An Post Ras Diary 2017

 

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An Post Ras Stage 1

Over and all riders home safely in the bunch. Superb stage, thanks for all the support. Another happy day coming up tomorrow. Our main sponsor even joined us for the neutralised zone, super stuff.

An Post Ras Stage 2

146km in 3hrs 15mins, quick spin.
The lads are home all in the main bunch after a fast-speedy stage with headwind and cross winds to deal with. Simon Ryan made one of the breaks of the day only for a level crossing coming down, to slow the move but was closely followed by Mark Dowling who with 20km to go made his move and was away until 5km to go in a group of 5. Both riders were unlucky.

An Post Ras Stage 3

finished in Bundoran, Donegal after a fast 149km and all the lads are in, showered and fed. Today we were represented in the main break, by rider Simon Ryan but with attacks for the win at the end of the stage near the finish it split in 2. Unfortunately for Simon he finished within the 2nd part of this but still in the top 25. He had a smashing ride leading the stage at one point.The whole team is doing quite well and tomorrow is another hard day. 

An Post Ras Stage 4 

150km of pain Bundoran-Buncrana with our first real day of brutal climbs that the lads had to encounter. Mark finished in group sprinting for 3rd and the rest of the lads came in soon over. The pics show Simon climbing the famous Mamore Gap 15km to the finish .

An Post Ras Stage 5

Buncrana - Dungloe, 181km of hard and undulating Kilometres. The race today was super hard and this resulted in the bunch exploding on specific parts of the circuit. The Ras's now historic Category 3 climbs again played havoc and the groups for the day were decided on and after these.
The lads did great and held their own. Thanks to everyone for their support.

An Post Ras Stage 6

Dungloe - Donegal Town 132km of more pain, hills and lots of sweat but the team made it through in great style. Everybody came home in good positions and morale is good. Thank you for all the support.

An Post Ras Stage 7

167km from Donegal to Ardee in Louth, was just simply horrendous with the wetting all the riders in the race got but they all finished safe and sound.Simon finished top 20 , Stephen after a bike change from a crash which resulted in broken and cracked forks, along with Mark finished in the main bunch and they were followed home by Mick and James who fell off the back of the main group due to the speed of the stage and the terrain towards the end. We kept our lead in the Irish County Team Prize Category which is great. Tomorrow could be a super day.

An Post Ras Stage 8

Ardee-Skerries 130km. It started with the usual incredible fast speeds which never let up and the bunch split on the category 2 Bellewstown climb after 67km which was closely followed by the category 3 Snowtown climb leaving groups everywhere on the road. James had made the first break of the day and Mark rode across into it taking us onto the finishing circuits and the dreaded Blackhills x 3 Climb. The groups kept splitting and reducing down.On the last lap our rider Mark had attacked and stayed away with the 2 Australian, 1 Polish and 1 French rider to fight it out for the stage win coming in a very close to winning, 4th. We thought this could be the day for a stage win for Mark and for the team but all the riders were strong with the An Post Chainreaction professional rider winning in a tight gallop to the line. We won the Irish Team Category Classification which is called the County Team award which we are thrilled about. Thank you to everyone for their support. Thank you to our mechanic Anthony Doyle, our soigneur Brian Hayden, our feedzone manager Jonathan Finn, our assistant DS Ken Savage and our DS Aidan Crowley.