Jason van Dalen gets it right in Glengarriff to win stage four
Rás Tailteann: Dutchman beats Matteo Cigala, Robbe Ghys and Jacob Rathe to the line
Jason Van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) arrives in Glengarriff to win stage four of the Rás Tailteann. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
He was one of the main aggressors on Tuesday’s stage but came away empty-handed after he was caught on the run in to Listowel. One day later, Jason van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X) got things perfectly right at the Rás Tailteann when he won stage four into Glengarriff. He was part of a select group which emerged over the difficult mountains en route to Glengarriff, then beat Irish-based Italian Matteo Cigala (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo), Robbe Ghys (Belgian National Team), Jacob Rathe (USA Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) and others to the line.
“The weather was beautiful, the views were stunning and I really enjoyed the stage,” he said.
Best of the Irish was Ronan McLaughlin (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo), who finished eighth and took over as the best county rider. He was a former international rider with the An Post Seán Kelly team and, after ending his stint with the squad several years ago, appears to be enjoying his best form in quite some time. “Before, I didn’t have much motivation to do a lot of specific training. Whereas now I am really enjoying my bike. For the last three, four weeks I am struggling to sleep, because I am actually excited to get up and get out on my bike,” he said.
The 152.6km stage was marked by a long-range four-man move. This comprised the Mexican Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto (USA Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) and the Irish riders Simon Ryan (Cork Strata3-VeloRevolution Cycling Team), Conor Kissane (Kerry Killarney) and Sean Hahessy (Westmeath Viner-Caremark-Pactimo), who were clear over the tough Ladies View, Moll’s Gap and Garranes climbs, but were caught on the first-category Healy Pass.
The climbing whittled down the stage contenders to just 26 riders, with van Dalen quickest at the end. Overnight race leader Cyrille Thièry (Switzerland National Team) was seventh and maintains his grip on the yellow jersey. He remains 10 seconds clear of Luuc Bugter (Netherlands Delta Cycling X), and is 11 ahead of former Irish national champion Damien Shaw (Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing Team).
The race continues on Thursday with a flatter 150.2km from Glengarriff to Mitchelstown.