Hassan on the An Post Ras

Monday, 3rd June, 2013

Robbie Hassan was part of a Scotland team, managed by Graeme Herd, that took part in the 2013 An Post Ras stage race in Ireland. A famously demanding eight stage event held on heavy roads and raced by national, international and County teams, it was Hassan's longest ever race. Here's his race 'diary.'

"I have wanted the chance to race the An Post Ras for a couple of years now and finally got the chance, racing with a four-man Scotland team. The Ras would be my first week-long tour, so it was a bit of a trip into the unknown for me. How would I hold up and perform over eight days?

I made the split on the second stage and after three typically hard days of non-stop attacking,  I was still up there in GC, only 40 secs down on the yellow jersey. But I had to battle through with a fever on the fourth day which was in the mountains which should have been my best terrain and instead I ended up losing a bit of time. From that point I stayed in the bunch and tried to do what I could.

But by the time we got to the final stage, I went for the win on day eight. I broke away with a Canadian rider, then we were joined by a couple more riders later in the day. The bunch was being paced by the winning team, UK Youth, with a bit of help from the sprinting teams like An Post Sean Kelly. We had over four minutes at one point, but they caught us with less than  15 km to go - after 110 km in the front of the race.

Overall, it was great riding my first Ras. The speed of the race was very high - we averaged 29mph for 100 miles on stage two! The surface of the roads was very rough, which made in it tough going on the legs. I thought the roads in the West of Scotland were bad - so I won't complain about them too much in future! The Scotland team rode well, always at the sharp end of the race and Ben Greenwood finished high up on GC.

I would love to get into a team that does more of this level of stage races for next year and I was pleased to be able to race at the front, after seven days of hard racing in my legs."

The pic came from the An Post Ras flickr feed. There are lots of great pics that give a real flavour of the roads and the race.



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