The first weekly CyclingTips podcast had an American angle, being hosted by US editor Neal Rogers and drawing largely on interviews done in and around the Amgen Tour of California.
This time around we head across the Atlantic and take a look at the An Post Rás, the legendary Irish event which has been part of the early careers of many big name riders. Won by Stephen Roche and Tony Martin in the past and also featuring the likes of Mark Cavendish, John Degenkolb and Sam Bennett, the race is one for the hardmen.
Tough terrain, rough roads, heavy winds, difficult weather and some of the most unpredictable tactics anywhere combine to add to the event’s legend, and have made a big impression on all who have taken part. CyclingTips Podcast host Elden Nelson and news editor Shane Stokes discuss the race and also talk to several who have taken part.
We speak to US criterium and cyclocross specialist Adam Myerson, who enthuses about his participation in the 2003 edition and speaks about a stage victory ahead of a very big name in the sport. He’s got some brilliant quotes about the Rás, including a quirky link to the planet Krypton.
We also explore some other subjects, including the gruelling nature of the sport and how it can take a toll on those chasing excellence.
Former world track champion Martyn Irvine gives his own thoughts in this regard, and describes how working on this year’s event has completely turned around his view of the sport. We trace the highs and lows of Martyn’s career and compare this with the hardships suffered by many others.
The theme of life, and a cycling career, being a rollercoaster ride is further explored via interviews with the young An Post Chainreaction rider Jack Wilson and former world number one Sean Kelly, who show how and why persistence is perhaps the most important quality for a sportsperson.
We also hear from the up and coming Axeon Hagens Berman rider Eddie Dunbar, a future star of the sport, who has no qualms about targeting and naming a massive goal for himself. UCI president Brian Cookson also features, discussing the future of the Olympic track racing programme and revealing a cheek-reddening Mark Cavendish moment.
As always, we welcome feedback as well as suggestions about topics you’d like to hear about.