Node4 Giordana rider claims first yellow jersey of the week
The opening stage of the 2012 An Post Rás saw Polish rider Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4 Giordana) sprint to victory following a four man breakaway which just held off the chasing bunch. The stage win was Bialoblocki’s second at the Rás, as he also triumphed into Tramore last year.
Danish rider Jacob Nielsen (Blue Water) was second, Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas) finished third, while last year’s Rás winner Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post Sean Kelly) finished in sixth, although he moved up to fourth in the overall classification after taking two hot spot sprints on the stage.
Day one saw the peloton travel 147 kilometres from Dunboyne to Kilkenny and it was barely an hour into the race when several riders including Kristian Forbord (OneCo-Mesterhus) crashed just outside Prosperous in County Kildare, thankfully none of the riders involved were badly injured. Shortly after a bunch of ten riders including Sam Bennett (An Post Sean Kelly) and Wouter Sybrandy (Britian Team IG – Sigma Sport) broke clear, however they were quickly reeled in before the first hot spot sprint which was won by young Dubliner Philip Lavery (Node4 Giordana).
The following forty kilometres saw a number of riders try to break clear, but nothing stuck until a group of five led by Nicolas Baldo (Switzerland Atlas Jackroo) opened up a 30 second gap. They forged on but after 120 kilometres of racing the group was caught and the peloton came together once more.
Swiss rider Jonathan Fumeaux (Switzerland Atlas Jackroo) was the next to attack, but he too was caught with a little over ten kilometres remaining. It was at this stage that the decisive break of the day got away as four riders, including Fumeaux’s team mate Baldo, and eventual race winner Bialoblocki got free. They quickly built up a thirty second lead and despite the peloton’s best efforts they weren’t to be caught. As the finish drew closer it was Bialoblocki who had most left in the tank and he crossed the line with his arms aloft to take the first yellow jersey of the race.
Bialoblocki was delighted with the win, although he was under no illusions that it will be tough to hold onto the jersey for the rest of the week.
“I wasn’t expecting the break to get away, but when we did I tried to save my legs and thankfully I took the win. I’ll try to keep the yellow jersey now but it will be very hard with another seven days of racing ahead.”