Commentary from Stage 8 2011

Stage 8

12.05: Good morning from Kildare, and welcome to updates from the final stage of this year's An Post Rás. It's a mild day with some wind, but nothing like as strong as earlier this week. The riders are ready for the last 133 kilometres of this year's race, and will be glad to reach the finish in Skerries. 

12.07: John Dempsey (Donegal LK Bikes) is one of the first to attack, but has been reeled in. 

12.08: Conor Dunne (Ireland Team Skoda) has attacked the bunch on the way towards Milltown. Meanwhile his team-mate Sean Downey has had a rear wheel puncture. 

Dunne is seven seconds clear. 

We spoke to Downey a few minutes before the flag dropped; he said he was pleased with how the race has gone for him. He's the leading Irishman overall in eleventh place. When asked his aims for today's final stage, he said that he wanted to try to move into the top ten. 

"I think the Ukrainian team will try something," he predicted. They have the second-placed rider overall, Anatoliy Pakhtusov, and today is the last chance they have to make up the 32 seconds he needs to draw level with race leader Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly). 

12.11: The peloton has recaptured Dunne, so it's all together. 

12.12: The race is at the start of the first KOM of the day, the category three climb of the Hill of Allen. 

12.14: Here's the result: 

KOM category 3 at Hill of Allen (km 7.2):

1, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 5 pts
2, Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Andrew Roche (Isle of Man Microgaming) 2


12.20: Four riders have clipped away: Rhys Pollock (Australia Drapac Cycling), Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie), William Bjergfelt (Britain Motorpoint) and David O’Loughlin (Waterford Comeragh). 

12.22: They have been joined by Oleksander Martynenko (Ukraine ISD Lampre). 

12.24: After 15 kilometres of racing, it is all together. 

12.26: Remi Sarreboubee(France AVC Aix en Provence) is clear

12.28: He is being chased by three riders: Michael Duffy (Dublin Barnardos), Stephen Halpin (Donegal Sportactive/Engraveit) and Robin Kelly (Kildare Newbridge). 

They in turn are pursued by two more: Rhys Pollock (Australia Drapac Cycling) and Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint). Those chasers catch the three ahead, and these in turn join up with Sarreboubee. 

12.32: The six leaders are 15 seconds clear. 

12.35: There is one chaser now at 15 seconds, with the peloton at 18 seconds. 

12.37: That chaser was caught and now David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team), David O’Loughlin (Waterford Comeragh) and Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie) have bridged across. 

12.40: There are nine leaders, who are ten seconds ahead of the peloton. They are heading towards Kilcock, and have covered 30 kilometres. 

12.42: They have been caught. Soon afterwards, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialized) attacked. 

12.50: Sybrandy has been clear for several kilometres but has now been gobbled up by the bunch. 

12.55: Another attacker tried but didn't get far; the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team and the Ukraine ISD Lampre squad are setting the pace, keeping things under control. 

13.00: After 40km of racing, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) and Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) have 100 metres lead. 

13.02: Those two leaders are now 18 seconds clear. Horton was in yesterday's break but punctured out of it. 

13.04: The gap continues to rise, and is up to 25 seconds now. 

13.07: Remi Sarreboubee is chasing hard. The AVC Aix en Provence rider is 19 seconds behind. 

The main field is at 32 seconds. 

13.10: With 50 kilometres completed, he's 20 seconds back. The peloton is a further 15 seconds behind. 

13.14: Sarreboubee is now 25 seconds back, so he's really not making any progress. The peloton is 50 seconds behind; he's pulling clear of the bunch, so, but not making any impression on the leaders. 

13.17: The gaps continue to grow; 35 seconds and one minute, respectively. 

13.27: Sarreboubee is one minute five seconds back, while the peloton is one minute 40 back. McCann and Horton are pulling steadily away, searching for the stage win. 

13.31: Sarreboubee is asking to speak to his team car; he might well be debating whether or not he should continue out front, as he's not really going anywhere. 

13.38: He's gone back to the peloton. The leaders have covered 72 of the day's 133 kilometres, and continue to ride strongly together. 

They are two minutes 21 seconds ahead. 

13.43: After 75 kilometres, they are two minutes 38 ahead. 

There are two chasers at two minutes 16, having gone

13.45: The leaders are now on the day's second climb, that of Pluckhimin:

KOM category 3 at Pluckhimin (km 77.7):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5 pts
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 2


13.57: The two leaders continue onwards, aiming to build their advantage before the finishing circuit. There's always huge crowds in Skerries, which is a great finish for the race, and the sun is out now; should be a nice finale for this year's An Post Rás. 

