Bugter seizes Rás Tailteann victory with suprise last-lap attack on final stage

Bugter overcomes 10-second overnight deficit to win the race in Skerries

 Luuc Bugter celebrates after winning the Rás by one second. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Luuc Bugter celebrates after winning the Rás by one second. Photograph: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

 

Attacking on the final lap of the finishing circuit in Skerries, Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) dramatically overcame his 10-second overnight deficit to race leader Cyrille Thiery (Switzerland National Team), winning the race.

He and Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team) surged clear and bridged across to his teammate Sjoerd Bax, who had attacked several kilometres earlier. The trio then hammered it to the finish and while Thiery fought hard to hold on to yellow, he crossed the line 12 seconds behind stage winner Ghys, 11 seconds behind Bugter and thus one second back overall.

Bax took third while Robert-Jon McCarthy (Ireland National team) won the bunch sprint for fourth.

“This is the biggest race I won so far,” Bugter told The Irish Times. “It is a great feeling. I knew it was possible to get 10 seconds today, but I can’t believe I’ve done it. I think it was a real team effort. Yesterday we were speaking to each other; we made a plan. It went perfectly for us.”

Thiery was deflated at the finish, but recovered to put a brave face on things. “I don’t know what I can say,” he said. “I knew that nothing was guaranteed before the stage. I lost a teammate [to illness]. And now I can say that I was sick all the week, I got sick after the second day. I really thought I would have to stop the race. Every day I found the energy to continue.”

Race-winning move

However, it seemed that there may have been more to the dramatic turnaround than was apparent. A rider told The Irish Times at the finish that Bugter’s Dutch teammates deliberately hemmed Thiery in on the final circuit, slowing him down and bringing him backwards in the bunch just as Bugter made what would be the race-winning move. Asked about this by The Irish Times, Thiery was diplomatic. “I have nothing to say about that . . . everybody has their own strategy, their own idea about cycling, about sport,” he said, preferring not to elaborate further.

“I don’t know what happened there,” said Bugter, when asked about the claim. “We were with five guys. I think it is normal that you don’t let the Swiss guys have the best position in the peloton. But I don’t know what happened.”

No protest was lodged to the race commissaires and so the one second winning margin will stand.

Irish riders

The stage was marked by a long-distance eight-man break, containing Irish riders Marc Potts (Ireland National Team), Fintan Ryan (Cycling Leinster) and Philip Lavery (Cork STRATA 3 – VeloRevolution Cycling Team), attack, but the last remnants of this move were caught on the final lap.

Bugter beat Thiery by one second in the overall standings. Ghys was two seconds back, while Damien Shaw (Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team) finished 12 seconds behind in fourth overall. Mark Dowling (Cycling Leinster) was best county rider in 15th overall.

In the other competitions, Bugter won the points classification, Lukas Ruegg (Switzerland National Team) won the mountains competition and Ghys was best young rider. Raymond Cullen (Tipperary Panduit) was best category 2 rider. Netherlands Delta Cycling X won the overall team competition, while Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo was the best county squad.

Rás Tailteann

Stage 8, Naas to Skerries: 1, Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team) 144.6 kilometres in 3 hours 19 mins 53 secs; 2, L. Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) at 1 sec; 3, S. Bax (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) at 6 secs; 4, R.J McCarthy (Ireland National Team) at 12 secs; 5, J. van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X); 6, M. Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo); 7, L. Watson (Antrim Velo Cafe Magasin PowerHouse Sport); 8, D. Coombe (Wales Racing Academy – National Team); 9, M. Stedman (Britain Canyon Eisberg); 10, R. Maes (Kerry Killarney); 11, N. Holler (Germany Bike Aid); 12, C. McDunphy (Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team); 13, K. De Ketele (Belgian National Team); 14, W. Roberts (Wales Racing Academy – National Team); 15, C. Thiery (Switzerland National Team) all same time.

Category 3 Climb of the Hill of Allen (km 15.6)

1, Curtis White (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis) 5 pts; 2, M. Potts (Ireland National Team) 4; 3, P. Lavery (Cork STRATA 3 – VeloRevolution Cycling Team) 3; 4, F. Rounds (Britain Team KTM) 2

Category 3 Climb of Plukhimin (km 88.1)

1, Curtis White (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis) 5 pts; 2, J. Alderman (Britain Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team) 4; 3, M. Potts (Ireland National Team) 3; 4, C. Jeffers (Britain Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team) 2

Category 3 Climb of the Cross of the Cage (km 108)

1, Cameron Jeffers (Britain Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team) 5 pts; 2, C. White (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis) 4; 3, F. Rounds (Britain Team KTM) 3; 4, M. Potts (Ireland National Team) 2

