Joe Barr says this week’s Race Around Ireland could be his last solo race in Ireland.
The 59-year-old won the Race Round Ireland, after 104 hours of racing, with two hours to spare on Czech Republic endurance ace Svaťa Božák.
It was 38 minutes past midnight on Thursday when Barr crossed the line in Trim, county Meath, after 2,157km of cycling.
Barr rode his first Race Around Ireland in 2009, when he won the event and this week he broke his record of nine years ago.
“It’s great to come back here,” Barr said.
“Before I started I said I wanted to do a really good ride.
“I sort of knew it might be my last time here. So to win it a second time and to have to race all the way is more important.”
Barr, a former pro road racer, hinted that next year’s Race Across America, could well be his final solo race.
He said: “I’ve raced for 45 years, every year so it’s time.
“It’s a different race, it’s a professional race. When we came here in 2009 the sport was just starting. Look what’s been achieved.”
Barr won the Joe Roche Award and the Ciarán Smith Award, given for fastest times through special stages of the Race Around Ireland.
He described this as his most aggressive race since he took up the sport.
He said: “When I came here, climbing big hills was what I do best. So I pushed on all the hills. But Ballaghisheen nearly got me. I pushed hard and halfway up I nearly blew.”