14.09: McCann and Horton have covered 95 kilometres and are on the climb of Cross of the Cage. 

14.14: They have gone over the summit and are now on the finishing circuit. From this point there remains just 36 kilometres in today's stage and, therefore, in this year's An Post Rás. 

Okay, the results have come through for that climb: 

KOM cat 3 of Cross of the Cage (km 97):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 
4, Mark McNally (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 

14.19: The latest time check time gap is three minutes nine seconds, so it looks quite possible that the stage winner will be one of these two riders. Can Giant Kenda take its second stage win in two days? 

14.22: We've gone ahead to Skerries - the sun is shining here and there's a good atmosphere.. 

14.24: The two leaders go through, with McCann driving the pace. He seems to be doing more of the work, judging by the times we've seen the group. That's just working from quick glimpses, though would need to be confirmed. 

14.27: The bunch went through with one Drapac and one Ukraine-ISD Lampre rider at the front. There didn't seem to be one team organising the chase. 

14.30: The gap is two minutes 55 seconds. McCann has now attacked and is pushing forward. He had seemed to be doing most of the work, and so he's clearly decided he wants to do it himself from here. 

He's a multiple Irish TT champion and knows how to pace his efforts and push hard alone. 

14.35: Horton has completely cracked and is now one minute 16 seconds behind McCann. The Belfast rider is racing onwards to what he hopes will be a big win in Skerries. 

14.41: Waiting for a time check; we will let you know how far he is ahead then. 

McCann is due back into Skerries quite soon. The finishing circuit is 13.6km in length. After he crosses the line again, he's got just one more lap to do?

Here he comes?

Horton is one minute 45 seconds back, and is about to be caught by the peloton. That's 1.58 back - the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team are driving the pace now. 

With less than one lap to go, McCann should win this, barring any incidents or S.O.O.H.K.S (Sudden Onset Of Hunger Knock Symptoms). 

14.48: McCann is still one minute 46 seconds clear...he’s really riding well out there. 

14.52: Waiting for a time gap, but if he keeps this up, he’ll win by a minute... Very good display. 

14.54: Okay, it will be less than that - it’s one minute from the prime line, 9km from the finish.. the bunch has sped up. 

He should still do it, though, although it will be closer. 

14.57: Latest time gap - 50 seconds...he should have about 7km to go now, let’s see what the next check is... 

14.59: Another time check - 43 seconds...we are waiting for the call for the 5km to go sign... 

15.00: It’s 35 seconds... no word over race radio as to his exact location.. 

15.02: He’s got two kilometres left...last time gap was 31 seconds so he should make it with time to spare.. 

Ok, new time gap 24 seconds.. 

15.03: Bagdonas will win this race.... McCann in last kilometre....

He does it! Second Irish victory in two days...points leader Shane Archbold took second, over ten seconds back. 

Bagdonas crossed the line around 20th or so...arm in the air, celebrating his biggest career win. That’s a very big success for the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team, which won this race the hard way; take the lead early on, and defend it until the end. 

15.08: Congratulations due to all the riders who finished - this was a very hard week due to the weather (and the course/speed, of course). 

We’ll come back shortly with more results... 

Ok, full results will be pasted below. That completes the Live coverage of this year's An Post Rás, which really was a superb race. It was also a very successful one for An Post, which won it through its backing of the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team. Congratulations to those riders for winning it, to Martyn Irvine and David McCann for being the Irish stage winners, and indeed to all the riders who completed the event. 

We hope the live updates brought some of the flavour of the event to you. Thanks for reading, and also for your feedback, we didn't have time to respond to many of the messages due to work on the race, but appreciate the words! 

An Post Rás, Ireland (2.2): Stage 8, Kildare to Skerries: 

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 133 kilometres in 2 hours 58 mins 57 secs
2, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 14 secs
3, Dean Windsor (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 
4, James McCallum (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 
5, Erwan Brenterch (France AVC Aix en Provence) 
6, Ralf Matzka (Germany Thuringer Energie) 
7, Bernardo Riccio (Italy D’Angelo & D’Antenucci) 
8, Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) 
9, Felix English (Ireland Team Skoda) 
10, Bob Rodriguez (France AVC Aix en Provence) 
11, Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) 
12, Stuart Shaw (Australia Drapac Cycling) 
13, Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie) 
14, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix en Provence) 
15, Derek Finnegan (Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly) all same time


