McCarthy leads dissident raid but Germans can’t be stopped on Rás

Posted on: May 24th, 2018

Lucas Carstensen wins stage 5 of the Rás from Glengariff To Mitchelstown as breakaway just falls short (Photo: Bryan Keane – Inpho)


By Graham Gillespie

Germany Bike Aid’s Lucas Carstensen emerged victorious in a bunch sprint to win stage five of the Rás today.

But for a time it looked as if today’s mostly flat stage would not end in a sprint; a raiding party scrambling up the road determined to tear up the script.

A group of three riders, which included Ireland’s Robert John McCarthy, nearly stayed clear all the way to the line.

However, McCarthy, Seid Lizde (Holdsworth) and Matt Nowell (Canyon Eisberg) were finally subsumed by the peloton with just over a kilometre to go.

This allowed Carstensen to power home in the resulting sprint in Mitchelstown.

He crossed the line just ahead of Robbe Ghys (Belgium) and yesterday’s winner Jason Van Dalen (Delta Cycling).

After narrowly missing out on the stage victory yesterday, Viner-Caremark-Pactimo’s Matteo Cigala was again highly competitive finishing fourth

This finish also secured Cigala his third county rider prize of this year’s Rás.

Despite this, teammate Ronan McLaughlin still holds the overall county rider jersey.

This was no other jersey changes today, which means Switzerland’s Cyrille Thiery keeps the leader’s jersey.


How Rás stage 5 unfolded

Stage five from Glengarriff to Mitchelstown on paper essentially appeared to be sprinters stage.

But with some tired legs in the peloton, a breakaway very nearly stuck to the finish today.

Bryan Keane’s shots have been fantastic on this race. Top, the race weaves through the Irish countryside. Middle, McCarthy shows his mental and physical strength with a strong ride up the road after his stage 4 crash. The Swiss team lead their man in yellow; Cyrille Thiery.


The main breakaway occurred quite early in today’s 150.2km stage after only about 13 kilometres of racing.

The break consisted of Robbie McCarthy (Ireland) Seid Lizde (Holdsworth), Matt Nowell (Canyon Eisberg) and Joe Evans (St Piran).

It was Evans who took the first of three categorised climbs throughout the day at the Pass of Keimaneigh.

He was followed by Nowell and the McCarthy, who was trying to get back on track after yesterday’s crash.

By the start of the second KOM, the leaders’ advantage over the peloton had ballooned out to 2:10.

The cat 2 climb at Gortnabinna did, however, see that gap be cut to 1:35.

Back in the peloton, several riders were being dropped due to the high pace.

Nowell, this time, would cross first with McCarthy and Lizde second and third.

The gap became as big as 2:55 after this climb and it wasn’t until about 30 kilometres to go that the chase was stepped up.

It was also around the 30km mark that Joe Evans would lose touch with the leaders and fall back.

More riders were being dropped in the peloton as the Swiss national stepped up their efforts to catch the leaders.

Even with the increased speed of the peloton, the three leaders still had a 48-second margin entering the last 10km.

The pack finally bridged the gap with just a kilometre left, and Carstensen then took the win.