Roscommon’s Daire Feeley has continued his fine form in the An Post Rás, finishing 17th in today’s 162.8 kilometre stage. The result saw him moved up 9 places in the General Classification to 41st.
Picture Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
In addition, Daire sits in 2nd place in the Dunboyne Castle County Rider Stage standings, 4th in the Irish County Rider category and 13th place in the Under 23 category.
Nicolai Brochner of Denmark’s Riwal Platform narrowly edged a bunch sprint to the claim victory today. Emiel Wastyn and Aaron Gate, both of An Post Chain Reaction, finished on the Dane’s shoulder to take second and third place respectively with the pack eagerly on their heels.
Today’s stage rolled out of Dingle and threatened to up-end the general classification (GC) with two category three climbs, a category two climb and a testing ascent of the category one Ballaghisheen Pass.
The rolling roads from Dingle to Sneem appeared perfect for a break but early attacks were consistently thwarted as the peloton charged through Inch, Castlemaine, Milltown, Killorglin and Cappaghmore.
It wasn’t until the 85 kilometre mark, on the approach to Ballaghisheen pass that a breakaway of seven riders came together, establishing a two minute 45 second lead over the bunch. Driving hard at the front were county riders Bryan McCrystal (Louth Asea Wheelworx) and Anthony Walsh (Cork Aquablue).
A puncture by Walsh and a crash to Ike Groen (Netherlands Join-S de Rijke) on the descent reduced the lead pack to five. With 115 kilometres covered, the gap was down to one minute 50 seconds with the riders battling a strong head wind as they headed towards the penultimate climb of Coomakista.
Eddie Dunbar (Irish National Team) and yellow jersey leader, Clemens Fankhauser (Austria Tirol Cycling) were spearheading the chasing pack, pushing hard to bridge the gap. Arriving in Sneem, the riders completed a 17 kilometre loop and with only five kilometres to go, the break was caught.
The peloton hurdled to the finish line but Brochner had most left in the tank and edged the An Post Chain Reaction duo to cross the line in an impressive three hours, 52 minutes, 54 seconds.
Brochner spoke of his surprise at claiming the victory “This morning I didn’t expect the stage to suit me at all with the climb in the middle, but I fought really hard to make it over. Working with my teammates, I knew I had a shot that we could bring the break back, so I gave it everything I had. It feels amazing to be a Rás stage winner.”
Jersey presentations remained relatively unchanged as Aaron Gate retains the green points jersey and Fankhauser stays in the yellow leader jersey. Jai Hindley (Australia National Team) keeps hold of the U23 Rider jersey and Ian Richardson (Dublin UCD Fitz Cycles) rode superbly once again to stay top of Irish County Rider classification.
McCrystal becomes the new King of the Mountain’s and the Irishman was delighted to take to the podium “It’s such a special race. We just take each stage a day at a time. We are working well as a team and morale is good, so we’re excited to see what we can do.”
The 148.3 kilometre stage five will see the peloton take on two category two and three category three climbs. They will leave Sneem and head towards Skibbereen before crossing the line in Clonakilty.