RAS MUMHAN: POWER TAKES JERSEY ON FIRST DAY

Fresh from his victory in Carrick-on-Suir last Monday (St. Patrick’s Day for the Carraig Cabs Cup), Ciaran Power yesterday set the tone for the Pauline Sugrue Ras Mumhan over four days. He soloed home to victory ahead of Tino Haakman from Holland with Sean Lacey in third place.

Conditions for the first stage sponsored by the Earl of Desmond Hotel in Tralee were not ideal, but the cyclists, once on their bikes were eager to get on with the business of racing from Killorglin, Co. Kerry. Shortly before Fossa six miles into the event the dye was cast when Power of the Pezula Racing Team, Mark Cassidy An Post and Sean Lacey of EurobabyEuroCycles were ahead.

Definitely the trio were moving along at great pace, but the bunch were still moving swiftly and were containing their advantage in the 40 second zone. On the approach to Killarney the first nightmare for any competitor and particularly when he is at the head of affairs struck, when Mark Cassidy had mechanical trouble and dropped of the lead group. He changed bikes with his team mate Ronan McLoughlin and quickly regained the bunch on the far side of Killarney. To add further woe to Mark’s plight of being at the head of the race he found himself and the remainder of the team at the front of the bunch keeping the memento going.

In the interim of Mark’s misfortune a group of seven had made a forward move, Cameron Jennings, Derek Burke both of Pezula, Miceal Concannon of the promoting Club Killorglin Credit Union CC, Gary Dodd of Surrey League, Maurice O’Brien of Kanturk Town, Isaac Speirs of An Post and Tino Haakman of Forte Junie Translations from Holland. Interestingly the Dutchman had been detached from the bunch when the original trio made their move. But, on this occasion he was in the mix as the seven went in chase of the two leaders.

At the first KOH at the ‘Munster Whole Food’ they made the junction, but not before Power had collected the full points in that category. Now, the time gaps began to show at the lead break applied the pressure into a strong headwind and a buffeting wind which was causing concern to one and all. Still the bunch led by the MyHome.ie/Cycleways/BDBC and the An Post teams were keeping the pressure on to make sure that the time gap was kept to a manageable level.

But, as the leaders and bunch headed for the second KOH at ‘Farmers Bridge’ the alarm bells were sounding.
Again it was Power who moved ahead at the KOH for the full tally of points.

On the run in to the finish it was all systems go, but it was the former professional with the American based Navigators Insurance who showed that he was King for the day when he crossed the line in Killorglin on the site of where the festivities take place every year for the ‘Puck Fair.’

The Dutch Tino was just ahead of Sean Lacey who like Ciaran is giving good value to his new sponsor EuroBaby/EuroCycles. Isaac Speirs who created a bit of a stir here in the corresponding event in 2007 was fourth.
Despite missing all the moves of the day, the defending champion Brian Kenneally of MyHome.ie/Cycleways/BDBC is back in ninth place with Mark Cassidy who must be rueing that misfortune on the outskirts of Killarney in tenth place.

Today has all the hallmarks of a classic stage.

Pauline Sugrue Auctioneer Ras Mumhan-Killorglin/44miles
Details:

1 Ciaran Power (Pezula Racing Team), 1hr.38mins.50secs;
2 T. Haakaman (Holland), @14secs;
3 S. Lacey (Eurobaby-EuroCycles), same time;
4 I. Speirs (An Post), @ 19secs;
5 M. O’Brien (Kanturk Town), @55secs;
6 M. Concannon (Killorglin Credit Union), 56.

King of Hills: C. Power
Points: C. Power

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