An Post Rás: Italian team bounces back after expulsion
UCD’s Ian Richardson continues impressive showing as he moves up to fourth overall
Matteo Malucelli celebrates as he crosses the line in Bearna. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Overnight race leader Lukas Postlberger (Tirol Cycling Team) retained his yellow jersey after finishing eighth.
He holds a lead of 63-second over the Briton Michael Cuming (JLT Condor), with the young Dutchman Jaap de Man (Team 3M) a further second behind.
Domestic rider Ian Richardson (Dublin UCD) continues his highly impressive showing, moving up a place to fourth overall. Martyn Irvine (Madison-Genesis) and national road race champion Ryan Mullen (An Post Chain Reaction) are ninth and tenth.
Malucelli’s success was relished by the Italian team, which felt it had a point to prove after two expulsions.
The overall race leader Francesco Reda was disqualified from the race after Monday’s second stage for holding onto the team car while returning after a puncture.
His team manager, Alberto Elli, was also ejected after he protested the decision, with the official communiqué referring to “threatening behaviour towards the commissaires panel”.
The stage from Tipperary was undulating but was more affected by wind than the two categorised climbs on the route. Run off under alternating bright skies and heavy showers, it was marked by a move sparked off by Down Nth Graham Powerhouse Sport rider Marc Potts after approximately 60 kilometres.
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The peloton reformed and with 21 kilometres to go the gap was down to one minute and 45 seconds. It continued to plummet and the breakaway was finally caught with 3km to go. Malucelli then swooped to win.
With Hawkins fourth on the stage and Richardson up to the same position overall, the Irish were prominent. “My plan coming into the Rás was hopefully to try to get a top 10 on a stage, but just with the position I am in the last couple of days, I have to give the respect the general classification deserves,” said Richardson.
The race continues Wednesday with a 155km stage to Newport, Co Mayo.