Cian Keogh talks about his experience racing the Elite National Team Pursuit Championships in Ireland and what ended up being a very surprising outcome.
“As a newly established team we wanted to set a goal at the start of the year to work towards and decided that the Irish National Team Pursuit on the track would be a great event to bring us together. After a few sessions on hire bikes (most of us didn’t own track bikes) we surprisingly found that we were making gains in our time and technique quite quickly. With that momentum behind us, we decided to invest in some bikes and kept up our intense training. Months ticked by and eventually we got to the stage where we thought that if a bit of luck was on our side, there could be an outside chance of ending up on the podium. In the few days before the event we had done all we could, and all that was left was to remain professional and focus on ensuring that everything ran smoothly on the day.
The day came. We warmed up and remained focused, trying not to watch the teams who rode before us. All we could do was focus on our own effort, ride to the best of our ability, and see what time we could get around in.
We lined up, headed on to the track and set up in man 2 position. I was nervous and so were the other lads. The counter ticked down from 30 seconds. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and we were off.
Coming around after the first lap I heard my coach shouting the lap times. We started fast, almost too fast but still remained calm and continued. Every lap I heard a time faster than we had heard when training and there was no sign of slowing down. Our changes were perfect, the gaps between the wheels were minimal and we were going fast. The man in front of me pulled of and I pulled the hardest turn I could for the last 700m. Upon finishing people began clapping and that’s when it sunk in that we had done a good time. The current quickest in fact.
We were in the hotseat and watched the other teams complete their rides. The last team went out and when they finished up and clocked in with a time 5 seconds slower than us we couldn’t believe it. We had won the nationals! Considering our team was built up of 2 first year juniors and 2 first year u23’s it made us seriously happy that we could compete and beat the guys who have been at it for years.
It’s some weeks later now and we are looking to head away to do a few events abroad over the next few months. Gaining some more experience is what’s needed for us. We will just keep going at it for now and see how far we can get. Who knows?”
Cian Keogh is a Wearwell Seasonnaire from Dublin, Ireland