POLAND’S Wojciech Dybel sprinted to victory in stage seven of the FBD Insurance Ras after a 177-kilometre stage from Clonmel to Roundwood on Saturday.
Dybel jumped clear in the last few hundred metres to surprise breakaway rivals Kit Gilham (Kinesis) and Iran’s Razaei Khormizi, and held his advantage to the line while Gilham beat Khormizi to second spot.
The three had been part of a big break, but after they had edged ahead on the climb of Slieve Maan where Gilham added to his King of the Mountains tally, they continued their effort and quickly established a lead.
The remains of the original break tried to chase them down, but with little more than 20 kilometres remaining they held their advantage with ease.
The main break of the day originally pulled clear shortly after the climb of Glenbower, with 15 riders getting clear – including Gilham who had taken fourth spot in the climb.
Five minutes later they had established almost two minutes on the chasers, with the climb helping to peg back the struggling bunch.
A chase group finally began to eat into their lead, with Kristian House (Rapha Condor), Keiran Page (Pezula Racing), Andrew Roche (Isle of Man), Alex Higham (Plowman Craven) and Andrew Bye (Surrey League) all involved, as well as Stephen Gallagher (Ireland An Post) who was second overall.
The chase group swelled, with Dybel and Khormizi coming across as well as Wouter Sybrandy (Surrey League) and Rob Partridge (Rapha Condor), and they caught the leaders shortly before the climb of Slieve Maan to make a 23-rider front group with the yellow jersey of Simon Richardson (Plowman Craven) more than five minutes down the road.
Gilham edged ahead at the top of the climb and took maximum points from Iran?s Khormizi, but the duo continued their effort and pulled away as the rest of the break battled up the hill.
Dybel dug in and crossed the gap alone, forming a trio which was rapidly building a lead of more than one minute as the finish in Roundwood loomed quickly, just 25 kilometres away from the Slieve Maan climb.
As they headed for the line Dybel attacked early, using a tailwind to maintain his effort, while Gilham was a close second and Khormizi third, with the chasing group 48 seconds back, including Stephen Gallagher who will pull on the yellow jersey of race leader.
FBD Insurance Ras (Stage seven, Clonmel to Roundwood, 177km).-
1 Wojciech Dybel (Poland) 4-51-49
2 Kit Gilham (UK, Kinesis)
3 Razaei Khormizi (Iran, Islamic Azad University) all same time
4 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 48sec
5 Paul Griffin (Ireland)
6 Keiran Page (Ireland, Pezula Racing)
7 Paidi O?Brien (Ireland, An Post)
8 Morten Hegreberg (Norway, Sparebanken)
9 Benny de Schrooder (Ireland, An Post)
10 Simon Kelly (Dublin, Usher IRC) all same time
Overall (after stage seven).-
1 Stephen Gallagher (Ireland,An Post) 27-11-01
2 Roger Aiken (Ireland) at 1-42
3 Rob Partridge (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 1-43
4 Alex Higham (Plowman Craven RT) at 1-45
5 Razaei Khormizi (Iran, Islamic Azad University) at 1-55
6 Wojciech Dybel (Poland) at 2-30
7 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 2-40
8 Keiran Page (Ireland, Pezula Racing) at 2-47
9 Benny De Schrooder (Ireland, An Post) at 3-01
10 Paidi O?Brien (Ireland, An Post) at 3-05