Archie Ryan takes eighth on mountain stage in Ronde de l’Isard

Johannes Staune-Mittet bolsters his overall lead in France with Irishman up to 14th in standings

Archie Ryan followed up the Jumbo-Visma Development Team’s victory in Thursday morning’s team time trial at the Ronde de l’Isard by taking a fine eighth place in the afternoon mountain stage. The Wicklow rider finished 19 seconds behind the stage winner Samuel Fernández (Equipo Amateur Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), the sole survivor of the day’s four-man breakaway.

Frenchman Lenny Martinez (Equipe Continental Groupama-FDJ) led in a chasing quartet 11 seconds later, with Ryan a further eight seconds back.

The stage was originally due to be 71.7 kilometres in length and to scale the legendary Col du Tourmalet climb, but this was removed due to a snowfall. That shortened the race by 45 kilometres.

Ryan was best-placed of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team, with teammate Johannes Staune-Mittet finishing a further 19 seconds behind. The latter started the stage as the overall leader, having been part of a 14-man breakaway group on Wednesday’s third stage and taking the stage victory.


Ryan had hoped to target the general classification in the race but missing the break and his team having three riders in the escape group meant that Ryan had to play a conservative role on the stage, sitting back rather than trying to get across to the break.

That cost him his chance of overall success, but his part in the team time trial victory on Thursday’s morning stage plus his top eight finish on the afternoon leg underline his strong form.

Staune Mittet continues to lead overall. Ryan is 14th in advance of Friday’s difficult mountain stage, which finishes atop the summit of Goulier Neige. The Ronde de l’Isard is one of the most well-known stage races for under 23 riders.

In August Ryan recently second on a stage and fourth overall in the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir, while earlier this month he won a stage plus the best young rider competition in the Tour of Slovakia. He also finished sixth overall.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling