Garner’s Gallop Secures An Post Rás na mBan Stage 1

One-three Finish for RST Racing Team in Bunch Finish

Grace Garner from RST Racing sprinted in ahead of a 63 rider group to scoop the first An Post leader’s jersey in An Post Rás na mBan at Barefield near Ennis, today.

Garner had a length to spare over Irish National Road Race Champion Lydia Boylan (WNT) and Garner’s RST team mate Mel Lowther in the dash to the line after 64km.

The record entry of 106 riders faced dry conditions for the stage which featured repeated attacks throughout. Kirtsen Peetom of WV Breda was out front for a long period before the main group attacked the main obstancle of the day, the ascent of Maghera.

As in 2014, it was Helene Gerard of Team Breizh Ladies who took the points at the top and secured the first Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains jersey of the week.

After the ascent a group of 50 riders assembled out front with a minute advantage and more riders tagged on on the descent towards the finish in Ennis.

For the third year in succession a bunch finish decided stage one as Garner emerged from the gathering gloom illuminated by the lights from the following cars to take the honours.

Garner, silver medallist at this year’s European Junior Championships in the Omnium, also leads the NDC Points Competition and is the leading Under 23 Rider for the Womenscycling.ie award. Garner was also presented with the Leinster Cycling Stages jersey for her success this evening.

Tomorrow’s second stage is a 112km slog along the Wild Atlantic Way from Loop Head Lighthouse to Ballyvaghan. There are three categorised climbs including the category one ascent near Cliffs of Moher after 75km.