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Simpson hits the mark for New Zealand National Team

Posted 26 May 2011

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

After the disappointment of two second places in four days the New Zealand National Team finally got the victory they were looking for at the An Post Rás when Myron Simpson took the fifth stage into Blarney.

The young Kiwi made an opportunist attack from a long breakaway close to the finish line and never looked back with race leader Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post Sean Kelly) taking ninth place to secure his yellow jersey.

The first major break of the day came about after fifteen kilometres when twelve riders went clear. The group included Bagdonas’ teammate Mark Cassidy who was subsequently called back to assist the chase.

The escapees were finally reeled in after 47 kilometres leading to an immediate counter attack from Lachlann Norris (Australia Drapac Cycling) and David O’Loughlin (Waterford Comeragh) who were joined by Simpson, Johannes Kahra (Germany Thuringer Energie), Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Tobyn Horton (Britain Motorpoint).

The six riders forged on and built up a gap of over four minutes. The widening gap spurred the An Post Sean Kelly team into action and the gap was cut to 1’45” by the time the leaders came over the final climb at the Windy Gap.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Australian Norris was the first of the leading group to attack around 25 kilometres from home. He held out until the closing four kilometres  as the peloton closed in behind. Simpson struck for home one kilometre later and much to his team’s delight he held on to take the stage by four seconds to the chasing peloton, which had absorbed all of the break bar Horton.

David McCann (Asia Giant Kenda Cycling) was the best placed Irish rider of the stage finishing 14th.

Twenty year old Auckland native Simpson expressed his joy at winning the stage, especially as his teammate Shane Archbold had been narrowly denied two stage victories.
“There were a few little attacks and the bunch was coming so I put my head down with three kilometres to go and thankfully I stayed ahead. I’m delighted. This is my biggest win from my first race on the road this year,” he said.

“Shane (Archbold) has been unlucky, he’s been close, so it’s great to get the stage win for the team,” he added.

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

Stage six sees the riders travel 172 kilometres from Blarney along Ireland’s south coastline to the stage finish in Tramore, County Waterford. Bagdonas is looking increasingly confident of overall vicotory especially after his team’s strong performance today.

The Lithuanian continues to lead Olexsandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD Lampre) by 1’16” with Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence) third at 1’27”.

Sean Downey (Ireland Team Skoda) continues to be the best placed Irish rider in the overall GC lying 12th at 3’48”.


An Post Rás

Stage 5: Castletownbere - Blarney, 156 kilometres

1.  Myron Simpson (New Zealand National Team) 3:42:44
2. Tobyn Horton (Team Motorpoint) 0:00:04
3. Bastian Burgel (Germany Thuringer Energie)
4. Bernardo Riccio (Italy D'Angelo & D'Antenucci)
5. Jakob Steigmiller (Germany Thuringer Energie)
6. Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team)
7. Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team)
8. James McCallum (Britain Rapha Condor Sharp)
9. Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly)
10. Ralf Matzka (Germany Thuringer Energie)

General classification after five stages:

1. Gediminas Bagdonas (Belgium An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) 20:22:03
2. Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental) at 0:01:16
3. Nikolay Mihaylov (France AVC Aix en Provence)
4. Peter Williams (Britain Motorpoint) at 0:01:27
5. Aaron Gate (New Zealand National Team) at 0:01:31
6. Simon Richardson (Britain Sigma Specialized Team)
7. Floris Goesinnen (Australia Drapac Cycling) both same time
8. Shane Archbold (New Zealand National Team) at 0:02:17
9. Stuart Shaw (Australia Drapac Cycling) at 0:02:21
10. Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine ISD-Lampre Continental)

Photo credit: INPHO (Lorraine O'Sullivan)

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