TWO-TIME overall winner Ciaran Power was on hand to offer advice to this year's hopefuls when the route for the 2013 An Post Ras was unveiled at the GPO in Dublin.
At 36, Power looked fit enough to add to his victories of 1998 and 2002, but the former professional insists he harbours no intentions of returning to competition in such a tough race. "When you're younger you need to target something and the Ras is the biggest race in Ireland. I did okay the first year I rode it and then was fourth the second year so I really targeted it for 1998.
"When you win it then, you want to go on and try to get a pro contract and luckily enough I was able to do that and got time off from my pro team to come back and win it again in 2002. But when you see the work it takes, having a full-time job and three kids now, I'd hate to put cycling in front of them again. I did that long enough."
Now running his own neuromuscular physical therapy practice in Waterford, the double Olympian admits he still gets asked by domestic riders how best to approach the race, which starts in Dunboyne on May 19 and takes in stage ends in Longford, Nenagh, Listowel, Glengarrif, Mitchelstown, Carlow and Naas before finishing in Skerries on May 26.
"I couldn't imagine having a full-time job and winning the race nowadays, that would be very hard." he says.