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Bagdonas celebrates Rás win as McCann takes stage

Posted 29 May 2011

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

An Post Sean Kelly rider Gediminas Bagdonas claimed overall victory in the An Post Rás in Skerries where David McCann soloed to back-to-back stage win for his Asia Giant Kenda cycling team on the last day of the race.

McCann attacked 40 kilometres of the 133 kilometre stage from Kildare breaking clear with Tobyn Horton (British Motorpoint). They built up a lead of almost three minutes on the way to the seaside town.

The 38 year old Belfast man left Horton on the approach soon after reaching Skerries and started into the first of three laps around the town with just over a minute to spare. He battled on and overcame a strong headwind to win the stage by fourteen seconds.

New Zealander Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) led home the bunch claiming second place for the third time in the race. Rapha Condor Sharp rider Dean Winsor took third place.
Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Bagdonas also received huge applause from the hundreds of fans who turned out to welcome the race claiming victory by the narrow margin of 32 seconds after some outstanding team work from the An Post Sean Kelly team.

The Lithuanian claimed the yellow jersey on day three on the back of his second stage win and was full of praise for teammates Mark McNally and Irish trio Mark Cassidy, Ronan McLoughlin and Sam Bennett.

“It’s been so hard this week. I’ve been the leader for six days and I could not have done this without my team. I have to thank them, they all worked so hard for me on each of those days. I am so happy now, this is my biggest win and it’s great that it is in Ireland,” he said on the podium.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

His team manager Kurt Bogaerts also praised his five man team, claiming that he had little to do with the tactics as they all took it upon themselves to defend the yellow jersey throughout.

“This is one of our best victories because every member of the team was really strong. This week there was something that I have never seen before in the group, and it didn’t come from me. There was not much tactics from me either and they took it upon themselves to fight for the jersey. They have probably all have made a big step in their career this week,” said Bogaerts.

A proud Bogaerts also admitted that he almost didn’t pick Bagdonas for the Rás, but the young rider’s form in the week leading up to the race prompted him to make a last minute change to the line up.

“I had a look at the route and I had a feeling that he was the man for the race,” he said.

Felix English (Ireland Team Skoda) was the best placed rider on the stage finishing a fine 9th. His teammate Sean Downey underlined his talent by completing the race as the best placed Irishman overall finishing 11th in the GC at 3’14”.


2011 An Post Rás (2.2)

Stage 8: Kildare to Skerries, 133 kilometres

1.  David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling Team) 2:58:57
2.  Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 0:0014
3.  Dean Windsor (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
4.  James McCallum (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
5.  Erwan Brenterch (France AVC Aix en Provence)
6.  Ralf Matzka (Germany Thuringer Energie)
7.  Bernardo Riccio (Italy D'Angelo & D'Antenucci)
8.  Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint)
9.  Felix English (Ireland Team Skoda)
10.  Bob Rodriguez (France AVC Aix en Provence)

General classification after stage 8:

1.  Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 30:39:48
2.  Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 0:0032
3.  Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 0:01:13
4.  Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence) at 0:01:16
5.  Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) at 0:01:24
6.  Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) at 0:01:31
7.  Simon Richardson (Britain Sigma Specialized Team)
8.  Floris Goesinnen (Australia Drapac Cycling) both same time
9.  Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialized Team) at 0:02:16
10.  Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 0:02:21

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

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