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Van Schip Soloes to Superb Stage Two Victory in An Post Rás

Van Schip Soloes to Superb Stage Two Victory in An Post Rás

Jan-Willem Van Schip (Delta Cycling Rotterdam) soloed to a superb victory on stage two of An Post Rás in to Mayo today, seven seconds ahead of a fiercely chasing bunch. Christopher Latham (Britain Team Wiggins) was first to follow Van Schip across the line with Yannis Yssaad (France Armee de Terre) taking third place ahead of Matteo Cigala (Cork Aqua Blue Sport) in fourth.

The 142 kilometre route for day two of the eight day race was much like the opening stage with flat roads from Longford to Newport set to allow for good racing. No categorised climbs were to feature but three An Post Hot Spot Sprints were once again on offer for the riders in Ballymoe (48km), Williamstown (57km) and Breaghwy (108km).

It was all out attack from the off, with the Irish contingent in the race looking to set the pace. David Watson (Down Bikehouse) was first out of the blocks but was almost immediately reeled in. Mullingar’s Damien Shaw (An Post Chain Reaction) was next to try after spearheading the front of the peloton entering Roscommon. His unsuccessful attempt was followed by one from his team mate Sean McKenna but the bunch was adamant that no groups were going clear.

The peloton then split briefly due to the pace of the racing. As it began the first An Post Hot Spot Sprint, which was taken by Ian Bibby (Britain JLT Condor), the gap was 28 seconds. However, it wasn’t long before it was all together again.

Entering Claremorris, nine riders went clear and were joined by 21 chasers. The pack of 30 began to establish a small gap before they were unexpectedly halted by a closing railway barrier, which temporarily stopped the race.

Following the restart, several attacks, including one from Dubliner Eoin Morton (Ireland National Team), were swallowed up but with 30 kilometres to go, a breakaway of five riders managed to escape. Irishmen Shaw and Mark Dowling (Cork Strata3/ Velo Revolution) lead the attack with Van Schip, Edward Laverack (Britain JLT Condor) and Alexander Richardson (Britain Bike Channel Canyon) on the shoulders of the Irish duo.

The five man break worked tirelessly to manufacture a one minute lead over the bunch but with 16 kilometres to go, that gap began to dwindle. Van Schip was in no mood for hanging around though and feeling a change in the wind, the Dutchman attacked out front. With five kilometres to go, the remaining four riders were caught but Van Schip had the engine to stay away, soloing in to Newport town to a rapturous applause.

The Dutchman spoke of his delight at taking the stage win:

“I’m really happy with today’s result. I knew the wind direction would change as we made the turn in the last few kilometers and I decided to just go for it. I didn’t think I’d be able to stay but I kept pushing and thankfully I had the legs.”

Today’s action see’s only one change to the jersey classifications. Christopher Latham’s performance results in him being the new owner of the green points jersey but Nicolai Brochner Nielsen (Denmark Riwal Platform) retains the lead at the top of the general classification with a nine second advantage. With no categorised climbs in today’s stage, Dennis Bakker (Delta Cycling Rotterdam) keeps hold of the King of the Mountains jersey and Sasha Weemaes (Belgian National Team) stays in the Under-23 jersey.

Another good ride by Ulster Cycling’s Chris McGlinchey ensures he tops the county rider table while Richard Maes (Kerry Killarney) took an excellent 10th place finish.

Regular updates and action footage of this year’s An Post Rás are available on www.anpostras.ie, twitter.com/anpostras and also on www.facebook.com/anpostras

Full results from Stage Two can be found here

Photo courtesy of Inpho Photography

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