ESTONIAN Mart Ojavee sprinted to victory in the opening stage of the FBD Insurance Ras, pipping Irishman Paidi O?Brien to the win in a bunch sprint finish to the 157-kilometre stage.
The 25-year-old Kalev Chocolate rider was first over the line at Templemore, but for much of the race the fate of the yellow jersey looked set to be decided by a six-rider breakaway which went clear after just five kilometres.
Ojavee?s team-mate Andrei Mustonen, Ricardo Van de Velde of the Netherlands, Murphy and Gunn?s Simon Kelly, Michael Johansen of the Danish Vision Bikes team, Jesse Anthony (Kodak Gallery) and Czech Republic?s Ondrej Pavek (Sparta Praha) worked well together to establish a maximum lead of around four minutes on the bunch, but they were hauled back with little more than 10 kilometres remaining.
Ojavee leads overall after stage one, while time bonuses mean that Van de Velde is three seconds further back, and O?Brien is third, four seconds behind the Estonian.
FBD Insurance Ras stage 1 (Naas-Templemore).-
1 Mart Ojavee (Estonia-Kalev Chocolate) 157km in 3-52-44
2 Paidi O?Brien (Ireland-Murphy and Gunn)
3 Petr Pucelik (Czech Republic-Sparta Praha)
4 Dominique Rollin (US-Kodak Gallery Sierra Nevada)
5 Mark Scanlon (Ireland-Subway)
6 Yvo Kusters (Netherlands)
7 Robin Chaigneau (Netherlands)
8 Benjamin Hill (Germany-Stevens Von Hacht)
9 René Birkenfeld (Germany-Stevens Von Hacht)
10 Mark Cassidy (Ireland-Murphy and Gunn)