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No World-Ranked Rs Tailteann To Be Held In 2019
Eimear Dignam Race Director
Following a long and committed search for sponsorship for the Rs Tailteann, the organisers have today taken the difficult decision not to run an eight-day world-ranked race in 2019.

The event is a 2.2 event on the UCI international calendar, earning world-ranked points for those who excel on stages and in the overall classification. It has been part of that calendar since the 2000 edition and while this has added greatly to the prestige of the event, the extra requirements under UCI rules have greatly ramped up the budget.

The race finances were covered in recent years by An Post, but it stepped back from its backing of the race specifically and cycling in general in 2017. The Rs Tailteann took place as usual last year thanks to a reserve fund, but the depletion of that made it vital that new backing was secured for 2019

We have exhausted all opportunities in relation to sponsorship for a UCI race this year, states race director Eimear Dignam. I am extremely disappointed. I have been involved in the race my whole life. But I am satisfied that I explored every opportunity to us to secure a sponsorship. We never envisaged that it would come to an end like this, but hopefully it wont be an end.

Bugter Grabs Final Overall Victory Ghys Wins Dramatic Last Stage Of Ras Tailteann
Luuc Bugter Delta Team Netherlands Overall Winner in two Classifications Yellow Jersey and Points

Robbe Ghys, Belgium National Team winner of the final stage of the 2018 Ras Tailteann
Luuc Bugter Delta Team Netherlands Overall Winner

On what was a highly dramatic final lap of racing in Skerries, Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team) won the last stage in the Rs Tailteann, while Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) snatched the yellow jersey from longtime leader Cyrille Thiery (Switzerland National Team).

Ghys and Bugter made their move on the second and final lap of a 13.7 kilometre finishing circuit, bridging across to Bugters teammate Sjoerd Bax and then driving hard all the way to the line. Thiery chased and at one point looked like he would defend yellow, but finally ended up finishing 12 seconds behind Ghys, 11 behind Bugter and, crucially, one second back from Bugter overall.

I was in the top five every day. I won a stage, I am in the best form of my life. It went really well, said Bugter. I knew there was a chance that I could take the win on the last day, I had to take some seconds on the leader as there are no bonuses at the finish.

Our team did an amazing job. One rider attacked on the final climb and I was attacking after him and I went to him and we were riding together. And a guy from Belgium came to us and we were three guys. We went full gas to the finish. Then I heard that I had enough seconds to win it was a crazy feeling. More>>>

Varley Takes Superb Solo Vctory In Naas
Julian Vaelwy Britain KTM winner of stage seven in Naas

Julian Varley Britain KTM stage winner
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National Team Race Leader

Climbing superbly on a tough day through the Wicklow Mountains and then resisting the chase behind on the mainly flat roads towards the finish, Julian Varley (Britain Team KTM) took the biggest success of his career on Saturday in Naas.

The 21-year-old Briton reached the line 18 seconds clear of a 16 man group led in by Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team), Jacob Rathe (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis), Jason van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) and Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X).

Lindsay Watson (Antrim Velo Cafe Magasin PowerHouse Sport) was best of the home riders in sixth, taking the prize for the best county rider on the stage, while Mark Dowling (Cycling Leinster) also finished in the group and deposed best overall county rider Ronan McLaughlin (Westmeath Viner Caremark Pactimo) of his blue jersey.

It is the best result of my career, easily, said Varley. I won some races in the UK, but never UCI events. I knew I had good legs for the climb. I knew I just had to go big or dont today.

He made his move on the second of the days two first category climbs, the Wicklow Gap, jumping away about halfway up the climb and opening up a lead over a select group containing the race leader Cyrille Thiery (Switzerland National Team) and many of the other main contenders. More>>>

McKenna Grabs First Rs Tailteann Stage Win In Carlow
Sean McKenna, Holdsworth Pro Cycling Winning stage six of Rs Tailteann in Carlow

Sean McKenna, Holdsworth Pro Cycling Stage winner
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National Team In Yellow with two days to go

Sean McKenna landed his best-ever result in the Rs Tailteann on Friday when he won stage six into Carlow town. The Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team rider sprinted in ahead of Claudio Imhof (Switzerland National Team), Netherlands Delta Cycling X duo Luuc Bugter and Rens Tulner, Ireland national team rider Marc Potts and Matteo Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark - Pactimo).

It was a huge result for McKenna, who has been suffering from knee problems in the race. I was thinking this was just going to be another bunch kick, he said, but coming through the last roundabout, my teammate Damien Shaw let my wheel go.

The split gave McKenna and those ahead of him a slight advantage over the others, and he made the most of it, blasting through to grab the win.

He is from a famous cycling family and said he was delighted to land the victory for his father Mick, a former international, his uncle Ciaran, who is now Cycling Ireland president, and others who had helped him during his years racing. More>>>

German Sprinter Carstensen Speeds To Victory In Mitchelstown
Lucas Carstensen Germany Bike Aid stage winner in Mitchelstown

Lucas Carstensen Germany Bike Aid stage winner
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National Team In Yellow after stage five

He went close on stage three, taking second into Listowel; things worked out perfectly for German competitor Lucas Carstensen on Thursdays fifth stage of the Rs Tailteann, with victory into Mitchelstown.

