Video: Bialoblocki celebrating top career result after overall victory in An Post Rás
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Video: Bialoblocki celebrating top career result after overall victory in An Post Rás

by Shane Stokes at 7:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Race Reports and Results, Video
 
Polish rider takes overall as Bennett leads home An Post team one-two-three

Marcin BialoblockiHaving appeared reserved and quiet when speaking on the podium and to the media since he took over the yellow jersey in the An Post Rás last Tuesday, Marcin Bialoblocki’s overall victory in the race yesterday saw the Polish rider finally able to relax, savour the moment, then leap high in the air and let out a large yell of jubilation.

The celebration on the podium was in marked contrast to an almost-withdrawn comportment in the days leading up to the final in Skerries and was, he explained afterwards, all about the pressure finally being off. For five days he was deadlocked on time with Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) and Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling), holding the jersey by virtue of better stage placings. And while either one of those two needed to simply gain one second to depose him of the lead, he and his team were strong enough to prevent that form happening.

“It is a big relief…so much stress to protect [a lead of] no seconds gap. It is incredible, I feel so happy now and so relieved,” he told VeloNation in the video below.

“There were a few attacks today, not many. My team-mates worked very hard in the front, there was pressure in the peloton. Not many attacks.”

Bialoblocki has been based on the British circuit for several years, racing with teams such as Motorpoint, Node4 Giordana and UK Youth. He has taken a number of wins, including stage victories in the An Post Rás in 2011 and 2012, but he is clear about where yesterday’s result stands in the pecking order.

“It was very difficult [to defend] but my team-mates are great, they are absolutely incredible. This is the biggest win in my life. It is incredible.”



The final stage was also a triumphant one for the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team, a Belgian-based squad which is backed by Irish sponsors. The biggest of those is also the overall backer for the An Post Rás and with its chief executive Donal O’Connell in attendance at the finish, the squad was determined to finish on a high.

It picked up stage victories earlier in the week with the Kiwi Shane Archbold and Irishman Sam Bennett, but achieved a bigger feat yesterday when it took the first three places in front of the huge Skerries crowd. Timing things to perfection in the finale, Bennett, the Belgian Nicholas Vereecken and Archbold finished first, second and third in the bunch sprint to the line.

Netting all three podium places on a stage is an extremely rare feat in the race’s history, and was the perfect way for the team to end its race.

“This week has been great for my confidence; I needed to start winning again,” said Bennett, who recovered from illness to take that final sprint win.

How it played out:

The final stage of this year’s race took the riders 144.6 kilometres from Naas to Skerries. It was flatter than Saturday’s Wicklow Mountains stage, with the five climbs along the route being only third category. These were the Hill of Allen (km. 15.6), Plukhimin (km 88.1), Cross of the Cage (km 108) plus two ascents of the category three Black Hills climb (km 121.4 and 135.4).

A total of 129 riders lined out in sunny, mild conditions. The first attack to go clear got away three kilometres after the start. Alex Cataford (Canada), Alex Coutts (Scotland) plus Sean Lacey (Cork Aquablue) opened the gap before being joined by Jacob Nielsen (Denmark Blue Water).

They were reeled in soon afterwards, as was a solo move by Fraser Duncan (Dublin West Eurocycles).

Next to try was Remi Pelletier Roy (Canada), who opened up a ten second gap before an acceleration of pace behind reduced that lead and enabled his team-mate Kristofer Dahl, stage six winner Rico Rogers (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku), Sean Lacey (Cork Aquablue) and Sean Downey (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) to jump across the gap.



They were overtaken by some riders on the day’s first climb, the third category Hill of Allen (km. 15.6), where mountains leader Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) took top points ahead of Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) and Alexander Schrangl (Austria Arbo Gebrder Weiss).

Approximately twenty kilometres after the start Stuart Wight (Canada) and Robert Hassan (Scotland) jumped away. Simon Ryan (Tipperary VisitNenagh.ie) set off in pursuit but didn’t get far; soon afterwards, many of those in the bunch stopped for a mass natural break and this stall in the bunch enabled the leading duo to pull further ahead.

