photo credit @ An Post Rás
excerpts from RTE
Aaron Gate fought off stiff competition from Marco Tizza and Matteo Malucelli (Team IDEA 2010 ASD) to storm to victory in Stage five of An Post Rás.
Gate broke away from the leading pack with just five kilometres to go in an audacious move that set the platform for his stage victory in Ballina.
Jaap de Man (Team 3M) and Marco Tizza (Team IDEA) followed the An Post rider’s break and the three men worked well together through a highly technical home stretch with lots of twists and turns.
The gap shortened quickly as the pack reeled in the three leaders but Gate managed to hold off a final assault by Tizza and Malucelli to give An Post Chain Reaction their third stage win of this year’s Rás.
Post office primes and category three climbs returned for stage five which led an exciting and enthralling stage, as the 142km course weaved its way through the scenic terrain from Newport to Ballina, which proved to be a test to even the most experienced riders.
Several riders tried to get off the front early but after a couple of minutes of freedom, they were soon hauled back into the pack.
The first notable break came from county rider Simon Ryan (Limerick Mego RT) who rode impressively throughout the stage. He was rewarded by finishing the stage as the first county rider home.
The split in the pack happened at the 35km mark, and was led by the yellow jersey holder, Lukas Postlberger (Tirol Cycling Team).
The lead group consisted of 18 riders, including four of the An Post Chain Reaction Team who rode an extremely intelligent tactical race, allowing Gate to conserve his energy levels for the all-important finish.
The riders covered 47.2km in the opening hour and 48km in the second hour in what was a very fast race, pushed on by powerful tail winds and a smooth course.
Coming into the first climb at Glenassera the breakaway held a one minute and thirty second lead which subsequently extended out to over four minutes following the descent from the second climb at the Ceide Fields.
Robert Partridge (NFTO) won both climbs to strengthen his grip on the coveted King of the Mountains Jersey.
Coming into the final portion of the race Gate was relentless, constantly attacking and very nearly getting away on a number of occasions.
His persistence finally paid off, when with only five kilometers to go he shot out from the pack followed by De Man and Tizza. They gave themselves a 16-second lead as they rounded the bend coming into the final two kilometres. This was a gap that proved decisive as the chasing pack were left agonisingly out of reach in the closing sprint. Although they managed to claw the leaders back to within touching distance, Gate forged on ahead to prevail after a brave and aggressive ride.
After the race Aaron Gate seemed optimistic about his team’s chances in the General Classification.
“The Rás is definitely a race that isn’t over until the fat lady sings,” Gate said. “We could have thought that the GC was out of the way on the first day but that definitely is not the case. We are just going to have to keep riding hard, enjoy the final three stages and maybe even try to get another win.”
After today’s results Postlberger retains both the Yellow and the Points Classification Jerseys, while Ryan Mullen (An Post) now holds a three minute and twenty nine second lead over Jaap De Mann (Team 3M) in the U23 category. Best County Rider (Ian Richardson) and King of the Mountains (Robert Partridge) remain unchanged.
Top 20 Finishers
1 10 NZL Gate,Aaron SKT An Post Chain Reaction 3h07’32″
2 64 ITA Tizza,Marco IDE Team IDEA 2010 ASD 3h07’32″
3 61 ITA Malucelli,Matteo IDE Team IDEA 2010 ASD 3h07’32″
4 26 NED de Man,Jaap MMM Team 3M 3h07’32″
5 7 LTU Kruopis,Aidis SKT An Post Chain Reaction 3h07’32″
6 65 ITA Vigano,Davide IDE Team IDEA 2010 ASD 3h07’32″
7 3 AUT Hrinkow,Dominik HAC Hrinkow Advarics Cycling Team 3h07’32″
8 8 GBR Edmondson,Joshua SKT An Post Chain Reaction 3h07’35″ @03″
9 56 FRA Gesbert,Elie Team Pays De Dinan 3h07’35″ @ s/t
10 70 NZL Frame,Alex NZL NEW ZEALAND National Team 3h07’35″ @ s/t
11 12 AUT Postlberger,Lukas TIR Tirol Cycling Team 3h07’35″ @ s/t
12 32 GBR Partridge,Robert NPC NFTO 3h07’35″ @ s/t
13 6 IRL Mullen,Ryan SKT An Post Chain Reaction 3h07’38″ @06″
14 141 IRL Ryan,Simon lim LIMERICK Mego RT 3h07’48″ @16″
15 14 AUT Schonberger,Sebastian TIR Tirol Cycling Team 3h07’48″ @ s/t
16 67 NZL Bain,Nick NZL NEW ZEALAND National Team 3h07’48″ @ s/t
17 100 IRL Potts,Marc dnn DOWN Nth Graham Powerhouse Sport 3h13’36″ @06’04″
18 87 IRL McLaughlin,Ronan aqa CORK Aquablue 3h13’36″ @ s/t
19 5 AUT Hofer,Andreas HAC Hrinkow Advarics Cycling Team 3h13’36″ @ s/t
20 59 FRA Daniel,Aurelien Team Pays De Dinan 3h13’36″ @ s/t
1 12 AUT Postlberger,Lukas TIR Tirol Cycling Team 17h53’48″
2 8 GBR Edmondson,Joshua SKT An Post Chain Reaction 17h54’53″ @01’05″
3 6 IRL Mullen,Ryan SKT An Post Chain Reaction 17h55’40″ @01’52″
4 32 GBR Partridge,Robert NPC NFTO 17h56’58″ @03’10″
5 10 NZL Gate,Aaron SKT An Post Chain Reaction 17h58’20″ @04’32″
6 26 NED de Man,Jaap MMM Team 3M 17h59’09″ @05’21″
7 7 LTU Kruopis,Aidis SKT An Post Chain Reaction 18h01’17″ @07’29″
8 70 NZL Frame,Alex NZL NEW ZEALAND National Team 18h01’22″ @07’34″
9 39 IRL Irvine,Martyn MGT Madison Genesis 18h01’32″ @07’44″
10 14 AUT Schonberger,Sebastian TIR Tirol Cycling Team 18h04’59″ @11’11″
11 107 IRL Richardson,Ian ucd DUBLIN UCD 18h05’17″ @11’29″
12 65 ITA Vigano,Davide IDE Team IDEA 2010 ASD 18h06’33″ @12’45″
13 2 AUT Benetseder,Josef HAC Hrinkow Advarics Cycling Team 18h07’07″ @13’19″
14 30 BEL Steurs,Christophe MMM Team 3M 18h07’32″ @13’44″
15 67 NZL Bain,Nick NZL NEW ZEALAND National Team 18h07’39″ @13’51″
16 27 BEL Janssens,Jimmy MMM Team 3M 18h07’43″ @13’55″
17 1 AUT Fankhauser,Clemens HAC Hrinkow Advarics Cycling Team 18h08’44″ @14’56″
18 61 ITA Malucelli,Matteo IDE Team IDEA 2010 ASD 18h08’58″ @15’10″
19 56 FRA Gesbert,Elie Team Pays De Dinan 18h09’36″ @15’48″
20 31 GBR Bibby,Ian NPC NFTO 18h09’58″ @16’10″
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