Taco van der Hoorn times move to perfection to win first stage of Rás

Jack Wilson best of Irish cyclists in fifth place

Taco van der Hoom of The Netherlands celebrates as he crosses the line to win the first stage of the An Post Rás in Multyfarnham. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Taco van der Hoom of The Netherlands celebrates as he crosses the line to win the first stage of the An Post Rás in Multyfarnham. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

 

Taco van der Hoorn nabbed the biggest result of his career to date at the conclusion of day one of the An Post Rás, with the Dutchman soloing to victory in Multyfarnham.

The Netherlands Join-S de Rijke rider attacked inside the final kilometres and held off the hard-chasing group behind. Dylan Kennett (New Zealand National Team) led in the chasers two seconds back, with Rasmus Mygind (Denmark Riwal Platform) third and Jack Wilson (An Post Chainreaction) best of the Irish in fifth.

“It was really hard. I made a break with three kilometres to go. I went on a small hill and it was mostly downhill after that,” the 22-year-old said. “This is my first UCI race victory, so it is great.”

The 1916 centenary celebrations were a factor in the route. The race start was at Dublin Castle, although the official dropping of the flag was at Clonee.

The usual spate of attacks followed, with the most serious of these being a move after Oldcastle by Eoin Morton (Dublin UCD Fitzcycles) and Bryan McCrystal (Louth Asea Wheelworx). The Irishmen were subsequently joined by George Fowler (Britan NFTO Pro Cycling), with Morton beating the latter for the points atop the day’s only categorised climb, that of Lough Crew.

The trio were then reinforced by Ronan McLaughlin (Ireland national team) and Sean Lacey (Cork Aquablue), plus later chasers Patrick Gamper (Austria Tirol Cycling) and Marcus Christie (Louth Asea Wheelworx).

Hauled back

They got a gap close to the finish and the pressure of the chase behind caused a split in the bunch. Thirteen riders bridged and from these van der Hoorn emerged, timing his move perfectly.

He soloed to the first yellow jersey of the race, while Irishmen Wilson, Eddie Dunbar (Ireland national team) and Conor Dunne (Britain JLT Condor) were amongst the 13 riders who finished just behind.

The next group was 13 seconds back and prominent there was Ciaran Power (Waterford Comeragh). The double race winner and former professional lost 20 kilos to return to the Rás and while he won’t challenge for the overall, his best county rider award showed there is still speed in his legs. Morton will wear the best climber jersey heading into day two, 187.3 km from Mullingar to Charleville. “I am absolutely delighted,” he said. “This was the goal for the stage.”

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