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Bialoblocki grinds out win as Bagdonas slips

Posted 27 May 2011

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Marcin Bialoblocki of the British Motorpoint team stole the show on stage six of the An Post Rás with a fine stage win in the seaside resort of Tramore where race  leader Gediminas Bagdonas had his lead cut to a slender 32 seconds.

Bialoblocki timed his race winning move to perfection after a closely fought battle with Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD Lampre) and Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Special) over the closing kilometres.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

The trio entered the final kilometre together but the uphill finish took its toll on Sybrandy leaving Pakhtusov and Bialoblocki to fight it out, but it was the 27 year old Polish rider who had the legs to grind out a five second winning margin.

Pakhtusov’s second place was sufficient to move him to second in the GC just 32 seconds behind Bagdonas (An Post Sean Kelly) who finished  fourteenth on the stage just under two minutes down.

The first 80 kilometres of today’s stage saw little action as any riders that attempted to break away were quickly swallowed by the peloton. It was at the Kilmore Category 3 climb when the first major break occurred.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Seventeen riders, including Bagdonas and his closest rivals at the start of the day, Oleksander Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD Lampre) and Nikolay Mihaylov (France AIX en Provence), went clear.

Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda), who is the best placed Irish rider in the race, was also part of the group which was subsequently joined by former yellow jersey holder Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team).

Several more riders made it to the front including Bagdonas’s An Post Sean Kelly team mate Sam Bennett who was racing on his native county roads for the first time this year.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

A group of thirty riders ploughed on until 63 kilometres from home where Bialoblocki, Pakhtusov, Sybrandy and Australian Lachlann Norris (Australia Drapac Cycling) broke free. Norris though was unfortunate to suffer a puncture which ended his stage winning hopes.

Bialoblocki had the most left in his legs at the finish nd he crossed the line to huge applause. Although the loudest cheer of the day was reserved for the first Irishman home, as crowd favourite Sean Downey’s huge effort saw him take seventh place.

Bagdonas was relived to hold onto the race leader’s yellow jersey after his toughest stage yet and was full of praise of teammate Bennett’s efforts to keep in the overall contention over the final killometres of the stage.

 “In the last eight kilometres I had to try and make back time. It was so hard today. Sam Bennett really helped me, and maybe if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t wear yellow. He was really strong,” he said.

Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) continues to be the best placed Irish rider in the race lying 11th in the GC at 3’14” to Bagdonas.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)


2011 An Post Rás

Stage 6: Blarney – Tramore, 167 kilometres

1.  Marcin Bialoblocki (Britihs Motorpoint) 3:35:55
2.  Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre) at 0:00:05
3.  Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialized) at 0:00:10
4.  Henry Frusto (Italy D’Engelo & D’Antenucci) at 0:01:14
5.  Jose Carrasco (Greece KTM Murcia) at 0:01:16
6.  Jokob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie) at 0:01:18
7.  Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) at 0:01:20
8.  Lachlann Norris (Australia Drapac Cyling) at 0:01:24
9.  David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling) at 0:01:36
10. Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 0:01:47

General classification after stage 6:

1.   Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Sean Kelly) 23:59:52
2.  Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre) at 0:00:32
3.  Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lalmpre) at 00:01:13
4.  Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence) at 0:01:16
5.  Peter Williams (Brithish Motorpoint) at 0:01:24
6.  Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) at 0:01:31
7.  Floris Goesinnedn (Australia Drapac Cycling)
8.  Simon Richardson (Britain Sigma Specialized)
9.  Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 0:02:10
10. Wouter Sybrandy (Britain Sigma Specialised) at 0:02:16

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