Patrick Bevin of the New Zealand National Team soloed to a superb victory on stage two of An Post Rás today, putting him top of the general classification going in tomorrow’s third stage.
The Kiwi rider crossed the line in Lisdoonvarna almost two minutes ahead of a chasing group of four which included Alessandro Pettiti (Italy Team Idea), Fankhauser Clemens (Austria Tirol Cycling Team), Marcus Eibegger (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) and David Chopin (France Bretagne Velotec), who finished in second, third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
Day two was predicted to be another fast stage, with the 159 kilometre route relatively flat once again before the peloton reached the first category one climb of the race at Doonagore, only 8 kilometres from the finish.
There was plenty of action early on, with numerous breakaways threatening to go clear but consistently being reeled in by the bunch. Travelling through Kinvara, at the 100 kilometre mark, a sizeable group of twenty eight riders went clear including four riders from the Cork City Aquablue team and last year’s winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Velosure Giordana).
The break built up a lead of just over one minute from a chasing group of seventeen riders, before the whole race came back together again entering Ballvaughan.
It was then that Bevin made his move. The twenty three year-old attacked with 40 kilometres to go and was joined swiftly by Dominic Jelfs (Britain Madison Genesis).The duo worked hard to go 50 seconds clear, being pursued by a chasing group of four riders – Eibegger, Chopin, Lukas Postlberger (Austria Tirol Cycling Team) and Pettiti.
As the two leaders began the gruelling climb at Doonagore, Bevin found another gear. The Kiwi rider motored over the ascent, dropping Jelfs and extending his lead to 1 minute 35 seconds. All that was left was for Bevin to solo to victory and he did so to a roaring crowd in Lisdoonvarna.
The New Zealander takes a significant time lead in the general classification and was thrilled with the result.
“It’s a great result for me. I’m really delighted to get the stage win. There was a bit of a lull in the race so I attacked and I just felt like I had the legs to keep going over the climbs. Thankfully I did and it worked out for me in the end.”
While Bevin took hold of the yellow jersey, he also claimed the points and King of the Mountains jersey. Alex Peters’ (Britain Madison Genesis) tenth place finish saw him take the Under-23 jersey while Sean Lacey (Cork City Aquablue) won the county rider classification.