I was a bit nervous the night before this and didn't get a great sleep, but as it got closer on the day I got more confident. I figured that pushing hard in the less complicated sections and just going steady with no big time loss in the the technical bits would be enough.
Good start, got 1 perfectly and felt good up the hill. Bit of a miss on 2 then, I didn't think it was too bad but splits say 20-30 secs.
Pushed hard then and got the next few nicely apart from a slight hesitation on 5.
Was just behind Andrew Quin going up the hill to 8, was trying to gain time and get a better line so I stayed high. Ended up too high though and was on top of the spur before it, so had to go back down and climb again, ~20 secs slower than Darren.
Climbed out of 8 then took a bearing to 9 as if it was from 8, so ended up too high in the re-entrant and got a bit confused, so another 40 secs.
Slow and steady to 10 and then pushed harder on 11. 12 was downhill and easy to simplify down to the lake and the stream so I went for it. Kept the pace up for 13 but the stream seemed very dry and I got a bit comfused so lost more time. Only one more control in that area so I decided to play it a bit safe and just get it well.
15 was a bit badly planned as you could see 2 not long after leaving 14. A further incentive was Seamus just crossing the river on his way to it. It was a really fun descent.
Shea first saw me as he was coming out of 16 I think and he seemed to put on a sudden burst of speed. I nearly had him by 18 but I felt worse than I expected when we hit the hill to 19. He was gradually pulling away on the up and then disappeared in the forest on the way down to 21, so took a risk and just flaked it down the hill. Luckily I saw the flash of orange to my right along with Shea. He stopped early on 22 and I got ahead finally.
Hit the run in and followed it backwards for 23, then nearly went down the track instead of following the tapes to the end.
Really happy to get the win. I had been a bit worried after the previous day's controversy that there would be issues again today, but the fears were unfounded really, good map and decent course.
RG is looking a bit weird at the moment, I'll stick up the Quickroute soon.