Pozdnyakov grabs stage four victory in An Post Rás, Bialoblocki survives attacks on his yellow jersey
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pozdnyakov grabs stage four victory in An Post Rás, Bialoblocki survives attacks on his yellow jersey

by Shane Stokes at 8:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Video highlights: mountain stage shakes things up in Irish race

Kirill PozdnyakovIt’s been a long time since a Russian rider triumphed on a stage of the An Post Rás, but Kirill Pozdnyakov changed that statistic when he blasted home first into Glengarriff at the end of stage four of the race. The Azerbaijan Synergy Baku competitor won a four man sprint ahead of Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team), Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) and Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT), with these four being the best after a tough 153 kilometre stage through the Kerry and Cork mountains.

“It is a great day for me the team as well, because I won the stage and my team-mate who is good in GC [Conor McConvey – ed.] gained some time and he came closer. So I am very happy,” said Pozdnyakov after the stage.

Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) led home a chase group 28 seconds back, with overnight race leader Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain UK Youth Pro Cycling) present. The time conceded saw Handley and Pelletier Roy close to within 18 seconds of his lead, but it was successful in that the number of riders on the same overall time as the yellow jersey dropped from seven to two; McConvey and Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) are the duo which remain deadlocked with Bialoblocki.

Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) is 42 seconds back, with Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) a further four seconds behind.

“Having the yellow jersey this early can mean a lot of pressure so today it was important that I managed to stay up near the front throughout the stage,” said Bialoblocki.

“I knew I had to work hard today as Richard Handley was only 47 seconds behind me in the GC, so I am very happy to still be in yellow.”

The stage was much lumpier than previous days, with eight categorised climbs lurking along the road from Listowel to Glengarriff. There were plenty of attacks, with a large group moving clear early on and forcing Bialoblocki to chase hard.



He eventually bridged but Handley, his Rapha Condor JLT team-mate Michael Cuming (both Rapha Condor JLT) and Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) got clear on the second category climb of Molls Gap and were later joined by Pelletier Roy (Canada), Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) and Christian Varley with approximately 45 kilometres to go.

Varley slipped back on the category two Garranes climb. At the top of the first category climb of Healy Pass the Bialoblocki group was one minute and 40 seconds behind, spelling danger for the Polish rider. Hard chasing managed to bring the gap down by the finish, but the 28 seconds which remained were enough for the first four to duke it out for the stage win, for Pozdnyakov to take that first Russian stage win in many years and for Handley and Pelletier Roy to get closer to yellow.

How it played out:

Day four of the An Post Rás was considerably tougher than the previous three stages, with no less than eight categorised climbs facing the riders along the 153 kilometres from Listowel to Glengarriff. These were the category two Lacka West (km 7.9), Crinny climb (category three, km 28.3), Farranfore (category three, km 47.3), the category two trio of Ladies View (km 82.4), Molls Gap (km 87.3) and Garranes (km 117.1), the first category Healy Pass (km 127) and finally the category three Cooleriagh (km 145.3).

The bunch set off in bright weather, with all but two riders signing on from the evening before. The retirees were Aaron Buggle (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) and Nick Coughlan (Wexford Team Voicegrid).

Just under eight kilometres after the start KOM leader Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) took the category 3 climb at Lacka West, while Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) and Hunal’s closest rival John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) were second and third. Irish county rider Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) was fourth.

Soon afterwards Barry, Aiken and Ebsen pushed onwards with Stuart Wight (Canada National Team), Jacob Nielsen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) and Rob Partridge (Britain UK Youth Pro Cycling), and the group was fourteen seconds clear with fourteen kilometres covered. However very soon afterwards things came back together.

That move was followed by a different escape with Joseph Kelly (Great Britain national team), John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), Eugene Moriary (Meath Dunboyne DID) and Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana) present. At the same time the race leader Marcin Bialoblocki had a bike problem, requiring him to stop and then chase back on.

Perhaps because of that, he missed out on a large 23 man group which went away. Those involved were Tuesday’s stage winner Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction), Stuart Wight (Canada National Team), Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team), Jakub Kratochvila (Austria Arbo Gebrder Weiss), Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), Christoph Schweizer (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha), Tomas Holub (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha), Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water Cycling), Lars Vierbergen (Holland Koga Cycling Team), Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor Jlt), Edward Laverack (Britain Rapha Condor Jlt), Joseph Perrett (Britain Team Ig - Sigma Sport), Michael Northey (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing), Christian Varley (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing), Steve Lampier (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing), Rob Partridge (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling), Chris Reilly (Meath Stamullen M.Donnelly) and the stage one winner Conor Dunne (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.)

