Giro or not, we had to do our final catch up with a man who doesn’t just talk about racing – he’s in the saddle, jousting with old war horses like Kirsipuu and Eeckhout; Rab Wardell.
As we approached the Monte Petrano climb, yesterday I caught up with Rab, back in the Old Country, via the wonders of digital technology.
Rab told us;
“The last day was eventful, I had another bike change.
“There was a big crash; I came down with McCann and O’Loughlan.
“My rear gear hanger was burst off and I actually had to walk back down the hill to get the spare bike because the cars couldn’t get through.
“I got back to the group, though and was with Newton and Richardson at the finish.
“It was so fast yesterday, even though it’s small teams, (five riders) Rapha went to the front and controlled it for Richardson, it was 28 mph all the time.
“To get away, you had to be riding at 30 mph plus – very hard.”
Then Kirsipuu won the last stage and Richardson took the overall…
“Yes. Saturday was a bunch sprint, one of the Irish guys took that; the weather was horrible, it rained all day and only faired up in the last 20 minutes.
“It’s been a great experience although it’s been a very tough race for me.
“Even with the wind, rain, mountains and crashes, the race average has been 27 mph.
“There are very few riders here just to make up the numbers – everyone is racing.”
Rab was: talking to one of the riders: who rode the professional Tour of Ireland last year, and he reckoned that this Rás was harder than that.
So what’s next Rab?
“My plan is to recover for Saturday’s nocturne in Edinburgh, then in a fortnight I have the Tour de Beauce in Canada.
“The Rás and Beauce will give me a great foundation for the rest of my season.”
We’d like to thank Rab for taking the time to talk to us all through the race. We wish him well for Saturday and for Canada.
Meanwhile… “how far to Teramo, Dave?”