Picture Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Roscommon’s Daire Feeley has retained the Blue Jersey for the top Irish County Rider following today’s fifth stage of the An Post Rás which finished in Dungloe.
Feeley finished 44th in the stage, sits 16th place overall and ninth in the Under 23 category.
At 181.2 kilometres, the peloton faced a significantly longer route than previous days, testing the legs of even the most experienced riders. Adding to the fearsome challenge, riders had to also conquer two categorised climbs and two An Post primes.
It was a glorious day in Donegal with the temperatures increasing throughout the day. The stage proved to be eventful from the get go with groups instantly attacking only to be consistently reeled in by the peloton. The first serious move of the day came from Michael O’Loughlin (Britain Team Wiggins) and Thomas Rostollan (France Armée de Terre) who set up a thirty-five second advantage out front before being chased down heading to the climbs.
With two climbs in quick succession it was stage four winner Michael Storer who asserted his dominance on the mountains. The Australian took both the Anny Far and Near/Carnagarrow and Ballymastocker climbs (Cat Three) to extend his lead in the King of the Mountains classification.
The climbs took their toll, breaking things up with a strong contingent of six riders pushing on to establish a sizeable lead ahead of a chasing group of eight. The leading group included Cameron Meyer (Australia National Team), Edward Laverak (Britain JLT Condor), Regan Gough (An Post Chain Reaction), James Gullen (Britain JLT Condor), Ike Groen and Daan Meijers (both Netherlands Delta Cycling).
From there on the six riders worked well together, pulling clear by a massive seven minutes and thirty-five seconds with twenty five kilometres to go. From the leading group it was Edward Laverack who claimed the Dunfanaghy An Post prime and Daan Meijers who took the Falcarragh An Post prime. With a gradual uphill drag to the line, it came down to one final attack which was taken by Regan Gough who sprinted to the line ahead with of Meyer and Daan Meijers.
The performances of Daire Feeley have helped his team to sixth place in the Irish County Team category