Category 3 Climb of the Black Hills (km 121.4)

1, Cameron Jeffers (Britain Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team) 5 pts; 2, M. Potts (Ireland National Team) 4; 3, P. Lavery (Cork STRATA 3 – VeloRevolution Cycling Team) 3; 4, C. White (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis) 2

Category 3 Climb of the Black Hills (km. 135.4)

1, Sjoerd Bax (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) 5 pts; 2, L. Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) 4; 3, M. Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark - Pactimo) 3; 4, R. Ghys (Belgian National Team) 2

City North county rider

1, Matteo Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo) 3 hours 20 mins 5 secs; 2, L. Watson (Antrim Velo Cafe Magasin PowerHouse Sport); 3, R. Maes (Kerry Killarney); 4, A. Stenson (Dublin Team Gerard DHL); 5, A. Kearney (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo)

Team

1, Netherlands Delta Cycling X, 9 hours 59 mins 58 secs; 2, Wales Racing Academy, 10 hours 15 secs; 3, Ireland National Team, same time; 4, Switzerland National Team, 10 hours 25 secs; 5, Britain Canyon Eisberg, same time

Irish county team

1, Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo, 10 hours 15 secs; 2, Dublin Team Gerard DHL, 10 hours 4 mins 39 secs; 3, Cork Blarney RC, 10 hours 5 mins 5 secs; 4, Cycling Leinster, 10 hours 5 mins 19 secs; 5, Cork Strata 3 – Velorevolution, 10 hours 5 mins 20 secs

Final general classification

1, Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) 26 hours 50 mins 46 secs; 2, C. Thiery (Switzerland National Team) at 1 sec; 3, R. Ghys (Belgian National Team) at 2 secs; 4, D. Shaw (Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team) at 12 secs; 5, J. van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) at 18 secs; 6, J. Varley (Britain Team KTM) at 28 secs; 7, S. Bax (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) at 30 secs; 8, N. Holler (Germany Bike Aid) at 36 secs; 9, K. De Ketele (Belgian National Team); 10, L. Ruegg (Switzerland National Team); 11, C. McDunphy (Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team); 12, J. Rathe (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis); 13, P. Kibble (Wales Racing Academy – National Team); 14, A. Janssen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X); 15, M. Dowling (Cycling Leinster) all same time

Points competition

1, Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) 103 pts; 2, R. Ghys (Belgian National Team) 85; 3, J. van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) 81; 4, M. Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo) 58; 5, R.J McCarthy (Ireland National Team) 44

Mountains competition

1, Lukas Ruegg (Switzerland National Team) 97 pts; 1, U. Alfredo Castillo Soto (USA Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) 87; 3, M. Stedman (Britain Canyon Eisberg) 52; 4, T. Shelden (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis) 39; 5, M. Potts (Ireland National Team) 34

Young rider

1, Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team) 26 hours 50 mins 48 secs; 2, J. Varley (Britain Team KTM) at 26 secs; 3, S. Bax (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) at 28 secs; 4, L. Ruegg (Switzerland National Team) at 34 secs; 5, C. McDunphy (Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team) same time

County rider

1, Mark Dowling (Cycling Leinster) 26 hours 51 mins 22 secs; 2, R. McLaughlin (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo) at 21 secs; 3, L. Watson (Antrim Velo Cafe Magasin PowerHouse Sport) at 1 min 58 secs; 4, E. O’Connell (Cork Blarney RC) at 2 mins 24 secs; 5, D. Corkery (Dublin Team Gerard DHL) at 12 mins 57 secs

Cycling Ireland category 2

1, Raymond Cullen (Tipperary Panduit) 27 hours 23 mins 57 secs; 2, B. English (Dublin Scott Orwell Wheelers) at 17 mins 9 secs; 4, C. Longmore (Dublin Lucan PDM) same time; 4, S. Jones (Dublin UCD FitzCyles) at 27 mins 7 secs; 5, A. Higgins (Mayo Ballina Molloys Pharmacies) at 47 mins 19 secs

Team

1, Netherlands Delta Cycling X, 80 hours 33 mins 12 secs; 2, Switzerland National Team, at 44 secs; 3, Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team, at 9 mins 48 secs; 4, Germany Bike Aid, at 25 mins 21 secs; 5, Wales Racing Academy, at 29 mins 9 secs

Irish county team

1, Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo, 80 hours 58 mins 23 secs; 2, Dublin Team Gerard DHL, at 25 mins 34 secs; 3, Cycling Leinster, at 28 mins 45 secs; 4, Kerry Tralee Manor West, at 50 mins 57 secs; 5, Tipperary Panduit, at 52 mins 47 secs

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.