An Post Rás video: McLaughlin impresses with daring seventy kilometre break, caught 100 metres from finish
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Post Rás video: McLaughlin impresses with daring seventy kilometre break, caught 100 metres from finish

by Shane Stokes at 4:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Video
 
Pedersen takes fourth stage while Lang continues to lead overall

Ronan McLaughlinStarting Wednesday's stage in a skinsuit and using a vent-covered helmet, Ronan McLaughlin’s goal would have been clear to the other riders; get clear early, drive all the way to the line, take his first stage win in the An Post Rás. The location of the finish in County Donegal also telegraphed what he was aiming to do, with a rare chance to win on his home soil giving extra motivation to the An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team rider.

And yet, despite that forewarning, McLaughlin still went incredibly close to pulling off what was one of the best performances in the race’s modern history; frustrated by the fact that several breaks he was in were closed down, the 25 year old attacked alone 70 kilometres from the finish in Bundoran, put his head down and hammered it from there.

He was pursued by Christopher Jennings (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) and Sondre Hurum (Norway Oneco Mesterhus), who pooled forces to close their half-minute gap, but never got any closer than that.

McLaughlin pulled further and further away from them and also opened up a four minute lead on the peloton itself, prompting speculation that he could in fact pull off something very special.

A flat out chase brought the gap down to one minute 18 seconds over the chasing duo plus a clutch of other riders which had got across to them at that point. The rush behind continued and with two kilometres to go, McLaughlin was just twenty seconds clear. He gave it everything to try to hang on, but the move was finally snuffed out within sight of the finish line.

Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) and stage one winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) swept past him with 100 metres remaining, Pedersen taking the top honours.

Mark PedersenMcLaughlin sat up the moment he was caught, devastated to miss out, and slumped to the ground once he rolled across the line in tenth. Fatigued and very, very disappointed, he was given the most aggressive rider award on the stage end podium.

“I knew last night that I was in a good form. Because I was caught in two crashes I lost over three minutes. I was really disappointed and convinced myself that I have to go for stage wins from now on, to be really aggressive in every stage,” he told VeloNation . “It suits me and I can benefit from it by getting stage placings and then it suits the guys [on the An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team] as well because if I go in front, I’m three minutes down, they don’t have to do a thing, they can rest in the bunch and have an easy day.”

Banking everything on a solo move:

Riding aggressively from the start in trying to get a gap, McLaughlin gained time 40 kilometres in when he joined up with former race winner David McCann (RTS Racing), Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo), Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix en Provence) and Wouter Sybrandy (Britain IG Sigma Sport). They were caught soon after, but McLaughin jumped away in a seven man move.

This group was also brought back after several minutes. McLaughlin was in a very determined mood and tried yet again, this time teaming up with Mark Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling), Peter Hawkins (Britain IG Sigma Sport), Christian Varley (Isle of Man) and Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) to try to break the elastic.

That break was also hauled back; frustrated, McLaughlin threw caution to the wind and raced clear alone, 65 kilometres after the start and a full seventy from the finish.

He opened a thirty second lead over two chasers, Christopher Jennings (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) and Sondre Hurum (Norway Oneco Mesterhus). The latter had been very aggressive one day earlier and went very close to taking a solo stage win into Westsport.

The duo rode hard to try to get across yet despite outnumbering McLaughlin two to one, he pulled gradually clear. After two hours of racing he held a 40 second lead over the chasers and a one minute 50 second advantage over solo chaser Martyn Irvine, who will represent Ireland at the Omnium in the Olympic Games.

The main bunch was three minutes 52 seconds back, its biggest gap yet, although it began to accelerate and to turn things around somewhat from that point.

With ten kilometres to go, McLaughlin was one minute 18 seconds ahead of the two chasers plus a group of riders who had come up to them. The gap continued to drop and the Donegal rider did everything he could to try to stay ahead to the line.

Inside five kilometres to go, it was clear that the final outcome could go either way. The gap was 45 seconds there, and dropped lower when Philip Lavery (Britain Node4 Girodana) and James Gullen (Britain East Midlands) clipped away in pursuit.

They were caught, but the attack helped bring McLaughlin’s lead down to twenty seconds with two kilometres remaining.

“In the last ten kilometres the gap was coming down and down and down,” he said in the video interview below. “I knew there was a small group coming across. I just made so many efforts in the last three kilometres or so, I guess it just wasn’t to be. You see these things on TV and you know the guy must be gutted, but until you experience it, it’s kinda hard to understand. It’s really, really hard to accept.”



He promised to try again, with Thursday’s stage six taking in many of his usual training roads and finishing close to his hometown.