Several riders tried to bridge up but each were reeled in. Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water) and a persistent Ryan then clipped away 40 kilometres in and were successful, making it four out front.

After 58 kilometres of racing they were one minute twenty ahead; after 65 kilometres, Christoph Schweizer (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) jumped clear of the peloton and started an effort to bridge across. He did so several kilometres later, by which point the break was 50 seconds in front.

Hassan led Ryan, Wight and the other two in the break over Plukhimin (km 88.1), after which Schweizer started driving the pace at the front to try to build their lead. This put Pedersen in temporary difficulty and Ryan out the back, reducing the move to four riders.

However the input of pace helped to boost the gap, with this jumping up to one minute 57 seconds after 100 kilometres of racing.

Schweizer led the group over the top of the category three Cross of the Cage (km 108), where the gap had ebbed again to one minute 33 seconds. The riders sped on to Skerries and the first passage over the finish line, where the break was just one minute clear. It was looking more and more certain that it would be caught.

The four became two before the top of the first ascent of Black Hills (km 121.4), where Scheizer and Hassan were first to the summit. Ben Greenwood (Scotland) and John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) attacked out of the bunch but after netting third and fourth, they were reeled in.

The bunch was moving very quickly and finally overhauled the break eighteen kilometres from the end. The pace continued to be very high and while Simon Yates (Great Britain national team) was able to jump away on the final ascent of the Black Hills, he didn’t get far. Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water), who had started the day 46 seconds off yellow, also raced hard up the climb but Bialoblocki wasn’t letting anything get far and crested third, showing his strength.

Nothing got clear between there and the finish, with the sprinters’ teams working hard to get things up. The An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team did things perfectly, blasting home with the first three riders on the stage; Irishman Sam Bennett clocked up his second stage of the week, while Nicholas Vereecken was second and stage two winner Shane Archbold was third.

Bialoblocki raced in sixth, sealing the biggest victory of his career ahead of McConvey and Guldhammer. With the pressure finally off, the Polish rider was able to open up at last and to celebrate a remarkable defence and the closest-ever podium finish in the history of the race.


An Post Rás (2.2)

Stage 8, Naas to Skerries:


1, Sam Bennett (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 145 kilometres in 3 hours 14 mins 8 secs
2, Nicholas Vereecken (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction)
3, Shane Archbold (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction)
4, Dan Barry (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
5, Moreno De Pauw (Belgium National Team)
6, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling)
7, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
8, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team)
9, Evan Oliphant (Scotland National Team)
10, Morten Oellegaard (Denmark Blue Water Cycling)
11, Jakub Kratochvila (Austria Arbo Gebrder Weiss)
12, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team)
13, Michael Northey (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing)
14, Connor Mcconvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku)
15, Bouke Kuiper (Holland Koga Cycling Team) all same time


King of the Mountains:

Category three Hill of Allen (km. 15.6):

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic AC Sparta Praha) 5pts
2, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) 4
3, Alexander Schrangl (Austria Arbo Gebrder Weiss) 3
4, Sean Downey (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 2

Category three climb of Plukhimin (km 88.1):

1, Robert Hassan (Scotland National Team) 5
2, Simon Ryan (Tipperary Visit Nenagh.Ie Dmg) 4
3, Stuart Wight (Canada National Team) 3
4, Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 2

Category three Cross of the Cage (km 108):

1, Christoph Schweizer (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 5pts
2, Stuart Wight (Canada National Team) 4
3, Robert Hassan (Scotland National Team) 3
4, Mark Sehested Pedersen (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 2

Category 3 Black Hills (km 121.4):

1, Christoph Schweizer (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 5pts
2, Robert Hassan (Scotland National Team) 4
3, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) 3
4, John Ebsen (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 2

Category 3 Black Hills (km 135.4):

1, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) 5pts
2, Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 4
3, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) 3
4, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) 2

One Direct County rider:

1, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) 3 hours 14 mins 8 secs
2, Joseph Fenlon (Cork Aquablue) at 16 secs
3, Matt Slattery (Tipperary Visit Nenagh.Ie Dmg) same time

