Sean gets a few words of advice from 2004 Rás winner, David McCann
Sean McFadden from Letterkenny was among the riders who left Donegal town on Saturday morning bound for Ardee on Stage 7 of the An Post Ras.
All this week, we have been featuring his daily updates.
Here's his latest post:
My journey continues.
Day seven of the An Post Rás has come and gone, and I'm still on course to finish in Skerries tomorrow.
Today's stage from The Diamond in Donegal Town to Ardee's Main Street was long, testing and wet. It poured the heavens from the start to the finish of today's 168kms. It was a big shock to the system after the tropical sunshine in Donegal all week. The word back home is that it didn't rain today either. Ah well!
I got a few words of wisdom from 2004 Rás winner, David McCann, pictured with me before today's stage, from Belfast. One of Ireland's most respected and decorated cyclists, David is always a great man for encouragement and advice.
Also in Donegal Town was the talented Nikita Burke who dropped me up safely for stage seven and clapped me off at The Diamond.
Today was wet and slippery for the three and a half hours in the saddle. While temperatures were ideal for racing, the torrential downpours made life difficult. I got extremely cold today after the finish, a sure sign that the body is in the red.
After the first half hour, a massive split developed, with 70 plus riders going clear.
I was quite content to sit in the chasing bunch which contained some big names. Consequently, I knew the time gap wouldn't be an issue, so I just rolled through alongside team mate, Colm Sheahan. Once again the two younger riders in the Donegal Voodoo Team Performance, Dermot Trulock and Conn McDunphy, had a good day in the front pack. These lads are two serious riders and two to keep an eye on.
We have a late start tomorrow - roll off is at 12.15 pm, with Skerries the destination. It's about 80K to Sherries, and we have another 50km to do thereafter. The final part comprises three loops, once we hit the seaside town.
I'm still sore all over from my tumbles on day five in Rathmullan and Gweedore. My neck and right knee are particularly painful, so it will be a matter of sucking it up and staying with it for the last day.
To be honest, I haven't slept a wink since Thursday, such is the pain. But I'll get to where I planned to be when I put this team together three months ago.
One week ago, I left Letterkenny not knowing what was in front of me. Seven says on, I'm still on track.
For a county rider, it gets really tough after seven days of no let up from the pros.
But I'm nearly there.
That said, I'm taking nothing for granted as the pursuit of becoming a man of the Rás for the third and final time continues.