Niko Eeckhout (An Post-M.Donnelly-Grant Thornton-Sean Kelly) has won the opening stage of the 2009 FBD Insurance Ras in Ireland.

The 2006 Belgian road race champion took the bunch sprint from Britain’s Russell Downing (CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta) in Wexford. Australian Nicholas Walker (Cinelli-Down Under) completed the podium positions in third.

Eeckhout will wear the yellow race leader’s jersey going in to Monday’s 178km stage from Wexford to Cobh. The UCI 2.2-ranked race comprises of eight stages running from Sunday May 17 to Sunday May 24.

RESULTS

Stage one: Kilcullen – Wexford, 125km

1. Niko Eeckhout (Belgium) An Post-M.Donnelly-Grant Thornton-Sean Kelly in 2-53-10


2. Russell Downing (GB) Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta

3. Nicholas Walker (Australia) Cinelli-Down Under

4. Daniel Clifford (Ireland) Projector World

5. Jaan Kirsipuu (Norway) Giant-Veolia

6. Joachim Tolles (Germany) Kuota-Indeland

7. Sam Bennett (Ireland) Dan Morrissey

8. Philip Lavery (Ireland) KTM Winning Solutions

9. Ian Wilkinson (GB) Halfords Bike Hut all same time.

RELATED LINKS

FBD Insurance Ras: The Big Preview

EXTERNAL LINKS

Official race website: www.fbdinsuranceras.com