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Multyfarnham Hosts Stage One Finish of An Post Rás

posted 22 May 2016, 14:34 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 30 May 2016, 14:13 ]
Sunday 22nd May saw the arrival of the An Post Rás into Multyfarnham for the finish of the first stage of this year’s race. This was yet another major honour bestowed on the club and the stage finish/start crew led by Joe Duffy did the club proud.

The large crowds started to gather in this beautiful village from lunchtime in anticipation of the circus that is “the Rás”. The weather stayed fine and at approximately 3.15pm the first riders came hurtling down the hill past the community centre and up the village to head out on the 19km finishing circuit. With the peloton in fast pursuit the leader from the Netherlands, Taco van der Hoorn riding for the Join-S De Rikje team was brought to heel on the “Piggery” but amazingly he attacked again on the Crookedwood to Multy stretch and claimed a very prestigious win outside Conor Murtagh’s pub. There was great excitement as the chasers all came up the slight drag in his wake, amongst them two local riders. Damien Shaw, riding for the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team finished in 54th position but crucially, a mere 13 seconds adrift whilst Eoin Lynch of the DID Dunboyne County team and competing in his maiden Rás came home in a very creditable 75th place, just over 2 minutes down on the winner. 

Stage winner Taco van der Hoorn

After the stage, Shaw said that he was satisfied with his performance as it had been hectic from the time the flag was dropped with weather playing a major part in the day’s proceedings and avoiding the day’s many cRáshes was priority. The prize presentation ceremony also featured a club member with Louise McCarra fulfilling the role of Miss Rás.

The next day the riders who had filled every available hotel and B+B in Mullingar the previous night, gathered at the Lakeside Wheelers clubhouse to sign on for stage two. Prior to departure the Race Director personally thanked all those from Lakeside Wheelers who were involved and said that the race couldn’t have received a better welcome. Special mention must go to Westmeath Co Council staff for the way they prepared the route for this highly respected UCI event. 

This was to be the longest stage of the week taking the peloton from Mullingar to Chareleville, Co Cork. Under sunny skies the bunch rolled out ceremonially from the Post Office on Dominick’s St to O’Briens garage on the Lynn Road where the flag was dropped, indicating that the race was once again under way. The route took them to Tyrellspass before turning onto the back roads for Rahugh, Tullamore and on to Cork where Dubliner Eoin Morton would claim a famous victory, not only for his UCD team but also for the amateurs.

This finished off what was an extremely busy but very enjoyable few days for some Wheelers and let’s hope it won’t be so long before we see the Rás around the Mullingar area again.

Bunch sprint at the end of stage 1 of the 2016 An Post Rás
Bunch sprint at the end of stage 1 of the 2016 An Post Rás (more pictures HERE)