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Hills of Donegal Decide the An Post Rás

posted 29 May 2017, 14:22 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 1 Jun 2017, 07:58 ]
(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 28th May 2017)
The 2017 An Post Ras came to a thrilling conclusion last Sunday in Skerries. Thousands of spectators lined the route as it made its way over eight days, through Longford, Newport, Bundoran, Buncrana, Dungloe, Donegal and Ardee before crossing the finish line in the picturesque North Co. Dublin seaside town.Once again, despite torrential rain on Saturday’s stage from Donegal Town to Ardee, Ireland’s only UCI ranked race was blessed with glorious sunshine. It is five years since the Ras last visited the tough roads of Co. Donegal and yet again the hills which this county is notorious for had a major impact on the overall result of the race.

Mullingar and Lakeside Wheelers were represented by Damien Shaw of the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team and former LSW man, Eoin Lynch who rode with the Westmeath Planet X team.

Damien entered the race as one of the favourites for the GC on the strength of some great results in France recently and he did this tag proud making all the important breaks over the opening days. After a very business-like first four stages he found himself lying 5th but more importantly, he was on the same time as the race leader and fellow An Post Chainreaction rider Matt Taggert. But for one slight piece of misfortune on Thursday’s crucial stage from Buncrana to Dungloe which resulted in him losing valuable time on his rivals, he would most likely have donned the Yellow jersey that evening. In a race of this calibre time gaps at the top of the GC table are very difficult to close and in the end, Shaw was content with his contribution towards his team taking three stage wins and the Mountains Jersey and, his own 5th placing overall.

Eoin was riding in just his second Ras after his debut last year with DID Dunboyne. Although he found some of the stages extremely tough going, it is very understandable considering the speed, heat and terrain that the peloton had to contend with. He completed this gruelling race on Sunday and there is no doubt when he recovers and reflects, he will be more than happy with his performance.

Well done and congratulations to both lads from all at Lakeside Wheelers.

Damien Shaw in action in the 2017 Rás
Damien Shaw in action in the 2017 Rás (Picture Joe Duffy Mullingar) Many more pictures HERE

Some fine pictures, again from Chairman Joe Duffy, from Race The Rás Challenge HERE