The Germany Bike Aide rider was best on the uphill rise to the line, beating Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team), Jason van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X), best county stage rider Matteo Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark - Pactimo) and the rest of an 83-man main bunch.

Fintan Ryan (Cycling Leinster) was best Irishman in tenth, one place ahead of Kerry Killarneys Richard Maes.

My team brought me to the front in the last five kilometres, said Carstensen shortly after the sprint. I think at three kilometres there was crash, maybe at position 40. I just heard it from the back. And then in the last kilometre two of my teammates brought me to the front on the second-last corner. I think then there was a gap behind me. More>>>

Van Dalen Grabs Rs Tailteann Glory in Glengarrif
Jason Van Dalen Delta Team Netherlands winner of stage four In Glengarriff

Jason Van Dalen Delta Team Netherlands stage winner
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National Team In Yellow for the fourth day

Having been race leader on the road on stage 3 but then being caught before the finish, Jason van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) likely ended Tuesday frustrated with the missed chance for Rs Tailteann glory. However he secured a key place in the prizes on Wednesday when he won stage four into Glengarrif.

The Netherlands Delta Cycling X rider was quickest out of the select 26 man group which sprinted for victory, beating Italian Matteo Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark - Pactimo), Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team), Jacob Rathe (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis), Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) and others to the line.

Ronan McLaughlin (Westmeath Viner-Caremark - Pactimo) was best of the Irish riders in eighth, taking over as best county rider.

Bugter Blasts Home First in Listowel, Winning Stage 3
When you know you have won the stage Luuc Bugter, Delta Team Netherlands

Luuc Bugter Delta Team Netherlands Stage winner
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National Team Race Leader

Second on stages one and two, things came right for Luuc Bugter on day three of the Rs Tailteann, with the Dutchman winning a big bunch sprint into Listowel.

The Netherlands Delta Cycling X rider beat Lucas Carstensen (Germany Bike Aid) by half a wheel, with Lindsay De Vylder (Belgian National Team) third and stage two winner Robert-Jon McCarthy (Ireland National Team) fourth.

Belgian National Team rider Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team) and Louis Rose-Davies (Britain Canyon Eisberg) completed the top six.

It went well because we had one guy in the break, Bugter said. That got caught with eight kilometres to go, and then I knew the team was going to pull me to the front. I had good legs to win the sprint, so it was a perfect day. More>>>

McCarthy Marks Successful Comeback with second Rs Win
Robert Jon McCarthy, Ireland National Team winner of stage two Athlone To Tipperery

Robert Jon McCarthy, Ireland National Team stage winner
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National In Yellow for the second day

Robert Jon McCarthy picked up the second Rs Tailteann stage win of his career in Tipperary on Monday, following up on his stage one victory in 2014. The Ireland National Team rider beat Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X), Lindsay De Vylder (Belgian National Team), Simon Ryan (Cork STRATA 3 - VeloRevolution Cycling Team), Thery Schir (Switzerland National Team) and 73 others in a big sprint to the line.

In addition to Ryans impressive fourth place, a second Irish county rider Padi OBrien (Dublin Team Gerard DHL) also finished in the top ten, netting eighth.

McCarthy has had a bumpy time since winning his first Rs stage win four years ago. He became disillusioned with the sport in mid 2015 and walked away from it, but then returned to racing at the start of last year. In the meantime he changed his nationality back from Australian to Irish, and donned his first-ever Irish national team jersey on Sundays opening stage of the Rs. More>>>

Swiss Rider Thiery Seizes Rs Tailteann Lead In Athlone
Cyrille Thiery, Switzerland National Team Race Leader

Rs Tailteann Battle Begins On Sunday With Dynamic Mix Of Riders And Teams
Matteo Cigala
Featuring the Irish national team, 11 international squads and 19 Irish county teams, the 2018 Rs Tailteann begins a 1200 kilometre battle in Drogheda on Sunday. The world-ranked event is the most prestigious race in Irish cycling and will feature ferocious competition between the international and domestic riders, as well as some of the most unpredictable racing on the world calendar.

The international squads are the Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing setup, the Belgian National Team, Britain Canyon Eisberg, Britain Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team, Britain
Ronan McLaughlin
Team KTM, Germany Bike Aid, Netherlands Delta Cycling X, Switzerland National Team, USA CCB Foundation Sicleri, USA Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis and the Wales Racing Academy.

These include past Rs stage winner and former world and European track champions, as well as some highly talented young competitors which may well be part of the top pro scene in the future.

The Irish national team will feature 2014 Rs stage winner Robert-Jon McCarthy, as well as the gifted track and road rider Marc Potts plus the talented young competitors Darnell Moore, James Curry and Jake Gray.

Home hopes will also rest on the shoulders of former national champion Damien Shaw, Sean McKenna and Conn McDunphy, who are all part of the Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing team.

Last Updated: Feb 14th, 2019 - 21:36:37

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