McCann wins final stage of An Post Rás, Bagdonas takes overall win
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

McCann wins final stage of An Post Rás, Bagdonas takes overall win

by Shane Stokes at 6:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Video: An Post Sean Kelly team defends yellow on concluding day

David McCannShowing its strength in a race that is notoriously difficult to control, the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team successfully defended the overall lead of Gediminas Bagdonas on today’s final stage of the race.

Bagdonas finished safely in the main bunch on the final 133 kilometre stage from Kildare to Skerries, ending the eight day, 2.2-ranked event 32 seconds clear of closest rival Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental), and one minute 13 ahead of Pakhtusov’s team-mate Oleksandr Sheydyk.

“I want to say a very big thanks to my team,” he said after receiving the final yellow jersey and the George Plant trophy. “It is the biggest result of my career. It is not only my win, it is it is for the whole team. They did some very good work for me. I am happy now – all is okay.

“For me, Thursday was a very hard day. The last two days were okay and I can thank my team a lot for that. Today was fine; the Bugarian guy (Nikolay Mihaylov of the France AVC Aix en Provence team) attacked on the last climb, but didn’t get far.”

Multiple Irish champion David McCann followed up on yesterday’s successful ride by Giant Kenda team-mate Martyn Irvine when he took the stage to Skerries. The 2004 race winner broke clear 40 kilometres after the start, joining up with Tobyn Horton (Team Motorpoint) in eking out a three and a half minute lead over the peloton. He dropped the Briton on the penultimate ascent of the Black Hills climb and used his known time trial ability over the remaining 23 kilometres to hit the line 14 seconds ahead of the main bunch.

There, he received the applause of a large, enthusiastic crowd in Skerries, and ended his race on a high note. It was a nice consolation after crashing and losing time on the stage to Castletownbere.

“We were on a mission from whenever I fell out of GC contention,” McCann said, referring to the drive to win stages by both riders. “I knew I had the legs for it. It’s a tough race for me, I am always heavily marked… I always seem to have to do it the hard way, and it was the same story again today.

“I was in two minds about today…part of me wanted to wait and try to race the hills on the circuit, but it was a case of seeing what happens out the road. It was quite windy with a lot of sidewinds. There was a lot of early attacking, and everyone seemed to have had enough. Myself and Tobyn took off and nobody seemed interested to come with us, so we just plugged on and it worked out.”

With the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team controlling the bunch and ensuring that there were no threats to Bagdonas’ lead, it finished off a job it began on Tuesday when he took the yellow jersey from New Zealand’s Shane Archbold.

The event features five man teams and this plus the general aggressive style of racing makes it extremely difficult to defend the yellow jersey for anything more than a couple of days. In doing so for five days, the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team moved on to a new level, showing that it has continued to develop with each passing year.

“I am really happy…the team did so much work, and we brought it to a good end,” said general manager Kurt Bogaerts. “That means a lot to me. It was a bit of a risk to take the jersey so early, but we know he was really strong. Everyone was ready to take the lead, so we needed to go for it.

“I think this is one of the best victories, as every member of the team was really, really strong. They really wanted to go for it. When he [Bagdonas] took the jersey, they said they wanted to defend it. Everyone surpassed themselves and probably also made a big step in their own careers.”

Blow by blow - how the action played out:

Following early, short-lived solo attacks by John Dempsey (Donegal LK Bikes) and Conor Dunne (Ireland Team Skoda), the race was in one big group when it topped the days’ first climb, the Hill of Allen. Coming 7.2 kilometres after the start in Kildare, King of the Mountains leader Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) beat his team-mate Anatoliy Pakhtusov to the summit.

Very soon afterwards, Rhys Pollock (Australia Drapac Cycling), Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie), William Bjergfelt (Britain Motorpoint) and David O'Loughlin (Waterford Comeragh) jumped away and were then joined by Oleksander Martynenko (Ukraine ISD Lampre). However everything came back together by kilometre 15.

Next to try was Remi Sarreboubee(France AVC Aix en Provence), who counter-attacked and got a gap. He was caught by Michael Duffy (Dublin Barnardos), Stephen Halpin (Donegal Sportactive/Engraveit), Robin Kelly (Kildare Newbridge), Rhys Pollock (Australia Drapac Cycling) and Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint), and opened an eighteen second lead over the peloton.

