Former WorldTour pro Mol adds Rás stage win to haul
Former WorldTour professional Wouter Mol of the Join-S de Rijke team added a stage victory at the An Post Rás to his already impressive CV when he led home a six-man breakaway group to claim stage five in Clonakilty yesterday.
The 2010 Tour of Qatar winner outsprinted Danish rider TroelsRonning Vinther and Dublin UCD's Rás revelation Eoin Morton for stage glory, while Irish pros Connor Dunne of JLT Condor and national road race champion Damien Shaw (An Post Chain Reaction) edged out Matt Holmes of Madison Genesis for fourth and fifth respectively.
"It was a hard stage with a lot of attacks," said the 34-year-old Dutch stage winner afterwards. "With 50km to go, a group went away and I thought, 'I have to be there too', so I closed the gap on my own.
"Three guys went away on the finishing circuit so I had to fight back again and six of us came to the finish together. I've had a couple of good wins in the past and this is another one now."
Although overnight leader Clemens Fankhauser retained the yellow jersey for another day, the presence of Mullingar man Shaw and British pro Holmes in the breakaway set alarm bells ringing for his Austrian Tirol team towards the end of the stage, with the 2014 winner hanging onto his lead by just two seconds .
Shaw is now best placed of the Irish in third overall, on the same time as second-placed Holmes, with Eddie Dunbar slipping to 14th place at 19 seconds.
Having won a stage on Monday, Eoin Morton continued his sensational Rás ride by picking up third yesterday and earning himself the best county rider award on the stage.
"The GC guys really turned me inside out going up the climb at the end," said the Dubliner.
"But when I got onto the back of them I was able to sit on. They were all pushing for GC but I was just happy to get to the finish. I'm over the moon with third."
German Niko Holler took over the mountains classification lead yesterday, while An Post's Aaron Gate held onto his green points jersey and Aussie Jai Hindley retained the white of best U-23 rider. Ian Richardson is best placed county rider in 21st place, a minute and a half down on race leader Fankhauser.