Video: Bennett grabs important stage win on third day of An Post Rás, Bialoblocki new race leader
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Video: Bennett grabs important stage win on third day of An Post Rás, Bialoblocki new race leader

by Shane Stokes at 9:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Video
 
Aggressive days’ stage concludes in large group gallop

Sam BennettIt’s been a long period of time without a win for Sam Bennett but the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly rider ended the drought on Tuesday when he finished over a length clear of the next rider in the tailwind-boosted sprint into Listowel.

The victory was the second An Post Rás stage win for Bennett, who previously landed a stage victory as a first year senior in 2009. Since then he has finished second twice and third once on stages of the race, but Tuesday’s performance saw him go a level better and scoop an important result.

“I am pretty happy – it is a long time since I got a win, I think over a year and a half. So it is a relief, also,” he said afterwards.

The victory was a welcome outcome after Bennett sacrificed his chances yesterday to help his team-mate Shane Archbold nab a stage win in the race. The duo spoke on the way to the finish and Bennett told Archbold that he felt that the earlier attacks that he had been involved with had sapped his strength. As a result he led out the Kiwi rider, helping him to clock up a big result.

Twenty-four hours later, Archbold was one of several riders from the team which helped Bennett take his result. General manager Kurt Bogaerts said that willingness to ride for each other is a strength for the squad. “We had great teamwork, yesterday we had great teamwork and today great teamwork,” he told VeloNation in the video interview below.



“We are here to do really well, we try to give everyone something,” he said. “Then you need to be honest with yourself. Yesterday the best thing that Sam did was sacrificing himself to help Shane win, because he said that he didn’t have the legs to win.

“Then you get a return like this today…that is how cycling works, in my opinion. [Doing it] alone is very difficult but if you can do it with your team, then you can also win.”

Earlier, Bennett’s team-mate Sean Downey, fellow Irishman Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter) and Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana) got clear and built a lead of almost seven minutes over the main bunch. Various chasers tried to get across but were unable to do so; the peloton gradually ramped up its pace and finally caught the three riders with approximately sixteen kilometres to go.

While others tried to get clear after that, things were together for the final gallop to the line. There Bennett showed his speed, while Marcin Bialoblocki’s third place was enough to see him inch ahead in terms of stage placings and to end the day as the new overall leader.

He sitting just ahead of Archbold and six others heading into stage four, a 153 kilometre stage between Listowel and Glengarriff. The first big mountains of this year’s race will rear up then, and a clearer picture should emerge about which riders will be in contention for the final yellow jersey of the race.


How it played out:

After two flat opening stages, day three of the An Post Rás saw the terrain begin to get more lumpy. Three categorised climbs were positioned along the 141.1 kilometre stage from Nenagh to Listowel, with the first of those, the second category Bolingbrook, coming just thirteen kilometres after the start.

The remaining two were the third category ascents of Glenastar Ardagh (km 113.2) and Athea (km 126.9). In addition to that, there were three An Post post office sprints; the first was at Patrickswell (km 79), while the other two were located near those climbs, at Ardagh (km 107.9) and Athea (km 125).

A total of 175 riders lined out and very soon after the start, two of those - Mark Dowling (Ireland Polygon Sweet Nice) and Javan Nulty (Meath Dunboyne DID) – attacked and opened a fifteen second lead. Anthony Murray (Australia Team Subaru Albion) started chasing and was joined by John Ebsen of the Azerbaijan Synergy Baku squad just before the start of the Bolingbrook climb, where they were 35 seconds back after seven kilometres of racing.

Stuart Wight (Canada) jumped clear and tried to close up to the two ahead, but Ebsen pushed on ahead and left Murray behind.

Further back, Nicholas Vereecken (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly), Remi Pellentier Roy (Canadian national team) and Mike Fitzgerald (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce) began chasing, with another group also going clear in pursuit. They were Ronan McLaughlin (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly), Kenny de Ketele (Belgium national team), Alexander Schrangl (Austria Arbo Gebruder Weiss), Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), Elliott Porter (Britain Rapha Condor JLT), James Moss (IG Sigma Sport) and Steve Lamper (Britain Node4 Giordana).

Ebsen bridged to the two leaders but wasn’t waiting around; he pushed ahead to take the prime at the summit, while Dowling recovered from a mechanical to take second ahead of Nulty. Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team), Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) and McLaughlin were third through to sixth.