David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team), O'Loughlin and Steigmiller bridged across after approximately 28 kilometres. Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialized) then clipped clear for a short time.

The day’s big move went 40 kilometres in when a persistent McCann and Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) jumped away. Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix en Provence) chased hard to get across, was initially 19 seconds back, but then lost more and more ground.

After approximately 64 kilometres, he was one minute five seconds back, while the peloton was one minute 40 behind. The Frenchman was recaptured eight kilometres later, by which time the leaders were two minutes 21 seconds ahead.

McCann beat Horton to the top of the day’s second climb, the category three ascent of Pluckhimin (km 77.7), and did the same on the Cross of the Cage (km 97). The gap went up to three minutes 35 seconds, but had dropped to two minutes 55 seconds by the time they crossed the finish line in Skerries (km 105.6).

McCann appeared to be doing more of the work and then dropped Horton on the first ascent of Black Hills, 23 kilometres from the finish. The Team Motopoint rider lost time rapidly from there, dropping to one minute 45 seconds behind the multiple Irish TT champion by the next passage over the finish line. The An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly-led peloton was a further 13 seconds back, and caught him very soon afterwards.

McCann pushed onwards, and while the main bunch inevitably took back time, it did so at a rate that was simply not fast enough. At the prime line, nine kilometres from the end, the gap was still one minute; that dropped to 24 seconds with two kilometres to go, but there was no way the bunch would get him back.

He raced down the finishing straight with a very large gap, having time to relax, look back several times, and truly savour his win. Points leader Shane Archbold beat Dean Windsor (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) and James McCallum (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) for second place, further bolstering his lead, while Felix English (Ireland Team Skoda) and Derek Finnegan (Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly) were next best of the Irish in ninth and fifteenth.

Yellow jersey Gediminas Bagdonas opted not to sprint, and instead celebrated his victory en route to the line. He punched the air, smiled broadly and rolled home, winning the race by 32 seconds over closest rival Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental). The latter’s team-mate Oleksandr Sheydyk was third, one minute 13 seconds back, with Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence) and Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) also within a minute and a half of yellow.

Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) was best Irishman in eleventh, 3 minutes and 14 seconds back. McCann was 14th, and would have been closer to the top had he not crashed on the stage to Castletownbere and lost five minutes 40 seconds.



Other classifications:

Stage runner-up Shane Archbold took the Post Office points classification for most consistent rider, beating Bagdonas by 17 points. Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) finished 13 points clear of Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) in the One4All Bikes4Work King of the Mountains.

Aaron Gate bested team-mate Archbold in the Irish Sports Council Under 23 contest, with Downey netting third. Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) was a dominant winner in the Cycling Ireland category two rankings, beating closest rival John Dempsey (Donegal LK Bikes) by a clear 26 minutes 47 seconds

The Fitz Cycles county rider contest went to Adam Armstrong (Dublin Eurocycles), who was three minutes two seconds ahead of Anthony Walsh (Dublin UCD).

Two team awards were also presented; Britain Motorpoint was over eleven minutes ahead of Australia Drapac Professional and France AVC Aix en Provence in the international category, while Carlow Dan Morrissey were highly dominant in the county team. Its riders beat closest competitors Donegal Sportactive/Engraveit by over one and a half hours, a massive gap.

----

An Post Rás, Ireland (2.2): Stage 8, Kildare to Skerries:

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 133 kilometres in 2 hours 58 mins 57 secs
2, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 14 secs
3, Dean Windsor (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
4, James McCallum (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
5, Erwan Brenterch (France AVC Aix en Provence)
6, Ralf Matzka (Germany Thuringer Energie)
7, Bernardo Riccio (Italy D'Angelo & D'Antenucci)
8, Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint)
9, Felix English (Ireland Team Skoda)
10, Bob Rodriguez (France AVC Aix en Provence)
11, Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm)
12, Stuart Shaw (Australia Drapac Cycling)
13, Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie)
14, Remi Sarreboubee (France AVC Aix en Provence)
15, Derek Finnegan (Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly) all same time


KOM category 3 at Hill of Allen (km 7.2):

1, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 5 pts
2, Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Andrew Roche (Isle of Man Microgaming) 2

KOM category 3 at Pluckhimin (km 77.7):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5 pts
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 2

KOM cat 3 of Cross of the Cage (km 97):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team)
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint)
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
4, Mark McNally (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly)

