Robin Kelly of Team Aquablue has set the bar, having won the cycling season opener, the Ned Flanagan Memorial Race in Monasterevin, Co Kildare, on Sunday. The course suited him down to the ground, and he cleared the group and won the race straight out with a 40k gain over the remaining contenders.
Such a massive lead can only mean one thing – Kelly has a proven method of training, specifically tailored for his body. A common hardship among cyclists competing at this level is how to find a balance between racing and training – ensuring to neither overdo nor underdo it.
Kelly has been training for less days but, on the days he does train, it is all about quality.
Putting in three to four quality days over five to six mediocre days has proven effective. As his weight comes down, with every week drawing closer to the Rás in May, he becomes more and more of a threat with his powerhouse style.
The 'Ned' is a relatively flat course and, with the strong crosswinds, Kelly felt nothing stopping him; he pulled away from the bunch opening a gap with a staggering 40k of a 60k race – something that is unheard of. The solo attack from Kelly in this first race of the season is a clear sign – expect spectacular racing in 2014.
Behind Kelly, came James Davenport in second and Edward Barry in third.