Dom Jackson survives final stage attacks to win closest-ever Rás Tailteann

British rider Tim Shoreman wins the final stage but Jackson finishes top of overall standings

Eighteen years after the Briton Kristian House and the American Danny Pate finished locked on time at the Rás Tailteann, Dom Jackson won the closest edition of the event when he beat not one but two riders who were also equal in the general classification.

The British Foran CT rider held off multiple attacks by Irishmen Conn McDunphy (USA: Skyline-Cadence) and Liam O’Brien (Team Ireland) during the final stage to Bective, conserving a race lead held by him due to his better accumulated stage placings.

It was a tense day of racing and, following a sprint win by the Briton Tim Shoreman (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli), one which crowned Jackson and left the former international rower struggling for words.

“I’m super emotional,” the 26-year-old said of his biggest win. “I didn’t believe [in his chances] for big periods of that last day. I just thought it was done. I couldn’t pull the break back by myself and my team-mates just ... it was like magic, they just appeared and the chase then got going again.”


The stage from Maynooth was mainly flat and fast, and saw McDunphy launch an attack with approximately half of the 155km stage left.

“I knew after Donore village that the roads were hard and there were lots of long drags,” he said. “It split coming out of Drogheda and then I went for it. I just didn’t look back, I got a good gap. But when the bunch is riding nearly 50km/h, you have to ride at 55 to get a gap. And there is only so long you can do that for.”

“I tried to win the race and I left it all out there.”

So too O’Brien, who said he was feeling below par during the stage but who tried anyway to attack.

“I had no legs, I was suffering. So I couldn’t really change the outcome much today which is a bit disappointing to finish like this.”

He can take encouragement from his superb showing in the race, given that he is just 19 years of age. He is part of the Lidl-Trek Future Racing team, a development squad for the Lidl-Trek WorldTour team, and looks destined for a big future.

Multiple attacks were launched on the finishing circuits near Bective Stud, including a late move by last year’s Rás Dillon Corkery, trying to overcome his 32-second overnight deficit and win another Rás. Jackson admitted he was struggling when this went, but was relieved when those chasing a stage win accelerated and brought everything back.

Shoreman then made his move, leaping clear just before the turn leading on to the finishing straight. “Because we had a few laps of the circuit, I realised that I needed to be first into the last corner. I made that happen and it worked.”

John Buller (Ireland: Spellman Dublin Port) was first Irishman home in third place, with a jubilant and very relieved Jackson sealing his overall victory ahead of McDunphy and O’Brien.

Rás Tailteann results

Stage 5 Maynooth to Bective: 1 Tim Shoreman (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli) 155.6km in 3 hours 18′02″, 2 J Brown (UK: Ribble Revolution) at 1″, 3 J Buller (Ireland: Spellman Dublin Port), 4 D Corkery (Ireland: Team Ireland), 5 L Flanagan (USA: Skyline-Cadence), 6 M Cigala (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei), 7 P O’Loughlin (Kerry: Killarney CC), 8 G Kimber (UK: Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling), 9 C McDunphy (USA: Skyline-Cadence), 10 K Wang (China: Team Bodywrap) all same time

Intermediate sprints/King of the Mountains primes:

Category 3 climb at Gabriel Howard Cromwell’s Bush: 1 Conor McGoldrick (UK: Richardsons Trek DAS) 5pts, 2 D Harvey (Ireland: Team Ireland) 4, 3 McDunphy, 3 Ben and Oliver McKenna prime: Odhran Doogan (Ireland: Team Ireland) Alan Byrne Memorial prime: Pablo Alarcon Carlos (Mexico: Canel’s-Java)

Category 3 climb at Hill of Quillan: 1 Jacob Smith (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli) 5pts, 2 Alarcon Carlos, 4, 3 McGoldrick, 3 Ned Reilly prime 1: John Buller (Ireland: Spellman Dublin Port) Ned Reilly prime 2: Dillon Corkery

County rider: 1 Matteo Cigala (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) 3 hours 18′03″, 2 P O’Loughlin (Kerry: Killarney CC), 3 D Feeley (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution) both same time

National/international team: 1 UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli 9 hours 54′08″, 2 Ireland: Team Ireland 9 hours 54′09″, 3 UK: Ride Revolution Coaching same time

Irish county/provincial team: 1 Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution 9 hours 54′09″, 2 Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers, 3 Meath: Moynalty CC both same time

Final general classification: 1 Dom Jackson (UK: Foran CT) 17 hours 3′28″, 2 McDunphy, 3 L O’Brien (Ireland: Team Ireland) both same time, 4 G Peden (UK: Team PB Performance) at 15″, 5 W Perrett (UK: Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling) at 16″, 6 D McDermott (UK: Ride Revolution Coaching) at 17″, 7 Shoreman at 31″, 8 Cigala at 32″, 9 Wang, 10 Corkery all same time

Points classification: 1 Tim Shoreman (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli) 44 points, 2 J Buller (Ireland: Spellman Dublin Port) 41, 3 Corkery 39

Mountains competition: 1 Dean Harvey (Ireland: Team Ireland) 49, 2 D Corkery 45, 3 McGoldrick 44

Under 23 rider: 1 Liam O’Brien (Ireland: Team Ireland) 17 hours 3′28″, 2 E Scanlon Warren (Spain: Brocar Rali Ale) at 32″, 3 R O’Connor (Ireland: Cycling Leinster) same time

Irish county rider: 1 Matteo Cigala (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) 17 hours 04′, 2 D Feeley (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution) same time, 3 P O’Loughlin at 1′33

Cycling Ireland A2 overall: 1 Greg Clarke (Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers) 17 hours 5′33″, 2 D Culloty (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution) at 2′19″, 3 R Tuomey (Cork: O’Leary Stone Kanturk CC) at 11′55

Cycling Ireland A3 rider: Derek Joyce (Galway: Galway Bay CC) 18 hours 50′53″

National/International team: 1 USA: Skyline-Cadence 51 hours 12′40″, 2 Ireland: Team Ireland at 6″, 3 UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli at 1″

Irish County/Provincial Team: Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution: 1 Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution 51 hours 15′06″, 2 Ireland: Cycling Leinster at 11′55, 3 Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers at 28′20″

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

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