The peloton mopped up those ahead and closed to within 17 seconds of Ebsen, prompting him to sit up.

The day’s long-distance break goes:


Approximately 23 kilometres after the start, Sean Downey (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) and Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana) attacked and opened up a 22 seconds gap. They were joined several minutes later by Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter), but a similar chasing effort by Alexander Schrangl (Austria Arbo Gebruder Weiss) was unsuccessful.

The three leaders had started the day 48 seconds off the race lead. Barry was best placed in 21st overall and knew he would become race leader on the road once the gap grew sufficiently. The trio were 37 seconds clear after thirty kilometres of action, but this jumped up to two minutes two seconds over the next ten kilometres.

Soon afterwards Patrick Carke (Mayo Castlebar Fedaia bikes) jumped away from the bunch and tried to make inroads into the lead, but was unsuccessful and went back to the bunch.

Recognising the danger, Remi Pelletier Roy (Canada), Christoph Schweizer (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), Michael Northey (Britain Node4 Giordana) and Eoin Morton (Dublin Central UCD) scampered clear but were four minutes eighteen seconds back with 60 kilometres covered.

They were mopped up by the peloton several kilometres later, while a puncture delayed Barry slightly but he was able to return to the other two out front.

Heading out of Patrickswell (km 79), race leader Peter Hawkins (Britain IG Sigma Sport) was caught up in a crash. He was able to get back up to the bunch, but several kilometres later sought medical attention. A suspected broken collarbone was pronounced and he was sadly forced to retire from the race, going from the high of taking the lead yesterday to the low of withdrawing from the event today.

Meanwhile, Pelletier and Northey were again trying to get up to the leaders and clipped away with Alex Cataford (Canada) and Krill Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku). The peloton was five minutes 45 seconds back at that point, though, and there was a sizeable gap for any pursuit to overcome.

The break continued to pull ahead of the peloton, with the gap going to six minutes 20 seconds.

After approximately 90 kilometers of racing Barry had a puncture but quickly changed his wheel and got back up. The four chasers were three minutes 35 seconds back then, while the peloton was four minutes 50 seconds down.

Several kilometres later it became clear that the peloton was catching the chasers. Pellentier Roy pushed on ahead alone for several minutes, but was reeled in with 40 kilometres left. At that point the leaders were three and a half minutes ahead, their gap having been halved, and the bunch continued to make inroads.

Countdown to stage victory:

At Ardagh (km 107.9), where Barry took the An Post post office prime ahead of Downey and Aiken, they were two minutes fifty seconds ahead. Aiken then led Downey and Barry over the category 3 climb at Glenaster Ardagh (km 113.2), while behind mountains leader Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) picked up the remaining point for fourth place.

With 25 kilometres to go the gap had plummeted to one minute thirty seconds, the break’s chances being hampered by a headwind. They stayed ahead long enough for Downey to take the Athea Post Office prime (km 125) ahead of Barry and Aiken, but were caught with approximately sixteen kilometres to go, on the Athea climb.

There mountains leader Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) came through to take the five points and add to his tally, while Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) and his team-mate Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) were second and third.

A number of attacks followed, including a move by Stuart Wight (Canada), Joseph Kelly (Great Britain) and Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water), but each were brought back. The group reached the finish in Listowel together, and there the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team worked hard to lead Bennett out and pave the way for his win.

The Carrick on Suir rider was clearly quickest, finishing over a bike length clear of Morton Oellegaard (Denmark Blue Water) and Marcin Bialoblocki (Team UK Youth).

The latter was named new race leader when all the placings were totted up, with his performances on the first two stages proving the difference over the seven other riders who are on the same time as him.


An Post Rás (2.2)

Stage three, Nenagh to Listowel:


1, Sam Bennett (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) 141.1 kilometres in 3 hours 23 mins 29 secs
2, Morton Oellegaard (Denmark Blue Water)
3, Marcin Bialoblocki (Team UK Youth)
4, Joshua Hunt (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling)
5, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team)
6, Nicholas Vereecken (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction)
7, Benjamin Edmuller (Austria Arbo Gebrder Weiss)
8, Kristofer Dahl (Canada National Team)
9, Rico Rogers (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku)
10, Tim Mertens (Belgium National Team)
11, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team)
12, Bouke Kuiper (Holland Koga Cycling Team)
13, Mehall Fitzgerald (Tipperary Visit Nenagh.Ie Dmg)
14, Daniel Bichlmann (Germany Bike Aid - Schwalbe)
15, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) all same time


