Cycling: Lacey praises team's quick reactions to secure victory
Sean Lacey of the Edge Sports team yesterday overcame a one-second deficit on the final stage of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan to make it a local success in the four-day international race in Killorglin.
Just 10km into yesterday's 113km circuit race, the overnight leader Bram Imming of the Dutch Ruiter Dakkapellen team was left behind when a 30-strong group drifted off the front of the bunch.
Kerryman Lacey had team-mates Cathal McCarthy, Michael Fitzgerald and former winner Timmy Barry in the front portion of the split and they quickly began to inject pace into the breakaway group, building a 1:48 advantage over the peloton by the finish.
"We had planned for all sorts of eventualities at the team meeting last night," said Lacey. "But we couldn't have imagined what would happen today. When we realised the yellow jersey had missed the split, my team were very quick to react and soon began to open a gap."
Lacey finished 11th on the stage to take overall victory by 26 seconds from Christian Varley of the Isle of Man with Neil Delahaye of Team Dectek third at 51 seconds.
"Once we got to the finishing circuit it was just a case of keeping Varley and Delahaye under control," said Lacey. "Ras Mumhan has always been a target of mine and to finally win it is fantastic."
The final stage was won in an uphill sprint to the line by Paidi O'Brien of the Donegal-based SportActive team. He outgalloped Andy Roche of the Isle of Man and Dutch sprinter Robert Jan Mol for victory, with Paul Griffin (Earl of Desmond), fourth.
"We had a bit of bad luck earlier in the week when three of the team crashed but it's great to get the win on the last day," Lacey added.
The Ruiter Dakkapellen team took other classification wins, Leon Burger taking the King of the Mountains title and Gijs Strating taking the U-23 competition. Paul Griffin went home with the green jersey of points leader, while the Dutch squad took the team prize.