Pedal power in Balt­in­glass at the Rás

Bray People - - NEWS -

THERE WAS GREAT EX­CITE­MENT in Balt­in­glass last week as the An Post Rás wheeled into town.

Balt­in­glass was the fi­nal stop on stage seven of the Ras and the cy­clists got a great wel­come to Wick­low from young and old.

Stage seven, the penul­ti­mate stage of the race, was won by Ir­ish man Eddie Dun­bar which added to the sense of ex­cite­ment in the town. Eddie’s win saw him be­come the sec­ond Ir­ish rider to claim a stage win on this year’s race. The Cork­man was part of a five man lead break and won a hard fought sprint to the line, fin­ish­ing just ahead of Jai Hind­ley (Aus­tralian Na­tional Team) and yel­low jersey leader, Cle­mens Fankhauser (Aus­tria Tirol Cy­cling).

The penul­ti­mate days rac­ing took the rid­ers 155 kilo­me­tres from Dun­gar­van, Water­ford to Balt­in­glass. With six ar­du­ous days of rac­ing al­ready con­quered there was no let up though for the 152 rid­ers that took to the start line as they faced four climbs, in­clud­ing the tor­tur­ous cat­e­gory one as­cent of Mount Le­in­ster, which reared up just 40 kilo­me­tres to the fin­ish line.

Dun­bar, who was a late in­clu­sion in to this year’s Rás, was thrilled to take a vic­tory in a race he has watched grow­ing up as a young­ster.

‘It hasn’t sunk in yet. To win a stage on a UCI race in your home coun­try is a dream come true. I’ve watched the race since I was knee high and I’ve al­ways wanted to be one of the ‘men of the Rás’ so it’s a great feel­ing to be stand­ing here as one of them.’

The over­all win­ner of the Ras was Cle­mens Fankhauser who be­came the first rider since Chris New­ton to be crowned a two-time win­ner of An Post Rás. The Aus­tria Tirol Cy­cling rider lifted the cov­eted tro­phy for the sec­ond time in three years.

Some of the spec­ta­tors on the main street in Balt­in­glass.

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