Roscommon’s Daire Feeley finished 77th in the opening stage of the 2016 An Post Rás, which concluded in Multyfarnham, Westmeath yesterday. The man from Mote Park came down in a crash inside the final 10km and had to get a bike change, which impacted his progress
Picture Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Daire sits in 21st place in the Under 23 section, 2 minutes 39 behind the leader. Taco van der Hoorn of the Netherlands Join-S De Riijke team claimed the spoils on the opening stage with Dylan Kennett (New Zealand National Team) and Rasmus Mygind (Denmark Riwal Platform) followed closely behind the Dutchman to take second and third place respectively.
The opening stage of the eight day UCI ranked race was littered with superb performances from the Irish contingent involved. Jack Wilson (An Post Chain Reaction) and Eddie Dunbar (Ireland National Team) both claimed a top ten finish, while Eoin Morton (Dublin UCD Fitz Cycles) took the King of Mountains (KOM) jersey. Two time winner of the race, Ciaran Power (Waterford Comeragh), rolled back the years with a terrific display to take the county rider stage prize.
This year’s edition of the race rolled out from the historic surroundings of Dublin Castle. 180 riders made the start list with the action officially getting underway in Clonee, Meath following a neutralised section of 16 kilometres which passed by Christchurch and through the Phoenix Park.
Irish duo Morton and Sean Lacey (Cork Aquablue) were first out the gates, going clear by nine seconds but an eager bunch quickly reeled them in. The peloton then established a lightning fast pace, covering 50 kilometres in the first hour of racing.
The break of the day came on the 75 kilometre mark; Louth native Bryan McCrystal (Louth Asea Wheelworx) attacked out front with Morton, before being joined by George Fowler (Britain NFTO Pro Cycling). The trio established a 20 second lead over the bunch but Lacey and Ronan McLaughlin (Ireland National Team) managed to bridge the gap, making it five out front.
The leading group built up a lead of one minute but behind them Patrick Gamper (Austria Tirol Cycling Team) and Adam Armstrong (Louth Asea Wheelworx) worked well together to join the quintet with only 35 kilometres to go. The break, however, couldn’t stay the distance and as they approached Crookedwood they were swallowed up, leaving it all to play for.
Alexis Dulin (France AVC Aix en Provence) and James Gullen (Britain Pedal Heaven) briefly went clear on the finishing loop of Multyfarnham before being reeled in at the front by a group of 13 riders including Van der Hoorn. The Dutchman attacked with two kilometres to go, managing to stay away and celebrate a superb victory in front of a rapturous local crowd.
Following today’s action, Van der Hoorn leads the general classification with Mygind wearing the green points jersey. Kennett’s second place finish was rewarded by winning the Under 23 classification while Morton and Power hold the KOM and County rider jerseys respectively.
Dubliner, Eoin Morton, spoke of his delight at securing the KOM jersey “It was a bit of a chaotic stage but the team spoke today about targeting that jersey so I’m thrilled to have my hands on it now. It’s a big ask to keep hold of it for the eight days but I won’t be giving it up without a fight. “
Daire Feeley and Team iTap begin stage two at 11am and Regular updates on this year’s An Post Rás are available on www.anpostras.ie or twitter.com/anpostras