These were then joined by Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team), Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling), Conor Murphy (Dublin West Eurocycles) and Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team)

That 27 man move had a gap of 30 seconds after 34 kilometres.

Holub nabbed top points at the day’s second prime, the category three ascent of Crinny (km 28.3): Yates, Laverack and Varley were second through to fourth. Soon afterwards Sean Downey (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) and Jacob Rytlewski (USA Astellas Oncology) started an effort to try to get across to the large group, but were one minute and three seconds back after an hour of racing. A total of 46 kilometres was covered in that period, the number showing how brisk the start had been.

Hunal bolstered his lead when he beat McConvey, Northey and Cuming to the top of the category three climb At Farranfore (km 47.3).

Downey and Rytlewski continued to plug away for some time but it became clear that they would not be able to get across. Both went back to the bunch just before the 65 kilometre point, and the gap between the break and the peloton was one minute 45 seconds as they passed through Killarney (km 66).

The big climbs rear up:

Twelve kilometres later the break raced on to the lower slopes of the Ladies View climb and started the long drag to the top. The cooperation in the group was not really gelling and race leader Bialoblocki, Ronan McLaughlin, Shane Archbold (both An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) and Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) got across before the top.

Hunal took top points there ahead of Cuming and Oellegaard, while Bennett was fourth.

Remi Pelletier Roy (Canada) was also trying to bridge and successfully used the slopes of Molls Gap to springboard across the gap. However before the summit Richard Handley, Michael Cuming (both Rapha Condor JLT) and Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) attacked the group and got clear, crossing the prime line in that order.

The others were joined by a group and raced down the descent to try to get back on terms with the leaders. After 91 kilometres Hadley, Cuming and Greenwood had a gap of fourteen seconds, which grew to eighteen.

Pelletier Roy (Canada), Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) and Varley (Britain Node4 Giordana) got clear of the group behind and began chasing hard. The pursuit continued for some time before the junction was finally made 45 kilometres from the line.

The group behind had stalled during the chase and the gap was up to one minute 40 seconds. On the category two Garranes climb Varley cracked, leaving five out front. Handley led Pelletier Roy and Cuming over the summit, while his team-mate Cuming was one place ahead of him at the top of the first category Healy Pass, taking enough points to move well clear of the previous leader Martin Hunal.

The peloton went over the summit one minute and forty seconds back, making it increasingly likely that the break would fight it out for the win. Inside the final 20 kilometres Handley and Pozdnyakov went clear on the descent, but were joined several kilometres later by the other three. Meanwhile the yellow jersey group behind was joined by several riders including Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), who had started the day level on time with the yellow jersey.

Inside the final ten kilometres the gap was down to 57 seconds. The leaders kept the pressure on and after Handley led them over the category three climb of Cooleriagh, they continued pushing hard on to the finish, where Pozdnyakov beat Pelletier-Roy, Greenwood and Richard Handley for the stage victory.

Behind, An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly rider Shane Archbold had a mechanical issue and needed a new wheel, with this causing him to lose two minutes and drop from second down to tenth overall. Bialoblocki’s group crossed the line 28 seconds back and this ensured he held onto the lead, with McConvey ending the day second overall and Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) third.

Both are on the same time as Bialoblocki and will look to edge ahead in the stages to come. Handley and Pelletier Roy got closer to yellow by virtue of the break, ending the day just eighteen seconds back and motivated to continue their progression.


An Post Rás (2.2)

Stage 4, Listowel to Glengarrif:

1, Kirill Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 3 hours 28 mins 17 secs
2, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team)
3, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team)
4, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) all same time
5, Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) at 28 secs
6, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team)
7, Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku)
8, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling)
9, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
10, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team)
11, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) all same time
12, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 2 mins 7 secs
13, Evan Oliphant (Scotland National Team)
14, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team)
15, Steve Lampier (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) all same time


Primes:

Category 3 At Lacka West (km 7.9):

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 5 pt
2, Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 4
3, John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 3
4, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) 2

Category 3 At Crinny (km 28.3):

1, Tomas Holub (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 5
2, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) 4
3, Edward Laverack (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 3
4, Christian Varley (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 2

Category 3 At Farranfore (km 47.3):

