Ward’s delighted to finish gruelling road race

JUST finishing the European Road Championship’s under-23 men’s road race was a challenge in itself and Dunamanagh’s Adam Ward is delighted to have managed just that.
He was part of the six-man Ireland team that joined 142 others at the start of the 133.6km race in Italy, which proved so tough that less than half the field reached the finish!
Ward was one of only two members of the Irish team to complete the entire race, coming home in 53rd out of the 67 finishers, while Dillon Corkery also managed to make it home, while Aaron Wade, Matthew Devins, Kevin McCambridge and Devin Shortt did not.
Having recently finished the 10-day Tour de l’Avenir in France, Ward was pleased that Saturday’s race, as tough as it was, only lasted for a few hours!
“It was nice to only have to go full gas for one day, not 10 days in a row!,” he joked.
“The night before the race I was looking forward to it because it was the type of course you don’t often get with not a lot of thinking having to be done. It was just the strongest man was going to win, it was a bit of a leveller.
“There was no point stressing because you would either have the legs or you didn’t and thankfully I had decent legs for the first hour and a half anyway!
“The course was real hard, it was 10 laps of a brutal circuit with a fairly brutal climb of 3.4km at about an average of 6% which we had to do 10 times.
“It was about a seven or eight minute long climb 10 times, so it was a bit of a war of attrition.
“For the first five or six laps, I was feeling pretty good but then the sixth lap was a bit tough and then the seventh lap was tougher again and at the end of the seventh lap was when the bunch split and I found myself in the second half of the split.
“I was happy enough, considering only 67 got round it out of 148 starters.”

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