Matthew Fox of the UK: Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team claims sprint victory on Stage 2 of Rás Tailteann

Matthew Fox wins the sprint in stage 2 of the 2023 Rás Tailteann (Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Matthew Fox of the UK: Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team won today’s FBD Insurance sponsored stage 2 after sprinting to victory from a much depleted peloton after 154.5km of racing. Second over the line was Patrick O’Loughlin of Team Ireland followed by Matteo Cigala of Carlow: Dan-Morrissey.

The general classification remains unchanged as Conor McGoldrick of UK: Trek Richardson continues to wear the Bective Stud yellow jersey leading by 4 seconds over Dan Gardener of UK: Embark Spirit followed by Joseph Laverick of the Derry: Foyle CC team in third.

McGoldrick also continues to lead the Cycling Ireland KoH classification, while the City Break Apartments points classification is now led by Dan Gardener following his placing today. Matteo Cigala of Carlow: Dan Morrissey was first county rider home today and winner of the Festina County Rider award.

Conn McDunphy of Cycling Leinster continues to wear the Sport Ireland county rider jersey following his placing today. Aaron Wade of Team Ireland also continues to lead the Spin 11 U23 classification.

How it Unfolded

Today’s stage 2 of Rás Tailteann 2023 saw the riders faced with a 154.5k journey from Birr to Ennis which featured 4 categorised climbs in the final 50km of racing.

After a ceremonial start at in Birr town centre, the race took off at a blistering pace completing 49km in the first hour of racing. Although there were many attacks over the undulating roads of County Clare, nothing significant stuck throughout the day.

The stage proved to be a day of attrition whereby many riders continued to lose contact with the peloton as the race crossed multiple ascents on the approach to Ennis.

A depleted peloton of approximately 35 riders crossed over the final categorised climb with 20km of racing remaining. Conn McDunphy of Cycling Leinster tried on multiple occasions to escape during the final 30 minutes of racing with no success. As the leaders approached Ennis,

Matthew Fox of UK: Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli proved strongest as he sprinted to victory after 154km of racing. Patrick O’Loughlin of Team Ireland snatched a great result in second followed by Matteo Cigala of Carlow: Dan-Morrissey in third.

All general classification riders including the race leader Conor McGoldrick finished safely in the leading group.

Tomorrow’s stage 3 see’s the riders take on the 149.3k stage from Ennis to Castlebar featuring 2 categorised climbs.