Scare for Rás Tailteann leader Jackson as defending champ Corkery launches big attack

English man continues to hold the yellow jersey but is on the same overall time as Irish riders Conn McDunphy and Liam O’Brien

Rás Tailteann race leader Dom Jackson had a big scare on Saturday’s penultimate stage with defending champion Dillon Corkery infiltrating a dangerous breakaway and becoming the virtual race leader for much of the day.

Corkery was one of seven riders who went clear inside the first 10 kilometres, the Corkman bridging solo to the move which also contained his Ireland team-mate Dean Harvey, four other Irish competitors and one Briton.

They built an advantage of over a minute and a half and with Corkery just 32 seconds back overnight, he looked to be on the way to another Rás yellow jersey.

However the UK: Foran CT squad of Jackson and the USA: Skyline-Cadence team of second-placed Conn McDunphy chased hard and the break was finally recaptured inside the final 50km.


“The gap went out to 1.40,” the Corkman said after the stage. “But I suppose when you’ve got 150 lads riding behind and you have only got two or three lads who are willing to run the front, you are under a bit of pressure.

“I think we showed today that we’ve got the capabilities of going up the road and doing that again. So we’ll do it again tomorrow, we are not finished.”

The 139.2km stage from Horse and Jockey to Kildare town was won by Tom Martin (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli), who finished two seconds clear of fellow Briton Will Perrett (UK: Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling). They went clear with the Irishman Conal Scully (Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) with approximately 45 kilometres remaining, with Scully crashing and Martin and Perrett staying clear to fight for the stage win

“I’m really pleased to finally win a stage here. I’m made up,” Martin said. “I took my chance around 45k to go. Then two more lads came across, Will Perrett and another lad, and we rode pretty well together. I knew Will was dead keen on moving up the GC so I had that at the back of my mind and jumped him at 3k to go for a solo stage win.”

Jackson continues to hold the yellow jersey of race leadership. He is on the same overall time as Irishmen McDunphy and Liam O’Brien (Team Ireland), with the trio separated only by stage placings. The latter two know they each need only a second’s gain on Sunday to win the race, and are certain to attack.

“It was a really hard day today,” Jackson admitted. “The moves that got away, some of them were actually really quite threatening. And it forced me and my team-mates, and Skyline to work as well.

“It just gets to a point where you’re absolutely spent, and then you just got to keep going because I’m loving every minute in this jersey, and I want to keep it for as long as I can. It’s slowly killing me to do it, but I’m loving it. I’m absolutely loving it.

“It would mean everything to win this race.”

With O’Brien in third and Corkery just 32 seconds back in eighth place, the Team Ireland riders know overall victory is still within reach. Indeed they can take encouragement from the final stage last year, when Corkery overcame a 19-second overnight deficit with a daring attack.

Both Corkery and O’Brien promised to go for it on Sunday.

“The way it finished last year, anything can happen tomorrow,” the latter said. “We still have two strong options there [in the overall standings], we will give it a go.”

The final stage is a 155.6km race from Maynooth to Bective in Co Meath.

Rás Tailteann stage 4, Horse and Jockey to Kildare town

1 Tom Martin (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli) 139.2 kilometres in 3 hours 7′52″, 2 W Perrett (UK: Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling) 2″, 3 J Brown (UK: Ribble Rebellion) 18″, 4 J Buller (Ireland: Spellman Dublin Port CT), 5 K Wang (China: Team Bodywrap), 6 T Shoreman (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli), 7 O Doogan (Ireland: Team Ireland), 8 JB Murphy (Ireland: Cycling Leinster), 9 P O’Loughlin (Kerry: Killarney CC), 10 G Kimber (UK: Spirt TBW Stuart Hall Cycling), 11 D McDermott (UK: Ride Revolution Coaching), 12 M Cigala (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei), 13 C Davies (UK: Richardsons Trek DAS), 14 C Jeffers (Isle of Man), 15 J Hales (UK: Ride Revolution Coaching) all same time

King of the mountains primes

Category 3 climb Byrnesgrove: 1 Dean Harvey (Ireland: Team Ireland) 5 pts, 2 D Corkery (Ireland: Team Ireland) 4, 3 P Kennedy (USA: Skyline-Cadence) 3, 4 M Christie (Isle of Man) 2

Category 3 climb Castlecomer: 1 Dean Harvey 5 pts, 2 Kennedy 4, 3 L Watson (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution 3, 4 Christie

