoise to drop the bikes to a later ferry in Dublin. I’m tired and depressed. Hope to get on the road early and relax in Dublin tomorrow before flying out on Monday.

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As for a Postmortem on Dartmoor. I will write a note on my return. Tomorrow I will give thought to previous etape preparation in the final week and decide on how much cycling to do next week

Welcome to Loserville. Population 1

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Silver Medal 6hrs 55 min
Average speed 22.4kph  Max speed 77.6kph

A wet and miserable start meant that I got nowhere near my Gold medal. After 2 hours of cycling I was 20 Mins slower than last year. I slowly clawed most of it back and finished a couple of minutes slower than last year on a slightly different route.

I had a fantastic day and enjoyed the ride immensely.It really is a beautiful and challenging route with endless steep sharp hills. I feel I paced myself much better than last year and raced home from Princeton to the finish. I powered along the river valley in the last 20km trying to catch last years time. Great buzz flying along in a group of about  six of us.

Wasn’t too disappointed about time as I know I did my best and could not have done better

At least I know my goal for 2013- Gold medal in the Dartmoor classic

Ulysses- Quest for the golden fleece

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Looking at the Wicklow  mountains from the bow of the Ulysses I remember the suffering of last weekend and think of the words of many namesake ;

Wicklow , rightly termed the garden of Ireland, an ideal neighborhood for wheelmen, so long as it didn’t come down.

Well it didn’t come down this year like last year but I did suffer.

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Having nearly killed me Hugh and Brendan act all friendly 😉

Traveling to England tonight for the Dartmoor Classic. Three days to go and all my training is finished. Staying tonight on Merseyside and then a six hour drive down to Plymouth tomorrow. Really looking forward to relaxing in Plymouth but after two years of blissful sunshine for the Dartmoor classic I fear my luck has run out.

More Joyce to  finish;

British beatitudes!  … Beer,  beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery,  (bicycles) and bishops

Inspiration

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Great day on the bike. 95Km around Limerick and Cork with Kieran and Barry. Kieran insists that I include photos of his beautiful new Titanium bike on my blog. Took it super easy on the spin today. Still feel I’m weak after my efforts last weekend. I was surprised to see that Friday’s hill repeats were no faster than last year.

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Spent the evening making my improvised sports bars. Dates, almonds, apricots and chocolate. Taste good. I look forward to trying them next weekend Plan is to do two easy spins this week and be fighting fit for Dartmoor.

Fingers crossed for dry weather next weekend.

Stormy night

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Completed difficult hill repeats after work. Wet and stormy weather meant I had to hide from the weather in the past two days. Headed out to Ardpatrick after work, got changed in the rain and made my way to the bottom of the Lacka. Raced up it 6 times. Attempts in the middle lacked intensity as I began to day dream but picked it up for the last attempt. This is my last weekend of training before heading to Dartmoor on Thursday.

Ouch! That hurt

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Finished my seventh Wicklow 200 yesterday. It was the toughest I can remember. I travelled much of the way with Brendan and Hugh but eventually I faded. Later I bonked half way up the Shay Elliot. I slowed to crawling pace and began to shiver as I suffered on the hill.

My mind drifted to Les etapes and I have to wonder if I’m up to the task. I ate, drank and warmed up in Rathdrum only to fall behind Brendan and Hugh shortly after getting back on the road.

Suffered along and eventually got pissed when the group I was riding with were leaving all the work to me. I rode off the front and broke my b@lls to get away. I expected to see them all again but was impresssed by my determination. It served as a bit of a tonic to my dinted pride.

The good feeling didn’t last though. When I got to Shoreline leisure centre I found Hugh and Brendan finishing their second course of pasta and considering setting up a search party to find me. I felt physically unwell as I travelled back home. I didn’t make it home in time for the match. I collapsed into my chair too weak to text my friends or post a blog. I drank 3 litres of fluid last night and this morning was still 1Kg lighter than Friday. A good nights sleep and I felt much better today. I hope that ride makes me stronger

Preparation

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The Wicklow 200 is on tomorrow. Traveled up to Dublin today. Relaxing in the Parkview Hotel in Wicklow. Collected my bike from it’s service and went for a short spin with Brendan to ensure all was in order. Laying out my kit before heading out for dinner and a couple of pints.