Fermoy native Robert Jon McCarthy picked up the second Rás Tailteann stage win of his career in Tipperary on Monday, beating 77 others in a big sprint to the line to follow up on his stage one victory in 2014.
Speaking after his stage victory, McCarthy said It had been a long road back to get a win again but he had been working very hard.
“I have done a lot of riding for the JLT team this year – it has obviously been a really strong team, so it is nice to be able to capitalise on an opportunity and put my name back up there,” he said.
Stage one winner Cyrille Thiery (Switzerland National Team) led overall after the 140.4 kilometre stage 3 that began in Tipperary and featured a long-distance breakaway of six riders.
This featured Rory Townsend (Britain Canyon Eisberg) and Jason van Dalen (Netherlands Delta Cycling X), the instigators of the move, as well as Martin Frazer (Britain Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team), Curtis White (USA Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis), Samuel Tillett (Wales Racing Academy – National Team) and Seán O’Malley (Galway Gerry McVeigh Cars – DoorMotion).
Wednesday’s fourth stage was one of the most difficult of the race, with eight climbs littered along the 153 kilometres between Listowel and Glengarrif – Jason Van Dalen – Delta Cycling, taking the stage victory.
RÁS COMES TO MITCHELSTOWN
On Thursday the Rás comes to Mitchelstown for stage 5. After a harrowing Wednesday, the sprinters will be more in their element on stage five, a 150.2 kilometre race from Glengarriff to Mitchelstown.
Inside the first hour of racing, the riders will face the category two ascents of the Pass of Keimaneigh (km 25) and Gortnabinna (km 37.7), but after the latter there follows 100 kilometres of mainly flat roads, passing through Macroom, Millstreet, Banteer and Mallow.
The last time the An Post Rás finished in Mitchelstown was back in 2013 and was won by Moreno De Pauw of the Belgian National Team.
A large crowd is expected to assemble in Mitchelstown to welcome the riders to the town and MBA chairman Sam Hyland said said it’s great to see the race come back to Mitchelstown.
“It’s great news for the town. I am looking forward to it and I hope to see a big turn out on the day. Any extra footfall is always welcome and I hope everyone visiting the town, gets to enjoy their stay in Mitchelstown.