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 5
2, Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 4
3, Michael Northey (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 3
4, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 2

Category 2 At Ladies View (km 84.2):

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 10
2, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 8
3, Morten Oellegaard (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 6
4, Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 4
5, Lars Vierbergen (Holland Koga Cycling Team) 3
6, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 1

Category 2 At Moll’s Gap (km 87.3):

1,Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 10
2, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 8
3, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) 6
4, Shane Archbold (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 4
5, Steve Lampier (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 3
6, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) 1

Category 2 At Garranes (km 117.1):

1, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 10
2, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) 8
3, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 6
4, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) 4
5, Kirill Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 3
6, Christian Varley (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) 1

Category 1 At Healy Pass (km 127):

1, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 15
2, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 12
3, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) 10
4, Kirill Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 8
5, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) 6
6, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 5
7, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) 3

Category 3 At Cooleriagh (km 145.3):

1, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 5
2, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) 4
3, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) 3
4, Kirill Pozdnyakov (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 2

One direct and Cuchulainn County rider:

1, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) 3 hours 28 mins 45 secs
2, Conor Dunne (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) at 2 mins 16 secs
3, Bryan McCrystal (Louth Prague Charter Team) at 3 mins 31 secs

International team:

1, Azerbaijan Synergy Baku, 10 hours 27 mins 26 secs
2, Great Britain national team, 10 hours 29 mins 33 secs
3, Scotland national team, 10 hours 29 mins 42 secs
4, Denmark Blue Water cycling, 10 hours 29 mins 46 secs
5, Britain Rapha Condor, 10 hours 31 mins 4 secs


County team:

1, Cork Aquablue, 10 hours 40 mins 34 scs
2, Louth Prague Charter Team, 10 hours 41 mins 25 secs
3, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, 10 hours 51 mins 51 secs
4, Dublin West Eurocycles, 11 hours 1 mins 27 secs
5, Meath Dunboyne DID, 11 hours 15 mins 46 secs

Overall classification after four stages:


1, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) 13 hours 5 mins 29 secs
2, Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku)
3, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) both same time
4, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) at 18 secs
5, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) same time
6, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) at 42 secs
7, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) at 46 secs
8, Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
9, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) both same time
10, Shane Archbold (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) at 1 min 39 secs
11, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team)
12, Steve Lampier (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) both same time
13, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) at 1 min 42 secs
14, Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) at 1 min 43 secs
15, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 2 mins 25 secs

One4all Bikes4work King Of The Mountains:

1, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 46 pts
2, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor JLT) 40
3, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 32
4, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) 23
5, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) 19

Post Office Sprints:

1, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) 35
2, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) 28
3, Morten Oellegaard (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 24
4, Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 22
5, Rico Rogers (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 21

Irish Sports Council Under 23:

1, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) 13 hours 6 ins 15 secs
2, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team) at 53 secs
3, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 1 min 39 secs
4, Joseph Kelly (Great Britain National Team)
5, Joseph Perrett (Britain Team Ig - Sigma Sport) both same time

Massi Ireland County Rider:

1, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) 13 hours 6 mins 15 secs
2, Conor Dunne (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) at 1 min 43 secs
3, Damien Shaw (Cork Aquablue) at 3 mins 31 secs
4, Thomas Martin (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 4 mins 55 secs
5, Sean Lacey (Cork Aquablue) at 5 misn 24 secs

Ci Category 2 Overall:

1, Cathal Moynihan (Waterford Comeragh) 13 hours 19 mins 15 secs
2, John Dempsey (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) at 2 mins 7 secs
3, Ciaran Clarke (Mayo Castlebar Fedaia Bikes) at 15 mins 41 secs
4, James Davenport (Dublin South) at 15 mins 46 secs
5, Mark Quigley (Mayo Centra) at 16 mins 34 secs

International team:

1, Azerbaijan Synergy Baku, 39 hours 19 mins 10 secs
2, Great Britain national team, at 2 mins 7 secs
3, Denmark Blue Water cycling, at 2 misn 20 secs
4, Belgium An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly, at 3 mins 41 secs
5, Britain Rapha Condor JLT, at 3 mins 41 secs

County team:

1, Cork Aquablue, 39 hours 34 mins 28 secs
2, Louth Prague Charter, at 13 mins 59 secs
3, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 16 mins 16 secs
4, Dublin West Eurocycles, at 24 mins 16 secs
5, Meath Dunboyne DID, at 41 mins 58 secs

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