Mark Sehested Pedersen (Blue Water Cycling) was the rider who triumphed after McLaughlin’s recapture, duelling with stage one winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4 Giordana Racing) inside the final 200 metres and finally beating him by half a wheel. They finished two seconds ahead of Remi Sarreboubee (AVC Aix En Provence) and David McCann (RTS Racing), with last year’s winner Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) fifth in the same time and continuing to look like a big threat for the overall.

The yellow jersey remained on the shoulders of the overnight race leader Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo). He fined finished nine seconds behind Pededrsen in nineteenth place and hung onto the yellow jersey. He remains level on time with the Britons Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) and James Moss (Britain Node4 Girodana) while Irishman Connor McConvey - who had also started the stage on the same time - slipped to six seconds back.

He remains the best Irishman in fifth. Bagdonas is sixth, fifteen seconds off the lead, and will aim to make his move on the very tough mountain stage to Buncrana. It takes in seven climbs in all, including the first category Mamore Gap, which is regarded as possibly Ireland’s hardest climb.

Current world time trial champion Tony Martin seized the overall lead in the race on a similar stage five years ago; a big showdown will take place today, with the list of possible winners to be slashed to just a few as a result.

As for McLaughlin, he has pledged to try again. “If it was any other area of the country I might be really downbeat tomorrow after today not working out, but the fact that I am coming home is going to spur me on,” he said. “My legs may be tired but I’ll definitely try again; I have to.”


An Post Ras stage 4, Westport to Bundoran:


1, Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 135.4 kilometres in 2 hours 55 mins 36 secs
2, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
3, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence) at 2 secs
4, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing )
5, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly)
6, Dale Appleby (Britain East Midlands Metaltek)
7, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport)
8, Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
9, Philip Lavery (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) at 6 secs
10, Ronan McLaughlin (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly)
11, Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) at 7 secs
12, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes) at 9 secs
13, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
14, Christopher Stevenson (Britain UK Youth Cycling)
15, James Gullen (Britain East Midlands Metaltek) all same time

Cuchulainn Crystal county rider:

1, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speed) 2 hours 55’ 45”

International team:

1, Britain Node4 Giordana, 8 hours 47 mins 3 secs
2, Belgium An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly, at 8 secs
3, Britain East Midlands Metaltek, same time
4, France AVC Aix en Provence, at 11 secs
5, Britain Team IG – Sigma Sport, at 17 secs

County team:

1, Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes, 8 hour 48 mins 6 secs
2, Dublin West Eurocycles, at 40 secs
3, Meath Dunboyne DID Electrical, at 56 secs
4, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 1 min 59 secs
5, Dublin South UCD, at 2 mins 38 secs


General classification after stage 4:

1, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 12 hours 47 mins 45 secs
2, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
3, James Moss (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) both same time
4, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) at 3 secs
5, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 6 secs
6, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 15 secs
7, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence) at 19 secs
8, Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) same time
9, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) at 20 secs
10, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) at 21 secs
11, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing ) same time
12, Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) at 26 secs
13, Peter Hawkins (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) same time
14, Cameron Karwowski (New Zealand National Team) at 28 secs
15, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes) same time

Post office sprints classification:

1, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 43
2, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 43
3, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence) 35
4, Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 26
5, Roy Eefting (Netherlands Koga Cycling) 24

One4All Bikes4Work King of the Mountains:

1, Sondre Hurum (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) 29
2, Gruffudd Lewis (Britain UK Youth Cycling) 25
3, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 20
4, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 16
5, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 13

Irish sports council Under 23:

1, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 12 hours 47 mins 45 secs
2, Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) at 19 secs
3, Cameron Karwowski (New Zealand National Team) at 28 secs
4, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes)
5, Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) both same

CI category 2:

1, Art MacManusa (Dublin South UCD) 12 hours 54 mins 56 secs
2, John O'Shea (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce) same time
3, William McCabe (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 3 mins 38 secs
4, Keith Walls (Meath Stamullen MartinDonnelly) at 8 mins 37 secs
5, Ciaran O'Sullivan (Antrim Chain Reaction Cycles) at 9 mins 51 secs

Fitz Cycles county rider:

1, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes) 12 hours 48 mins 13 secs
2, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 6 secs
3, Ryan Sherlock (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce) at 13 secs
4, Conor Murphy (Dublin West Eurocycles) same time
5, Sean Lacey (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes) at 46 secs

International team:

1, Britain Node4 Giordana, 38 hours 23 mins 53 secs
2, Switzerland Atlas Jakroo, at 20 secs
3, Belgium An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly, at 21 secs
4, France AVC Aix en Provence, at 52 secs
5, Netherlands Koga Cycling, at 1 min 1 sec

County team:

1, Dublin West Eurocycles, 38 hours 29 mins 34 secs
2, Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes, at 7 mins 25 secs
3, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 7 mins 50 secs
4, Meath Dunboyne DID Electrical, at 11 mins 20 secs
5, Dublin South UCD, at 11 mins 37 secs

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