Irish riders break through on Rás as home hero Teggart wins

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017

Irish riders break through on Rás as home hero Teggart wins

Irish riders break through on Rás and home hero Teggart wins

Plenty of Irish riders are now in contention after stacking the Rás breakaway. But it was only one of them, Matt Teggart, who reigned supreme (Photo: Morgan Treacy – Inpho)


By Brian Canty

Matt Teggart has taken the biggest win of his career to date with a brilliant victory on the third stage of the An Post Rás.

The An Post Chain Reaction man sprinted in ahead of a group of around a dozen riders at the end of an absolutely epic 142-kilometre stage from Newport, Co Mayo, to Bundoran, Co Donegal.

The Banbridge man has had a year that’s been far from straight-forward. But he put all that to one side with the biggest win of his career.

And he can thank his teammates Sean McKenna and Damien Shaw for helping him massively today.

They were all in the main break of the day that escaped after 20 kilometres and was never seen again.

Today was billed as a transition stage before the race heads for the true mountain tests of this year’s An Post Rás. However, it was anything but.

There were no categorised climbs but there was a hell of a lot of wind and on the open, exposed roads of the north-west coast the country’s only UCI-ranked race was blown to pieces.

The yellow jersey changed hands, the number of general classification contenders was reduced right down to just a handful.

And of those, a few Irish riders made names for themselves.

Damien Shaw’s potential has long been known and he showed his class once again with a brilliant display of assured riding.

He helped in no small part to pull the escape clear of the yellow jersey Nicolai Brochner Nielsen (Denmark Riwal Platform Cycling).

The 32-year-old Mullingar man was in the decisive group of 18 riders that broke clear inside 20 kilometres. And they went up the road at a ferocious pace as the peloton containing the yellow jersey were left stunned.



The gap ballooned very quickly and it was clear those up ahead were driving it on, keen to get as much time as possible while legs are still relatively fresh.

In the escape were the An Post Chain Reaction trio of Shaw, Teggart and Sean McKenna as well as Anthony Walsh (Aqua Blue Academy), Simon Ryan (Strata3/VeloRevolution), Jake Gray (Ireland National Team), Samuel Welsford (Australia National Team), Robert-Jon McCarthy (Britain JLT Condor), Troels Ronning Vinther (Denmark Riwal Platform Cycling), Mitchell Mulhern (Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam), Ziga Rucigaj (Slovenia ROG Ljubljana), Philip Lavery (Tipperary Panduit), Matthew Teggart (Ireland An Post Chain Reaction), Mitchell Webber (Britain Bike Channel Canyon), Elliott Porter (Britain Neon Velo Cycling Team), Jonas Jorgensen (Denmark Riwal Platform Cycling), Stephane Poulhies (France Armee de Terre), Dennis Bakker and Ike Groen (both Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam) and Tilen Finkst (Slovenia ROG Ljubljana).

The yellow jersey missed the move and by the 20-kilometre mark the gap was out to two and a half minutes.

The rough Mayo roads proved a perfect launch pad for more attacks and sure enough another group got away.

It included Darragh O’Mahony (Ireland National Team), James Gullen and Ian Bibby (both Britain JLT Condor), George Atkins (Britain Bike Channel Canyon), Morgan Kneisky (France Armée de Terre), Matic Groselj (Slovenia ROG Ljubljana), Simon Ryan (Cork Strata3 /VeloRevolution), Daire Feeley (Galway Team iTap) and Sean Yelverton (Tipperary Panduit).

The latter battled as best he could before being distanced.

Shaw took the one and only Hot Spot prime after 60 kilometres and exactly 10 kilometres later the eight chasing riders (minus Yelverton) made the junction to the leaders.

And they got straight down to work, tapping through to extend their lead.

Michael O’Loughlin (Team Wiggins), Alexandar Richardson (Britain Bike Channel Canyon), Bryan Boussaer (Belgian National Team) and Jacob Silter (USA CCB Velotooler) tried to get across and came to within 1’30” before running out of gas.

It was a big setback for O’Loughlin as he did much of the pulling in an ultimately futile effort. But we expect to see plenty more from him yet.

With the peloton a massive four and a half minutes back, the race was very much for the taking for the riders up ahead. And Simon Ryan was first to attack the break.

His acceleration caused a split in the break and it was Lavery, Bakker, O’Mahony, Shaw, Teggart, McKenna, Bibby, Gullen, Ronning, Jorgensen, Poulhies, Groen and Rucigaj who went clear.

Behind, the yellow jersey began to panic and he attacked out of the peloton and started to make massive inroads on the leaders. He cut a four-minute deficit in half in the space of around 12 kilometres.

But it was all too late and the attacking kicked off once more approaching the line.

There were 13 chasing 13 at this point with O’Loughlin and his three brave chasers behind that and the yellow jersey just behind them.

And that was pretty much how it remained coming into the finish with the 13 riders battling for the stage win.

Teggart is known for being very fast out of a reduced group and on a hard, slightly uphill finish he made absolutely sure of it.

He darted up the right along the barriers and was not for catching, despite a very good sprint by Ian Bibby (JLT Condor Cycles) in second and Stephane Poulhies (Armee de Terre) in third.

Teggart now moves up to third overall, just 22 seconds behind the new race leader Dennis Bakker (Delta Cycling Team), with the aforementioned Poulhies in second.

It was a good day too for Philip Lavery of the Tipperary Panduit team.

He took sixth on the stage and is 9th overall. Darragh O’Mahony improved his stock with seventh in the sprint. He is now fourth overall, while Damien Shaw is 10th. They are all at 22 seconds.

Teggart had extra reason to celebrate as he is also the best young rider in the race ahead of O’Mahony.


Stage 3: Newport to Bundoran (149km)

1 Matthew Teggart (Ireland An Post Chain Reaction) 3:06:08
2 Ian Bibby (Britain JLT Condor)
3 Stephane Poulhies (France Armée de Terre)
4 Dennis Bakker (Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam)
5 Jonas Aaen Jargensen (Denmark Riwal Platform Cycling)
6 Philip Lavery (Tipperary Panduit)
7 Darragh O’Mahony (Ireland National Team)
8 Damien Shaw (Ireland An Post Chain Reaction)
9 Ike Groen (Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam)
10 Sean McKenna (Ireland An Post Chain Reaction) all same time


General Classification

1 Dennis Bakker (Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam) 9 hours 35 mins 47 secs
2 Stephane Poulhies (France Armee de Terre) at 22 secs
3 Matthew Teggart (Ireland An Post Chain Reaction)
4 Darragh O’Mahony (Ireland National Team)
5 Ian Bibby (Britain JLT Condor)
6 Troels Ronning Vinther (Denmark Riwal Platform Cycling)
7 Ike Groen (Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam)
8 Jonas Aaen Jargensen (Denmark Riwal Platform Cycling)
9 Philip Lavery (Tipperary Panduit)
10 Damien Shaw (Ireland An Post Chain Reaction) all same time

  • Points: Bakker
  • Mountains: Bakker
  • Young rider: Teggart
  • County rider: Lavery