International team:

1, Belgium An Post Chainreaction, 9 hours 42 mins 24 secs
2, Denmark Blue Water
3, Britain Node4 Giordana
4, Great Britain, all same time
5, Scotland, 9 hours 42 mins 40 secs

County team:

1, Cork Aquablue, 9 hours 43 mins 12 secs
2, Dublin West Eurocycles, same time
3, Meath Dunboyne DID, 9 hours 44 mins 40 secs
4, Louth Prague Charter, 9 hours 45 mins 52 secs
5, Dublin South, 9 hours 46 mins 12 secs

Final overall classification:

1, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) 27 hours 6 mins 35 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 24 secs
5, Remi Pelletier-Roy (Canada National Team) at 40 secs
6, Daniel Foder (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) at 46 secs
7, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) at 48 secs
8, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) at 51 secs
9, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) at 52 secs
10, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National team) at 1 min 39 secs
11, Steve Lampier (Britain Node4 Giordana Racing) at 1 min 45 secs
12, Ben Greenwood (Scotland National Team) at 1 min 47 secs
13, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 2 mins 25 secs
14, Bouke Kuiper (Holland Koga Cycling Team) at 2 mins 31 secs
15, Joseph Perrett (Britain Team Ig - Sigma Sport) at 2 mins 43 secs

Post Office Sprints:

1, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) 70 pts
2, Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Uk Youth Pro Cycling) 69
3, Nicholas Vereecken (Belgium An Post Chain Reaction) 64
4, Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling) 53
5, Rico Rogers (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) 45

One4all Bikes4work King Of The Mountains:

1, Martin Hunal (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 87 pts
2, Tomas Okrouhlicky (Czech Republic Ac Sparta Praha) 68
3, Richard Handley (Britain Rapha Condor Jlt) 62
4, Michael Cuming (Britain Rapha Condor Jlt) 60
5, Kenny De Ketele (Belgium National Team) 45

Irish Sports Council Under 23:

1, Simon Yates (Great Britain National Team) 27 hours 7 mins 27 secs
2, Jasper De Buyst (Belgium National Team) at 47 secs
3, Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team) at 1 min 33 secs
4, Joseph Perrett (Britain Team Ig - Sigma Sport) at 1 min 51 secs
5, Alistair Slater (Great Britain National Team) at 1 min 54 secs

Massi Ireland County Rider:

1, Roger Aiken (Louth Prague Charter Team) 27 hours 7 mins 26 secs
2, Damien Shaw (Cork Aquablue) at 4 mins
3, Thomas Martin (Dublin West Eurocycles) at 5 mins 12 secs
4, Aaron O'donoghue (Dublin South) at 16 mins 57 secs
5, Chris Reilly (Meath Stamullen M.Donnelly) at 17 mins 20 secs

Ci Category 2:

1, John Dempsey (Tipperary Carrick Iverk Prod.) 27 hurs 46 mins 29 secs
2, Ciaran Clarke (Mayo Castlebar Fedaia Bikes) at 4 mins 6 secs
3, Nigel Forde (Galway City Nigel's Cycles) at 17 mins 31 secs
4, Ultan Coyle (Louth Prague Charter Team) at 19 mins 17 secs
5, Mehall Fitzgerald (Tipperary Visit Nenagh.Ie Dmg) at 21 mins 55 secs

International team:

1, Great Britain national team, 81 hours 24 mins 47 secs
2, Scotland national team, at 2 mins 40 secs
3, Azerbaijan Synergy Baku, at 2 mins 58 secs
4, Britain Rapha Condor JLT, at 3 mins 6 secs
5, Denmark Blue Water, at 3 mins 6 secs

County team:

1, Cork Aquablue, 82 hours 1 min 22 secs
2, Louth Prague Charter, at 22 misn 57 secs
3, Dublin West Eurocycles, at 34 mins 8 secs
4, Tipperary Carrick Iverk Produce, at 1 hour 4 mins 26 secs
5, Meath Dunboyne DID, at 1 hour 16 mins 51 secs
 

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