Category 2 climb at Bolingbrook (km13):

1, John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 10 pts
2, Mark Dowling (Ireland Polygon Sweet Nice) 8
3, Javan Nulty (Meath Dunboyne Did) 6
4, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) 4
5, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 3
6, Ronan Mclaughlin (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 1


Category 3 climb at Glenaster Ardagh (km 113.2)

1, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter) 5 pts
2, Sean Downey (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) 4
3, Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana) 3
4, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 2

Category 3 climb at Athea:

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 5
2, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 4
3, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 3
4, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team) 2


Post office prime at Patrickswell:

1, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter)


An Post post office prime at Ardagh (km 107.9)

1, Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana)
2, Sean Downey (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly)
3, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter)


Post office prime in Athea:

1, Sean Downey (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly)
2, Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana)
3, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter)


One Direct and Cuchulainn County rider:

1, Mehall Fitzgerald (Tipperary Visit Nenagh.Ie Dmg) 3 hours 23 mins 29 secs
2, Bryan Mccrystal (Louth Prague Charter Team)
3, Con Collis (Dublin Central UCD) both same time

International team:

1, Belgium An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly, 10 hours 10 mins 27 secs
2, Britain UK Youth Pro Cycling
3, Great Britain national team
4, Denmark Blue Water Cycling
5, Scotland National team, all same time

County team:

1, Cork Aquablue, 10 hours 10 mins 27 secs
2, Lough Prague Charter
3, Meath Dunboyne DID
4, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce
5, Dublin South, all same time


General Classification after stage three:

1,Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) 9 hours 36 mins 44 secs
2, Shane Archbold (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction)
3, Connor Mcconvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku)
4, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
5, Samuel Harrison (Great Britain National Team)
6, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team)
7, Steve Lampier (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
8, Lars Vierbergen (Holland Koga Cycling Team) all same time
9, Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) at 4 secs
10, Kenny De Ketele (Belgium National Team) same time
11, Conor Dunne (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) at 13 secs
12, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) at 42 secs
13, Rob Partridge (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) at 45 secs
14, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 46 secs
15, Rico Rogers (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) same time

Post Office Sprint Classification:

1, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain UK Youth Pro Cycling) 27 points
2, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) 24
3, Morten Oellegaard (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 24
4, Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 22
5, Rico Rogers (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 21

One4all Bikes4work King Of The Mountains:

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 12 points
2, John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 10
3, Mark Dowling (Ireland Polygon Sweet Nice) 8
4, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor Jlt) 7
5, Javan Nulty (Meath Dunboyne Did) 6

Irish Sports Council Under 23:

1, Samuel Harrison (Great Britain National Team) 9 hours 36 mins 44 secs
2, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team) same time
3, Conor Dunne (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) at 13 secs
4, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 46 secs
5, Joshua Hunt (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) same time

Massi Ireland County Rider:

1, Conor Dunne (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) 9 Hours 36 Mins 57 Secs
2, Sean Lacey (Cork Aquablue) at 33 secs
3, Fraser Duncan (Dublin West Eurocycles)
4, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team)
5, Damien Shaw (Cork Aquablue) all same time

Ci Category 2:

1, Cathal Moynihan (Waterford Comeragh) 9 Hours 38 Mins 54 Secs
2, James Davenport (Dublin South) at 1 min 5 secs
3, Mehall Fitzgerald (Tipperary Visit Nenagh.Ie Dmg) at 1 min 59 secs
4, David Watson (Down Chain Reaction Cycles)
5, Ciaran Clarke (Mayo Castlebar Fedaia Bikes) both same time

International team:

1, Belgium An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly, 28 hours 51 mins 2 secs
2, Belgium national team, at same time
3, Britain Node4 Giordana, at 19 secs
4, Holland Koga Cycling, at 42 secs
5, Britain UK Youth Pro cycling, same time

County team:

1, Cork Aquablue, 28 hours 53 mins 54 secs
2, Dublin West Eurocycles, at 3 mins 23 secs
3, Dublin South, at 3 mins 53 secs
4, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 4 mins 59 secs
5, Meath Dunboyne DID, at 6 mins 46 secs
 

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