Video: Baldo marks An Post Rás yellow jersey with stylist stage win, but still cautious about chances
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Video: Baldo marks An Post Rás yellow jersey with stylist stage win, but still cautious about chances

by Shane Stokes at 4:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Race Reports and Results, Video
 
Armstrong encouraged by strong third, McCann improving

Nicolas BaldoNicolas Baldo showed considerable flair while wearing the yellow jersey on yesterday’s sixth stage of the An Post Rás, attacking several times in a show of strength and then breaking clear with three kilometres to go and reaching the line ten seconds clear of his main rivals.

The victory was the Atlas Jakroo rider’s first UCI win since he beat Peter Sagan to win a stage of the 2009 Giro del Friuli, and was a clear display to the other GC contenders that he intends to fight hard to hold on to his position at the top of the general classification.

Despite that, though, he said that he was taking nothing for granted and was fully aware that the race was not over.

“Everything can happen, it’s only thirteen seconds I think, it’s nothing,” he told VeloNation in the video interview below. “You can have another puncture, crash or whatever. The gap is too small to think that I’m confident and it’s already won. No, no, we have to fight and continue the way we did till yet. We’ll see what happens.”



Baldo faced a moment of real concern earlier in the stage when, in the run up to the day’s category one climb of Glengesh, he punctured just as the other riders were manoeuvring for position. The An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team of defending champion Gediminas Bagdonas and leading Irishman Connor McConvey had been ramping up the pace and he faced a big chase through the cavalcade to get back to the peloton.

The other GC riders hammered up the climb, with Baldo cutting his way through the lined out bunch and trying to remain in contact.

Going over the top, McConvey was part of a five man break, led over the prime line by David Clarke (Node4 Giordana) and Martin Hunal (AC Sparta Praha). Baldo’s team-mate Jonathan Fumeaux was present, as was Lars Vierbergen (Netherlands Koga Cycling), and the group opened a fifteen second lead over a chasing group of approximately 20 riders, including Baldo. However they were caught with 25 kilometres remaining.

Former race winner David McCann (RTS Racing) attacked approximately 17 kilometres from the line, then was joined by Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco Mesterhus) and eventually left behind. The latter held a 21 second lead inside the final 10 kilometres; Baldo jumped clear in pursuit of him and after the bunch brought both back, Baldo surged again with three kilometres to go and raced to an impressive win.

He swooped down into Killybegs where he hit the line ten seconds clear of an impressive Hagen, Irish county rider Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) plus 25 others.

The time gained put him thirteen seconds ahead of yesterday’s stage winner Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) in the overall standings, and a further four ahead of Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha).

Baldo was delighted with the victory, particularly in the way it came about. “It doesn’t happen each day that you win in a yellow jersey,” he smiled. “It began badly with a puncture before the big climb [Glengesh]. After that I had a lot of tiredness, but recovered on the last climb.

“I attacked before the line, and preserved my advantage until the finish. It’s wonderful.”

Armstrong’s third place from the chasing group was the best result of the 25 year old’s career and was the fourth time in six days that he has been best county rider. “I’ve always had a confidence that I could do it, I’ve just proven it to myself now,” he said. “I’d certainly go for it again. There’s still two days and I seem to be getting stronger, so tomorrow again and the last stage are chances. Why not? I will give it a go. The worst you can do is fail.”



He’s clear that this week proves he needs to move outside Ireland in order to progress. “I want to get myself a team abroad,” he said. “No disrespect to Irish racing, but it is clear that I am on a different level.”

While his career is on the rise, McCann is riding what is likely to be his last few months of international racing. He’s now 39 years of age and has a family in Belfast, and so spending large periods of time racing in Asia no longer has the same draw for him.

He had a bad crash in the recent Tour of Korea and that affected his preparation for the race. “The legs aren’t really where they should be after the accident, but I had to try something,” he told VeloNation. “I was up the road three or four times. There was a big headwind in the end and that wasn’t really in my favour; there were a lot of guys content to sit in the group too. I had to give it a go, but this time it didn’t pay off.”



He believes that Baldo and his team are strong enough to keep the jersey, particularly as a lot of other teams are also riding rather than attacking. However he’ll try again if he gets a chance.

The race continues today with the penultimate leg, a lumpy 161 kilometre race from Donegal to Cootehill. Baldo can expect attacks, but the toughest roads are behind him.



