Townsend takes stage 4 of Rás Tailteann into Kilbeggan, Feeley retains yellow

2022 Rás Tailteann, Stage 4.  Rory Townsend of Team Ireland wins into Kilbeggan from Odhran Doogan of the Dublin Orwell Pinergy team with Matteo Cigala Carlow Dan Morrissey in third. (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan)

Rás Tailteann Report 18/06

In a fast bunch sprint to the line, Rory Townsend of Team Ireland took todays FBD Insurance sponsored stage win from Odhran Doogan of team Dublin Orwell Pinergy in 2nd and Matteo Cigala of Carlow Dan Morrissey in 3rd place.

Odhran Doogan also picked up the Bective Stud sponsored County rider stage jersey and the Festina watch sponsored, daily county rider prize for his performance.

Roscommon man Daire Feeley of the Cork - All Human Velo Revolution Team retained his yellow jersey of overall leader and his advantage of 51 seconds over stage 2 winner Louis David Sutton Team Spain Brocar Ale with Adam Ward of Team Ireland in third 1’06 in arrears.

Daire Feeley also retained his lead Cycling Ireland supported King of the Mountains competition.

The Spin11 sponsored U23 leaders jersey is held Louis David Sutton (Team Spain Brocar Ale) and Rory Townsend (Team Ireland) holds the City Break Apartments sponsored green points jersey going into tomorrow’s final stage.

How it unfolded. 

Today’s stage 4 of Rás Tailteann 2022 saw the 153 starting riders faced with a 154.1 journey from Lisdoonvarna to Kilbeggan. 

After his second-place finish yesterday, race leader Daire Feeley of team Cork: Velo Revolution was presented with the race leaders Cycling Ireland yellow jersey which he would wear throughout stage 4. Stage 4 was a welcome parcours for many riders, with no categorised climbs and a reasonably flat terrain.

After the flag dropped, the race took off at a ferocious pace through the Burren, averaging upwards of 50 km/hr on the roads out of Lisdoonvarna. 

The first break of the day came at 60km into the race when Paul Kennedy, Clare: Burren CC and Kevin McCambridge - Trinity Racing built an advantage of 33s over the peloton. After driving on for 10km, McCambridge pushed on solo and held a gap of 30s for the next 10km on the approach to Ballinalsloe. The peloton added impetus to its efforts, travelling at 60km/hr soon absorbed the lone leader with race leader Daire Feeley remaining comfortable but attentive at the head of the race. Although a number of attempts were made to gain an advantage at the front of the peloton, yellow jersey Feeley and team Velo Revolution were keeping the race well marshalled.

The peloton leaving Lisdoonvarna and the Burren on stage 4 today (Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan)

The most dangerous move of the day came late in the stage on the approach to Athlone when 7 riders went clear of the peloton building a gap of 30s. This group included Frazier Carr of Spirit BSS, Adrien Boichis of Trinity Racing and Joe Rees-Embark-Bikestrong who started the day in 9th place @ 1’46 off the race lead. It didn’t take the peloton long to react as they again reached speeds of 60 km/hr approaching Moate with 10km of racing remaining.

The stage was thus set for a fast bunch finish as teams shuffled for positions approaching Kilbeggan. Pre-stage favourite Rory Townsend displayed an impressive kick in the final 200m as he passed over the line to take victory. The youngest rider in the race, Odhran Doogan, of Dublin:Orwell had to settle for 2nd place followed by Matteo Cigala of Carlow: Dan Morrissey in 3rd.

As a result of today’s action, Daire Feeley retains the race lead going into the final stage of this years Rás Tailteann with a fast finish expected in Blackrock. After stage victory today, Rory Townsend wears the stage winners FBD Insurance red jersey into stage 5.

Tomorrow’s stage 5 will see the riders take on the 135.3km route from Kinnegad to Blackrock, Dundalk. After 96km of racing, The race will take in 4 laps of a testing technical finishing circuit of just under 10km in length. This will be a stage for spectators, where they will get to witness multiple times, the exciting final hours racing of the 2022 edition of An Rás Tailteann.