Patrick Bevin gives chasing pack the slip to take command of Ras in style
IT WAS all-change on day two of the An Post Ras yesterday as Patrick Bevin of New Zealand took over the race leader's yellow jersey with a dominant solo ride into Lisdoonvarna.
The impressive 23-year-old Kiwi finished a minute and 55 seconds clear of a four-man chase group, led home by Italian Alessandro Pettiti.
Austrian Clemens Frankhauser took third from Markus Eiberger (Synergy Baku) and Frenchman David Chopin (Bretagne Velotec) with the rest of the field splintered under the wet and windy conditions.
With the peloton splitting behind them, Bevin jumped clear of a large front group along with Irish U-23 international Dominic Jelfs (Madison Genesis) on the outskirts of Ballyvaughan after 119km.
"There was a lull and I thought I'd give it a shot," said Bevin afterwards. "If the cards fall your way and you've got the legs then I knew it was a good style of finish to try and stay away.
"I knew the climb would break up the chase a little bit and I knew I had really good legs so I just thought I'd give it a try."
Although the duo built up a minute's advantage by the time they reached the first of two categorised climbs at Ballinalacken with 15km remaining, Bevin was subsequently left to fend for himself after Jelfs was dropped on ascent.
Despite the emergence of a strong looking four-man chase group behind, Bevin forged on, cresting the first category ascent of Doonagore with a minute-and-a-half advantage and just 8km remaining.
By the finish in Lisdoonvarna the Kiwi had not only done enough to win the stage, but to also wrest the race leader's yellow jersey from the shoulders of stage one winner Robert-Jon McCarthy, the An Post Chain Reaction youngster finishing over 10 minutes down on another typically tough Ras day.
Bevin also took the lead in the King of the Mountains and points classifications yesterday, while Alex Peters of the British Madison Genesis squad becomes the new leader in the white jersey competition for best U-23 rider.
Of the Irish contingent, Peters' Belfast-based team-mate Peter Hawkins is best placed overall, currently lying in 13th place at two minutes and 26 seconds, with county rider Sean Lacey of Cork Aqua Blue and Jelfs five seconds back in 19th and 20th places respectively.