KOM category 3 at Hill of Allen (km 7.2):

1, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 5 pts
2, Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Andrew Roche (Isle of Man Microgaming) 2

KOM category 3 at Pluckhimin (km 77.7):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5 pts
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 2

KOM cat 3 of Cross of the Cage (km 97):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 
4, Mark McNally (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 

KOM cat 3 at Blackhills (km 110.2):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5pts
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Ronan McLaughlin (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 2


KOM cat 3 at Blackhills (km 124):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5pts
2, Jose Carrasco (Greece KTM Murica) 4
3, Romain Ramier (France AVC Aix en Provence) 3
4, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 2

Cuchulainn Crystal county rider : 

1, Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) 2 hours 59 mins 11 secs


International team: 

1, Giant Kenda, 8 hours 57 mins 19 secs
2, France AVC Aix en Provence, 8 hours 57 mins 33 secs
3, Ireland Team Skoda, 
4, Britain Motorpoint
5, Britain Sigma Specialized, each same time

County team: 

1, Meath Dectek, 8 hours 58 mins 24 secs
2, Carlow Dan Morrissey, 8 hours 59 mins 53 secs
3, Donegal Sportactive/Engraveit, 9 hours 31 secs
4, Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly, 9 hours 1 min 51 secs
5, Mayo Western Edge Medical, 9 hours 2 mins 35 secs


Final overall classification: 

1, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 30 hours 39 mins 48 secs
2, Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 32 secs
3, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 1 min 13 secs
4, Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence) at 1 min 16 secs
5, Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) at 1 min 24 secs
6, Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) at 1 min 31 secs
7, Simon Richardson (Britain Sigma Specialized Team) 
8, Floris Goesinnen (Australia Drapac Cycling) both same time
9, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialized Team) at 2 mins 16 secs
10, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 2 mins 21 secs
11, Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) at 3 mins 14 secs
12, Dean Windsor (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) at 3 mins 47 secs
13, James Sampson (Britain Motorpoint) at 3 mins 55 secs
14, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) at 8 mins 49 secs
15, William Bjergfelt (Britain Motorpoint) at 9 mins 49 secs 


Irish Sports Council Under 23 Overall:

1, Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) 30 hours 41 mins 19 secs
2, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 50 secs
3, Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) at 1 min 43 secs
4, Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie) at 9 mins 59 secs
5, Menso de Jong (USA Wonderful Pistachios) at 11 mins 26 secs


CI Category 2 Overall:

1, Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) 31 hours 27 mins 33 secs
2, John Dempsey (Donegal LK Bikes) at 26 mins 47 secs
3, Mark Gill (Dublin South Dublin Zilcom) at 50 mins 7 secs
4, Ciaran Clarke (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) at 1 hour 4 min 11 secs
5, Eoghan Considine (Galway Black Rose) at 1 hour 27 mins 26 secs


Fitz Cycles County Rider Overall:

1, Adam Armstrong (Dublin Eurocycles) 30 hours 56 mins 10 secs
2, Anthony Walsh (Dublin UCD) at 3 mins 2 secs
3, Tim Barry (Carlow Dan Morrisey Better Bld) at 3 mins 6 secs
4, Derek Finnegan (Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly) at 6 mins 52 secs
5, Conor Murphy (Dublin Eurocycles) at 8 mins 20 secs


Post Office Points Classification:

1, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) 70 pts
2, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly ) 53
3, Erwan Brenterch (France AVC Aix en Provence) 48
4, Myron Simpson (New Zealand National Team) 43
5, Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) 40


One4All Bikes4Work King of the Mountains:

1, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 50
2, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 37
3, Javier Benitez Pomares (Greece KTM Murica) 35
4, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 34
5, Salvador Guardiola (Greece KTM Murica) 30
6, Christian Varley (Isle of Man) 30


International Team Overall:

1, Britain Motorpoint, 92 hours 4 mins 7 secs
2, Australia Drapac Professional, at 11 mins 34 secs
3, France AVC Aix en Provence, at 12 mins 53 secs
4, New Zealand, at 18 mins 19 secs
5, Britain Sigma Specialized, at 32 mins 15 secs


County Team Overall:

1, Carlow Dan Morrissey, 93 hours 39 mins 29 secs
2, Donegel Sportactive/Engraveit, at 1 hour 35 mins 59 secs
3, Mayo Western Edge Medical, at 1 hour 40 mins 43 secs
4, Dublin Eurocycles, 1 hour 42 mins 20 secs
5, Meath Dectek, at 2 hours 13 mins 32 secs

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