An Post Rás 2012

Stage six, Buncrana to Killybegs:

1, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 134.4 kilometres in 3 hours 6 mins 44 secs
2, Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) at 10 secs
3, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles)
4, Richard Lang (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
5, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo)
6, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing)
7, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
8, Rolf Nyborg Broge (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
9, Lars Vierbergen (Netherlands Koga Cycling)
10, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly)
11, Pieter Bulling (New Zealand National Team)
12, Taylor Gunman (New Zealand National Team)
13, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha)
14, Ryan Sherlock (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce)
15, Peter Hawkins (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) all same time

Primes:

Category 2 KOM at Meenirroy:

1, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 10 pts
2, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 8
3, Christopher Stevenson (Britain UK Youth Cycling) 6
4, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 4
5, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
6, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 1

Category 1 KOM at Glengesh:

1, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 15 pts
2, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 12
3, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 10
4, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 8
5, Lars Vierbergen (Netherlands Koga Cycling) 6
6, Bouke Kuiper (Netherlands Koga Cycling) 5
7, Fredrick Johansson (Britain UK Youth Cycling) 3


Category 2 KOM at Bogagh:

1, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 10 pts
2, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) 8
3, Bouke Kuiper (Netherlands Koga Cycling) 6
4, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 4
5, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing) 3
6, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 1


Category 2 KOM at Bavin:

1, Krister Hagen (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) 10
2, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 8
3, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 6
4, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 4
5, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 3
6, Bouke Kuiper (Netherlands Koga Cycling) 1

Cuchulainn Crystal county rider:

1, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) 3 hours 6 mins 54 secs

International team:

1, Switzerland Atlas Jakroo, 9 hours 20 mins 32secs
2, Britain Rapha Condor Sharp, at 15 secs
3, Netherlands Koga Cycling, at 2 mins 55 secs
4, Belgium An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly, at 5 mins 46
5, Britain Node4 Giordana, at 6 mins 19 secs

County team:

1, Dublin West Eurocycles, 9 hours 33 mins
2, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 3 mins 9 secs
3, Louth Cuchulainn Crystal, at 15 mins 52 secs
4, Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy Spokes, at 17 mins 28 secs
5, Mayo Castlebar Western Edge, at 18 mins 41 secs


General classification after stage 6:

1, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 19 hours 26 mins 28 secs
2, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) at 13 secs
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) at 17 secs
4, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) at 18 secs
5, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) same time
6, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) at 21 secs
7, Connor McConvey (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 24 secs
8, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) at 33 secs
9, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence) at 37 secs
10, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) at 39 secs
11, David McCann (Taiwan RTS Racing) same time
12, Peter Hawkins (Britain Team IG - Sigma Sport) at 44 secs
13, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) at 49 secs
14, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 52 secs
15, Bouke Kuiper (Netherlands Koga Cycling) same time


Post office sprints:

1, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 62
2, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 60
3, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix En Provence) 43
4, Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 40
5, Pirmin Lang (Switzerland Atlas Jakroo) 39

One4All Bike2Work King of the Mountains:

1, David Clarke (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 75
2, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 61
3, Thomas Rostollan (France AVC Aix En Provence) 48
4, Sondre Hurum (Norway Oneco- Mesterhus) 31
4, Gruffudd Lewis (Britain UK Youth Cycling) 29

Irish Sports Council U23 rider:

1, Richard Handley (Rapha Condor Sharp) 19 hours 26 mins 46 secs
2, Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) at 4 mins 30 secs
3, Pieter Bulling (New Zealand National Team) at 5 mins 8 secs
4, Christopher Jennings (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) at 5 mins 9 secs
5, Julien Ammendola (France AVC Aix En Provence) at 8 mins 1 sec

CI Category 2:

1, Art MacManusa (Dublin South UCD) 19 hours 49 mins 29 secs
2, Christopher Reilly (Meath Stamullen MartinDonnelly) at 3 mins 34 secs
3, Keith Walls (Meath Stamullen MartinDonnelly) at 13 mins 48 secs
4, Ciaran O'Sullivan (Antrim Chain Reaction Cycles) at 20 mins 3 secs
5, John O'Shea (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce) at 26 mins 51 secs

Fitz Cycles county rider:

1, Adam Armstrong (Dublin West Eurocycles) 19 hours 27 mins 20 secs
2, Ryan Sherlock (Tipperary Carrick IverkProduce) at 7 secs
3, Patrick Clarke (Mayo Castlebar Western Edge) at 8 mins 54 secs
4, Aaron Buggle (Carlow Dan Morrissey Speedy) at 9 mins 43 secs
5, Conor Murphy (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 11 mins 59 secs

International team:

1, Switzerland Atlas Jakroo, 58 mins 20 mins 8 secs
2, Netherlands Koga Cycling, at 4 mins 34 secs
3, Britain Rapha Condor Sharp, at 6 mins 57 secs
4, France AVC Aix en Provence, at 7 mins 10 secs
5, Belgium An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly, at 8 mins 2 secs

County team:

1, Dublin West Eurocyces, 58 hours 45 mins 55 secs
2, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 12 mins 28 secs
3, Carlow Dan Morrissey, at 34 mins 31 secs
4, Meath Dunboyne DID Electrical, at 44 mins 11 secs
5, Mayo Castlebar Western Edge, at 48 mins 23 secs

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