As the 2015 An Post Ras visted Ballinamore last Friday, Carrick-on-Shannon’s Nigel Mac Aodha made his own slice of history as the first Leitrim cyclist ever to compete in Ireland’s top cycling race.
Based in London, Nigel was riding with the Cavan Velo Cafe Magasin team and finished the eight day event in Skerries last Sunday in 124th place overall and the second man from his team across the line.
In a conversation with fellow Leitrim cyclists on the Strava cycling/running website, Nigel described arriving in Leitrim as “Pretty emosh yah... Today meant alot” before adding “It’s hard to describe lads. All I can say is do it!! Got sick after the Bearna-Newport stage so the past few days have been rough.”
The An Post Ras is a unique event that sees top class amateur cyclists coming face to face with professional teams and up and coming stars and even World Champions with Ireland’s Martin Irvine also taking part in the 2015 edition of the Ras.
The Ballina to Ballinamore stage was dubbed the “Queen Stage” which is generally considered the most difficult stage. Cyclists travelled to Sligo and then on to Manorhamilton and Glenfarne before heading down to Dowra.
From there, the cyclists had to climb up through Glangevlin and over Altinure before heading back to Ballinamore and a lap of the golf links road before an uphill finish in Ballinamore.
Nigel finished 67th in the County rider category with his best placing 107th on stage three while he also finished 110th on stage two.