KOM cat 3 at Blackhills (km 110.2):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5pts
2, Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint) 4
3, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 3
4, Ronan McLaughlin (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 2


KOM cat 3 at Blackhills (km 124):

1, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 5pts
2, Jose Carrasco (Greece KTM Murica) 4
3, Romain Ramier (France AVC Aix en Provence) 3
4, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 2

Cuchulainn Crystal county rider :

1, Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) 2 hours 59 mins 11 secs


International team:

1, Giant Kenda, 8 hours 57 mins 19 secs
2, France AVC Aix en Provence, 8 hours 57 mins 33 secs
3, Ireland Team Skoda,
4, Britain Motorpoint
5, Britain Sigma Specialized, each same time

County team:

1, Meath Dectek, 8 hours 58 mins 24 secs
2, Carlow Dan Morrissey, 8 hours 59 mins 53 secs
3, Donegal Sportactive/Engraveit, 9 hours 31 secs
4, Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly, 9 hours 1 min 51 secs
5, Mayo Western Edge Medical, 9 hours 2 mins 35 secs


Final overall classification:

1, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 30 hours 39 mins 48 secs
2, Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 32 secs
3, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 1 min 13 secs
4, Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence) at 1 min 16 secs
5, Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) at 1 min 24 secs
6, Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) at 1 min 31 secs
7, Simon Richardson (Britain Sigma Specialized Team)
8, Floris Goesinnen (Australia Drapac Cycling) both same time
9, Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialized Team) at 2 mins 16 secs
10, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 2 mins 21 secs
11, Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) at 3 mins 14 secs
12, Dean Windsor (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) at 3 mins 47 secs
13, James Sampson (Britain Motorpoint) at 3 mins 55 secs
14, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) at 8 mins 49 secs
15, William Bjergfelt (Britain Motorpoint) at 9 mins 49 secs


Irish Sports Council Under 23 Overall:

1, Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) 30 hours 41 mins 19 secs
2, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 50 secs
3, Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) at 1 min 43 secs
4, Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie) at 9 mins 59 secs
5, Menso de Jong (USA Wonderful Pistachios) at 11 mins 26 secs


CI Category 2 Overall:

1, Christopher Coyle (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) 31 hours 27 mins 33 secs
2, John Dempsey (Donegal LK Bikes) at 26 mins 47 secs
3, Mark Gill (Dublin South Dublin Zilcom) at 50 mins 7 secs
4, Ciaran Clarke (Mayo Western Edge Medical Comm) at 1 hour 4 min 11 secs
5, Eoghan Considine (Galway Black Rose) at 1 hour 27 mins 26 secs


Fitz Cycles County Rider Overall:

1, Adam Armstrong (Dublin Eurocycles) 30 hours 56 mins 10 secs
2, Anthony Walsh (Dublin UCD) at 3 mins 2 secs
3, Tim Barry (Carlow Dan Morrisey Better Bld) at 3 mins 6 secs
4, Derek Finnegan (Meath Stamullen M. Donnelly) at 6 mins 52 secs
5, Conor Murphy (Dublin Eurocycles) at 8 mins 20 secs


Post Office Points Classification:

1, Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) 70 pts
2, Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly ) 53
3, Erwan Brenterch (France AVC Aix en Provence) 48
4, Myron Simpson (New Zealand National Team) 43
5, Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) 40


One4All Bikes4Work King of the Mountains:

1, Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) 50
2, Casey Munro (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp) 37
3, Javier Benitez Pomares (Greece KTM Murica) 35
4, David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 34
5, Salvador Guardiola (Greece KTM Murica) 30
6, Christian Varley (Isle of Man) 30


International Team Overall:

1, Britain Motorpoint, 92 hours 4 mins 7 secs
2, Australia Drapac Professional, at 11 mins 34 secs
3, France AVC Aix en Provence, at 12 mins 53 secs
4, New Zealand, at 18 mins 19 secs
5, Britain Sigma Specialized, at 32 mins 15 secs


County Team Overall:

1, Carlow Dan Morrissey, 93 hours 39 mins 29 secs
2, Donegel Sportactive/Engraveit, at 1 hour 35 mins 59 secs
3, Mayo Western Edge Medical, at 1 hour 40 mins 43 secs
4, Dublin Eurocycles, 1 hour 42 mins 20 secs
5, Meath Dectek, at 2 hours 13 mins 32 secs
 

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