On Monday morning, as stage two of An Post Rás made its way from Lanesboro to Roscommon town, a small throng of spectators had gathered at the roundabout near Keane’s on the Circular Road. Among them was a group of teachers and students from one of the local schools. They were hoping to catch a glimpse of local cyclist Daire Feeley, who had arrived home from Monaco to take part in the bike race.
The youngsters started to chant his name as the peloton made its way towards the town and their teachers offered descriptions of Daire’s uniform so the students could spot him in the colourful crowd.
The peloton whizzed past at about 45 kmph with the support cars bringing up the rear and greeting the youngsters with a variety of novelty horns. It was a wonderful glimpse of sporting endeavour and an extremely worthwhile exercise for the young students. The teachers present deserve enormous praise for allowing them some time out of the classroom in order to watch the sporting spectacle.
It’s moments like that that will live long in young memories and inspire the next generation of Daire Feeleys.
As for the race itself, stage two (Longford to Newport) was won by Jan-Willem Van Schip of Delta Cycling Rotterdam. Van Schip finished seven seconds ahead of the chasing pack led by Christopher Latham of Britain Team Wiggins. Roscommon’s Daire Feeley (Team iTap) was part of the pack and finished 69th in classification.