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Rás Tailteann Stage 1 - How It Unfoled
By Rás Admin
May 22, 2024, 19:26

Rás Tailteann Stage 1 – Short Summary Stage 1 of Rás Tailteann took the riders from Tullamore to Kilmallock over a distance of 147.6KM.

Rás Tailteann Stage 1 – How it unfolded… The race kicked off from the 0.0KM signs at speeds in excess of 50km/h for the first 30 minutes. However, the speed didn’t deter attacks, and they were plentiful inside the first 20KM. Dom Jackson (Foran CT), Lindsay Watson (All Human-VeloRevolution) and Jacob Smith (Team Wheelbase) marked their intentions early but were quickly reeled back in.

After 25KM, a new attack was launched, including Alex Pritchard (Richardsons Trek DAS), Paul Kennedy (Skyline – CADENCE) and Dom Jackson (Foran CT), and they quickly gained an advantage of 30 seconds. Through Hot Spot 1 in Birr, the riders had 40 seconds with Kennedy taking the valuable 3 second bonus, ahead of Jackson and Pritchard who gained 2 and 1 second bonuses respectively. They crossed KOH 1 – ‘John Caulfield Memorial Bike Park’ after 41.6KM with their gap holding at approximately 40 seconds.

After the KOH, Jacob Smith of Wheelbase – Cabtech – Castelli and Lindsay Watson of All Human-VeloRevolution attacked in pursuit of the three leaders, with Gareth O’Neill of Challenge CC following suit. After 60KM into the stage, Kennedy, Jackson and Pritchard had a minute and 15 seconds over Smith and Watson, with O’Neill a further 15 seconds back. Over the next 25KM, the three leaders opened their gap over the bunch to three minutes while the two chasing groups stayed within a minute and a half down.

With 55KM remaining in the stage, Smith and Watson had fallen back to 1 minute and 45 seconds, with O’Neill a further minute behind. The bunch were then at over four minutes down. Jackson led the leaders over the second KOH in Birdhill, ahead of Pritchard and Kennedy. However, Jackson couldn’t lead the group through the second hot spot sprint and Kennedy again gained the precious three second bonus with Jackson getting two and Pritchard one. O’Neill was then reeled in by the bunch.

As they approached 30KM remaining, the peloton started to put on the pressure and the gap reduced from 4 minutes to 3:30 in 5 kilometres. It also became evident that Smith and Watson were starting to fall back towards the bunch. With 17KM remaining, Smith and Watson were caught, and the leaders now had less than 2 minutes over the peloton.

Dom Jackson won the final hot spot sprint ahead of Kennedy and Pritchard with 13KM remaining. The gap at this stage was 1:17. With just 10KM remaining, the gap was 1 minute and it looked like it was going to be heartache for the leaders. At 5KM, the gap was just 35 seconds, and the bunch were chasing hard. However, it was too little and too late as Alex Pritchard (Richardsons Trek DAS) won the stage with a two-second advantage ahead of Paul Kennedy (Skyline – CADENCE) and Dom Jackson (Foran CT) in third. Defending champion Dillon Corkery (Team Ireland) finished fourth, a further 21 seconds back, with his teammate Odhran Doogan in fifth.

The two-second advantage over Kennedy and ten-second bonus on the line were enough for Pritchard to take the Bective Stud General Classification Yellow Jersey by one single second from Paul Kennedy. Dom Jackson is three seconds behind in third. Dillon Corkery is fourth overall with a 36-second deficit, with Odhran Doogan in fifth at the same time.

Pritchard also leads the Citybreak Apartments Points Classification Green Jersey competition, but that jersey is worn by Kennedy.

Dom Jackson leads The Irish Independent Mountains Competition.

Matteo Cigala was the first Irish county rider home in seventh, so he wears the Sport Ireland Irish County Rider Jersey along with winning the Festina Daily County Rider Award.

Irish Teammates Dillon Corkery and Odhran Doogan both wear jerseys. Corkery wears the FBD Stage Winner Jersey as the first three on the stage wear other jerseys. Doogan’s fifth place was enough for him to lead the Spin 11 Under 23 White Jersey.

The final presentation was for Kilmallock man Michael Gammell of Challenge CC, who was the first local rider to finish.

Kilmallock came out in force to celebrate the men of the Rás and welcome the first-ever stage finish in the town.

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Last Updated: May 23rd, 2024 - 08:50:56

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