Flying Dutchman just squeezes out Paidi O’Brien at Rás Mumhan

Posted on: April 20th, 2019
Matthew Overste of the Dutch West Frisia team claims stage 2 of Kerry Group Rás Mumhan today, just beating Ireland’s Paidi O’Brien (Photo: George Doyle)

After yesterday’s smash-fest at Rás Mumhan, today’s stage 2 was more predictable and came down to a sprint from a bunch won by Matthew Overste from Holland.

The West Frisia man just about got the verdict over Paidi O’Brien of Killarney Cycling Club and Alex Dalton of Ribble Pro.

The 129km stage from Listowel in Co Kerry to Athea in Co Limerick witnessed lots of aggression but every move that got clear was closed down.

Team Leinster was clearly smarting from missing the breakaway yesterday and all of its riders tried to light up the action today.

Indeed, in the closing stages Leinster’s Dermot Trulock put in a very good effort off the front on his own but was closed down.

The eventual bunch finish meant Alex Luhrs of Ribble retains the yellow jersey he took when he won yesterday’s opening stage from team mate Daniel Bigham; the latter retaining the polka dot jersey.

And Ben Healy of the Irish team, who finished with the Ribble duo yesterday, remains 3rd overall with two stages remaining. Healy (18) also holds the young rider classification jersey.

Thomas Walsh of Killorglin Cycling Club leads the category 2 classification after today’s second stage.

After Overste and O’Brien taking 1st and 2nd today, race leader Luhrs was 3rd followed by Fintan Ryan (Leinster), Finn Crockett (Wheelbase Castelli) and Ben Healy (Irish Team).

More imminently.

How Rás Mumhan stage 2 unfolded

There was plenty of aggression early in the stage, with Panduit Carrick Wheelers man Jamie Blanchfield especially active.

Others getting into the fray early included Damien Shaw (Strata 3-VeloRevolution) and Dermot Trulock, who is riding for Leinster this weekend.

Indeed those three got clear off the front for a prolonged period and were chased down and caught by Luke Smith (BR-DHL-FR) before others also got across.

Those others were Wouter Been of West Frisia, Matthew Clarke of Wheel Base and Oliver Withers of Zero Bicycles.

However, while they looked strong they had to fight for every single second they gained on the bunch. As a result, the gap went out slowly and was modest.

It peaked at about 45 seconds but the leaders were caught by the time the riders had 60km raced.

And as the climbs clicked by it was the men were proved so dominant yesterday that were pressing once again; Daniel Bigham of Team Ribble and his team mate and race leader Alex Luhrs.

The visitors were clearly strong yesterday and maintained that form today to police the front of the bunch.

However, there was no shortage of riders willing to attack. And among the most aggressive were the Leinster team of Fintan Ryan, Mark Dowling and Trulock; all going off the front repeatedly.

Others who proved willing and able included: David Brody (Castlebar CC), JB Murphy of Leinster, Matthew Sparrow of the national team, John Buller (BR-DHL-FR), Sean O’Malley (GMCV Cars) and Ben Healy.

Indeed, Sparrow, Buller and Damien Shaw were off the front as a trio for a long time only to be reeled in.

And that was the story of the day; attacks cancelled repeatedly through the stage and paving the way for a bunch sprint.