IT wasn't long ago that the peloton worked their way through the roads of County Cork en route to the fourth and fifth stage finishes of the An Post Rás and race organiser Tony Campbell has delivered a message of "thanks" to the overwhelming support that the riders received along the route and in the towns.
"This was my first year as An Post Rás organiser and I really have to say the turnout and response from the Cork crowds was incredible," said Tony. "Although the riders travel at such high speed they still hear every roar along the route, which helps turn the event into a wonderful spectacle for everyone involved. I would like to say a special thanks to the people of Cork who contributed to making it such amazing stages."
After eight gruelling days and 1180 kilometres of top class racing, it was Marcin Bialoblocki of the Britain UK Youth Pro Cycling team that took the coveted Rás yellow jersey home.
The An Post Sean Kelly team also had a very successful Rás with three stage wins, two of which came from Irishman Sam Bennett, who was also full of praise for the home crowds who turned up to spur on the team.
"It was a fantastic race for the team and one personally that I won't forget," said Sam. "I've been desperate to get a stage win for the last couple of years so to get two was unbelievable.
"The crowds along the entire route this year were superb - I can't tell you how hard a race the Rás is, so hearing all the shouting and cheering really gives you an extra lift when you feel the burn in your legs."