Category 1 climb Gorteen: 1 Dean Harvey 15 pts, 2 Corkery 10, 3 Watson 8, 4 Christie 6, 5 Kennedy 4, 6 C Maguire (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) 3, 7 C McGoldrick (UK: Richardsons Trek DAS) 1

Category 2 climb Carn West: 1 Dean Harvey 10 pts, 2 Corkery 8, 3 Christie 6, 4 Watson 4, 5 Kennedy 3, 6 Maguire 1

Category 2 climb Clogrenan: 1 Dean Harvey 10 pts, 2 Christie 8, 3 Watson 6, 4 Kennedy 4, 5 Corkery 3, 6 Maguire 1

County rider: 1 JB Murphy (Ireland: Cycling Leinster) 3 hours 8′10″, 2 P O’Loughlin (Kerry: Killarney CC), 3 M Cigala (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei), 4 J Conroy (Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers), 5 C Murnane (Dublin: UCD Cycling Club)

National/International team: 1 UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli 9 hours 24′12″, 2 UK: Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling 9 hours 24′14″, 3 UK: Ride Revolution Coaching 9 hours 24′30″, 4 Ireland: Team Ireland 9 hours 24′30″, 5 UK: Richardsons Trek DAS same time

Irish county/provincial stage: 1 Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei 9 hours 24′27″, 2 Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers 9 hours 24′30″, 3 Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution, 4 Ireland: Cycling Leinster, 5 Cork: O’Leary Stone Kanturk CC all same time

General classification after four stages: 1 Dom Jackson (UK: Foran CT) 13 hours 45′25″, 2 C McDunphy (USA: Skyline-Cadence), 3 L O’Brien (Ireland: Team Ireland) both same time, 4 G Peden (UK: Team PB Performance) 15″, 5 W Perrett (UK: Spirit TBW Stuart Hall Cycling) 16″, 6 D McDermott (UK: Ride Revolution Coaching) 17″, 7 Shoreman 32″, 8 M Cigala, 9 K Wang (China: Team Bodywrap), 10 Corkery (Ireland: Team Ireland), 11 P Cocker (UK: Richardsons Trek DAS), 12 D Feeley (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution), 13 T Armstrong (UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli), 14 E Scanlon Warren (Spain: Brocar Rali Ale), 15 A Lewis (USA: Skyline-Cadence) all same time

Points classification: 1 Odhran Doogan (Ireland: Team Ireland) 33, 2 Shoreman 29, 3 Buller 28, 4 Corkery 27, 5 Perrett

Mountains competition: 1 Dean Harvey (Ireland: Team Ireland) 45, 2 Corkery 43, 3 McGoldrick 36, 4 Maclean 30, 5 Liam O’Brien 26

Under 23 rider: 1 Liam O’Brien (Ireland: Team Ireland) 13 hours 45′25″, 2 E Scanlon Warren (Spain: Brocar Rali Ale) 32″, 3 R O’Connor (Ireland: Cycling Leinster) same time, 4 C Scully (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) 1 min 49″, 5 O Doogan 1 min 50″

Irish county rider: 1 Matteo Cigala (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) 13 hours 45′57, 2 D Feeley (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution) same time, 3 C Scully (Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) 1 min 17″, 4 P O’Loughlin (Kerry: Killarney CC) 1 min 33, 5 D Moore (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution) same time

Cycling Ireland A2 overall: 1 Greg Clarke (Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers) 13 hours 47′30″, 2 D Culloty (Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution) 2′19″, 3 R Tuomey (Cork: O’Leary Stone Kanturk CC) 11′55, 4 R McKenna (Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers) 14′52, 5 P Moran (Ireland: Midlands Race Team) 23′20″

Cycling Ireland A3 rider: Derek Joyce (Galway: Galway Bay CC) 15 hours 8′58″

National/International team: 1 USA: Skyline-Cadence 41 hours 18′31 sec, 2 Ireland: Team Ireland 6″, 3 UK: Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli 18″, 4 UK: Richardsons Trek DAS 30″, 5 Mexico: Canel’s-Java 2 min 08

Irish County/Provincial Team: Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution: 1 Cork: All Human-VeloRevolution 41 hours 20′57″, 2 Ireland: Cycling Leinster 11′52, 3 Carlow: Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei 11′55″, 4 Wicklow: Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers 28′20″, 5 Kerry: Killarney CC 42′58″

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling