Britain’s Simon Richardson stayed out of trouble in the eighth and final stage of the Ras today to wrap up his maiden win in the Irish race, whilst Jaan Kirsipuu took his second stage this year.
A lumpy stage, with four classified climbs in the final 50 kilometres, meant that breaks were escaping from the word go.
However, Richardson’s Rapha Condor team once again showed the type of strength it has done all week defending the race lead and ensuring that none of the breaks gained any significant time over the bunch.
With such a display of collective power on the front from the Rapha team, refusing to let the race lead slip from their grasp, it was perhaps inevitable that the stage would once again be decided by a bunch sprint.
The pace increased rapidly on the outskirts of Skerries as the remnants of an earlier break were swept up by a rampaging peloton.
Within the final two kilometres, a big crash split the main field in two as riders struggled to get past the crash victims.
However, it was the experienced hand of Jaan Kirsipuu once again who navigated his way past the crash and took the sprint by a comfortable margin ahead of Niko Eeckhout and Ian Wilkinson.
Richardson was caught behind the crash but was awarded the same time as Kirsipuu and ended the race with a 2-49 cushion over Mads Christensen (Designa Kokken) to become the first Briton to win the Ras since Kristian House in 2006.
STAGE EIGHT RESULTS:
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Giant-Veolia)
2. Niko Eeckhout (An Post Sean Kelly)
3. Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bike Hut)
4. Russel Downing (CandiTV Marshalls Pasta)
5. Paul Healion (Irish National Team)
6. Sam Bennett (Dan Morrissey)
7. Espen Jogert (Giant-Veolia)
8. Jaco Venter (Trek Marco Polo)
9. Ian Bibby (Halfords Bike Hut)
10. Stefan Ganser (Kuota-Indeland)
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION:
1. Simon Richardson (Rapha Condor) 30-57-17
2. Mads Christensen (Designa Kokken) at 2-49
3. Jan Barta (Arbö KTM Junkers) at 3-02
4. Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor) at 3-24
5. Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bike Hut) at 3-29
6. Chris Newton (Rapha Condor) at 5-29
7. Russell Downing (Candi TV Marshalls Pasta) at 6-07
8. David McCann (Irish National Team) at 6-09
9. Alexander Gottfried (Kuota-Indeland) at 6-38
10. David O’Loughlin (An Post Sean Kelly) at 6-53
Official race website: www.fbdinsuranceras.com