Deliberate Practice The Flanagan Brothers s Super Session

Posted in: Paddy Doran
By Paddy Doran
Feb 12, 2012 - 8:55:00 AM

It's great to see a race for Ned Flanagan happening in next Sunday. Mention of Ned reminded me of a conversation I had with his brother Paddy when he was still racing very well.

Ned Flanagan

As one of two brothers who were very strong riders Ned did achieve a lot of success even though overshadowed by Paddy who was one of the finest, most intelligent, wittiest and decent sportsmen I have met in my time in sport as a competitor ,masseur and coach.

If there were any results around you will see that as well Ras wins and lots of roads races including a podium place in the Tour of Ireland for Paddy they were both riding very fast time trials back in the sixties and seventies..

55, 56 minutes for 40 k Time Trials was often achieved by both of them. This was without benefit of aerodynamic equipment like tri bars TT wheel or skin suits and aero helmets. So they were well able to ride fast.

How were they so good? to give you an idea of how intelligent they were and how tough, heres a session that Paddy described to me that they used to do most Wednesdays during the racing season.

Paddy Flanagan

They used to meet in Kildare and cycle to Athy doing up and overs all the way at race pace and faster, Paddy described how on the previous Wednesday from when he was telling me this, That when Ned was doing his turns at the front he had been crucifying paddy, Ned was spinning the 53x13 most of the way back from Athy. No doubt Paddy matched him even on a bad night for him and was smiling at Ned at the finish before he went around the corner and collapsed over the bars.

Little wonder that they were so successful, can you imagine how they felt riding in breakaway group with most of the other riders after doing the Kildare to Athy session for a number of weeks. They must have been operating at about 70% when riding in most breakaways and it must have been just a matter of making sure the other lads got tired before leaving attacking and them behind.

If you look at Paddy's RAS record of overall wins and stage results you can see the same excellence that he achieved from very intelligent training methods. I noticed over the years that the Meath Grand Prix was usually the Sunday before the Ras began and as far as I could observe Paddy rarely achieved good results in this event, and sometimes might not have finished even. But ..he would be flying a week later for the Ras..

Classic tapering scenario!