Here is what Thornton sponsored athlete Adam Kelly has been up to in April.
My first race in April was Triptique Monts et Chat UCI 2.2U. This race didn’t quite go as I had hoped.
When I came back from my previous race in France 4 days before the race, I picked up a bit of a cold and went into the race on the back foot.
Stage 1 started not too bad; however, with about 40km to go, I began to struggle with a stomach issue. Then I got dropped on the final climb and lost a minute or so. Luckily, there was a toilet at the finish.
For the following three stages, I struggled quite a bit with the mixture of having a cold and a stomach bug and felt pretty empty all race, and unfortunately, I DNF’d the final stage.
After this, I took a couple of weeks out of racing to recover.
Next up, I rode a couple of kermesses. Retie on 18/04, where I finished 7th after getting in a break of 5 with about 20km to go and two riders staying away.
I tried attacking with 1km to go to try and secure 3rd but gambled a bit big and came in 7th.
The end day, I went to Hakendover, where I finished 2nd after quite a hard race.
After 10km, the race split into a group of about 13, which I managed to get in. We worked well together and managed to get a good gap on the rest of the race. Then three riders broke off the front, and then I got away in a group of 4 a bit later on, and we chased for about 25km and could see them nearly the whole time and caught with only 750m to go, so it was a close one, and then I sprinted to 2nd.
Next I rode two stages of the Arden Challenge after a last-minute call up less than 48 hours before the start.
My first stage went ok; the plan was to lead on one of my teammates who was going for GC, which was going really well. I was on the front and pulled off with 700m to go with 2 of them left, but unfortunately, he had a mechanical in the final and had to roll in the mid-20s, and I was 44th.
The final day was a similar situation but went a bit better. Me and our team leader pushed to the front in the final, and I finished 14th, and he finished 6th, meaning he finished 4th on GC.
Now into May.
I have just come back from a four day 5 stage race in France which was 05-08/05 Essor Breton. This race was a top-level elite National in France with some hard racing.
My results were Stage 1-23rd, Stage 2TT-77th, Stage 3-65th, Stage 4-54th, Stage 5-21st and 53rd on GC. This didn’t all go quite as planned. I had some good days and some rough days in there.
Day 2 with stages 2 and 3 didn’t go so well; I think from the lack of sleep from the travel, as the day before the race I had to be awake before 4 am to drive 9 hours to the race, which wasn’t ideal.
But still, I got a good five stages in the legs, which will prepare me well for what’s coming next.
I have just had my first national selection with Cycling Ireland and will be competing in Flèche du Sud UCI2.2 on 25th-29th May. I am really excited and looking forward to this opportunity.
This will be my next race, only two weeks away.
After that, I hope to travel to Ireland in mid-June to compete in the National Championship.
Follow Adam on Instagram @adamjkelly00