And finally after a 3 year wait, we finally get to take on Dingle.
This has been a particularly hard one to predict, but sure here we go.
In the mens, Sebastian will be hard bet. Garry Carroll, after a race up Carrauntoohil during the week, will hopefully turn his running form into profit as he will have the formidable Mount Brandon to tackle. Ahern, Muller, Quinn and Wolfe will be hard to drop as we expect a good bit of team work and it all may come down to the final 1km run as there are no single kayaks before the final section and tactics will definitely work to advantage of the wise. Another notable mention is Dave Power although the change in the course this year may ultimately work against him with the 10km road run now a distant memory. Prediction Seb, Muller, Quinn
In the womens expert race Ellen Vitting still appears to have the upper hand on Laura O’Driscoll as she may still have your 400km footrace heroics in her legs from 2 weeks ago. Other names to consider would be Ann Horan, the ever present Ger Kelly, and the trail running exploits of Ruth Candon may be dividends. Another name definitely in the mix will be Joanne Williams. More associate with Team Racing. So here, we go for Williams, Vitting, O’Driscoll as 1,2,3 with Horan a close 4th.
In the mens sport race, Will be electric fast. Racers to look out for are Hickey, O’Brien, Renton, McGuiness, Lawlor, Kennedy and Bernard Smith. Team tactics here will be the difference. If Des Kennedy arrives with his A game, he will take some stopping. The 20km cycle along Slea Head to Mount Brandon will be lightning fast and don’t expect much of a breakaway between the aforementioned. This could be won or lost on Mount Eagle. A strong run here could see a break in the pack, before the final cycle back into Dingle.
Prediction: Hickey, Renton & O’Brien.
The womens race looks equally close to call and Cleary, Heery, Smith, Dunne, Lynch will all be in the mix. We think Cleary and Heery are the ones to beat here and the others will need to have had their porridge to beat her. Dunnes continual progression and improvement will stand to her, although she would probably prefer a little more time on the feet, not on the bike. This is a really hard one to call. Likewise Smith has been steadily improving and will be one to keep an eye on.
Prediction: Heery, Cleary, Smith.