Video: French riders take centre stage in An Post Rás
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Video: French riders take centre stage in An Post Rás

by Shane Stokes at 4:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Race Reports and Results, Video
 
Baldo hoping to become first ever French overall winner on Sunday

Nicolas BaldoA French rider has never taken the overall classification in the sixty year history of the An Post Rás, but two riders from that country moved centre stage yesterday when they clocked up the two most important podium spots at the stage finish in Buncrana.

AVC Aix En Provence competitor Thomas Rostollan attacked solo approximately an hour from the end of the 149 kilometre stage, riding strongly over the remaining climbs and powering on to the finish. He hit the line nine seconds ahed of Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) and Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo), with the latter’s team-mate Nicolas Baldo two seconds further back.

The result saw 27 year old Baldo join his compatriot on the podium as the new overall leader of the race.

Baldo wears yellow heading into today’s sixth stage, a 134 kilometre race from Buncrana to Killybegs. It features four climbs, including the three category two ascents plus the first category Glengesh Pass and, if he can get through it in the race lead, will leave him with just two flatter stages before the race ends on Sunday.

Baldo and Fumeaux rode aggressively throughout the stage, reasoning that the best way to help defend the team’s grip on the yellow jersey – their team-mate Pirmin Lang was at the head of the general classification – was to go on the offensive and force the other teams to chase.

They went clear 41 kilometres after the start, putting Baldo into yellow on the road when they opened a lead of a minute and a half, but decided after 34 kilometres that they move was not worth continuing.

“In the beginning it was a mistake because we didn’t expect such big road and open landscape,” Baldo explained. “We said that maybe we can make the race harder and preserve some force for our leader in the back [Pirmin Lang] by going together with my team mate at the front, but it was like suicide. We stopped the effort.”

They turned on the gas again on the big climb of Mamore Gap. Rostollan had flown the coop at that point, breaking away on a previous climb and beginning a successful push for stage victory and the mountains jersey, but Fumeaux tore up Mamore. He, Baldo and the Czech Hunal combined from there to the finish, coming in over 25 second ahead of Lang’s chase group.

“The climb today was really steep,” said Baldo, referring to Mamore Gap. “It’s not a climb I enjoyed because I’m a heavy rider and it’s hard for me to go to the top. But it was ok, I had good legs. It was more a terrain for my team-mate Jonathan Fumeaux; I really hurt myself to stay with him, and afterwards we could help each other. It was good to finish together on the line.”



Baldo has taken some good results in the past, including runner-up slots in La Roue Tourangelle and the Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour, and three years ago beating Peter Sagan to nab a stage of the Giro del Friuli. He said that the An Post Rás would be his biggest win if he can hold onto yellow until the end of the race, but also knows that it’s a tough race to control tactically.

“It’s really difficult to have a strategy like in other UCI races,” he explained. “We are only five riders [on each squad – ed.], there’s thirty five teams, everybody goes in breakaways and it’s a war each day. So, today it was me and my team mate Jonathan, maybe tomorrow it will be Pirmin again.

“The important thing is that we don’t lose the jersey. It doesn’t matter if it’s me or him in the yellow jersey, the important thing is not to lose the race.”

An Post Ras (2.2), Ireland: Stage 5, Bundoran to Buncrana:

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) 149.4 kilometres in 3 hours 31 mins 28 secs
2, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) at 9 secs
3, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) same time
4, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) at 11 secs
5, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 39 secs
6, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
7, Peter Hawkins (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport)
8, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence)
9, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
10, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) all same time
11, Jelmer Asjes (Netherlands Koga Cycling)
12, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing )
13, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly)
14, Bouke Kuiper (Netherlands Koga Cycling)
15, Rapheal Tapella (France AVC Aix En Provence) all same time


KOM cat 3 at Barnesmore Gap (km 41):

1, Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) 5pts
2, Gruffudd Lewis (Britain UK Youth Cycling) 4
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 3
4, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 1

KOM cat 3 at Maghera Beg (

1, Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus)
2, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)
3, Christopher Stevenson (Britain UK Youth Cycling)
4, Sondre Hurum (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus)

KOM cat 3 at Slavery:

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence)
2, Matthew Higgins (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)
4, Daniel Bichlmann (Germany Bike Aid Cycling Team)

KOM cat 3 at Old Mountain:

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence)
2, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)
4, Daniel Bichlmann (Germany Bike Aid Cycling Team)

KOM category two Pinch Mountain (km 120.7):

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence)
2, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)
4, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
5, Ronan McLaughlin (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly)
6, Christopher Jennings (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)

KOM cat one at Gap of Mamore:

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence)
2, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
3, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly)
4, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
5, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)
6, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
7, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)

KOM cat three at Old Mountain:

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence)
2, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
3, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
4, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)


Cuchulainn Crystal county rider:

1, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles)

International team:

1, Switzerland Atlas Jakroo, 10 hours 35 mins 23 secs

County team:

1, Dublin West Eurocycles, 10 hours 43 mins 21 secs

General classification:

1, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 16 hours 19 mins 44 secs
2, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) at 3 secs
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) at 7 secs
4, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) at 8 secs
5, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) same
6, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) at 11 secs
7, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 14
8, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) at 19
9, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 23
10, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix en Provence) at 27
11, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) at 29
12, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing ) same
13, Peter Hawkins (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) at 34
14, Jelmer Asjes (Netherlands Koga Cycling) at 39
15, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 42


Post office sprints:

1, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 54
2, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 53
3, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence) 43

One4All Bike4Work King of the Mountains:

1, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) 40
2, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 40
3, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 32


Irish Sports council Under 23:

1, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 16 hours 19 mins 52 secs
2, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy) at 1 min 45
3, Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) same time


Fitz Cycles county rider:

1, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) 16 hours 20 mins 26 secs
2, Ryan Sherlock (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce) at 7 secs
3, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy) at 1 min 11 secs


CI Category 2:

1, Art MacManusa (Dublin South UCD) 16 hours 30 mins 54 secs
2, John O'Shea (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce) at 8 mins 20 secs
3, Christopher Reilly (Meath Stamullen MartinDonnelly) at 9 mins 6 secs


International team:

1, Switzerland Atlas Jakroo, 48 hours 59 mins 36 secs
2, France AVC Aix en Provence, at 51 secs
3, Netherlands Koga Cycling, at 1 min 39 secs


County team:

1, Dublin West Eurocycles, 49 hours 12 mins 55 secs
2, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 9 mins 19 secs
3, Meath Dunboyne DID Electrical, at 14 mins 8 secs

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