Ulster Cycling News
22Aug/070

Tour of Ireland -Stage 1

Stijn Vandenbergh (Unibet.com) arrived victorious into the city of Cork yesterday as the
first stage of the Tour of Ireland completed 174km from Kilkenny. The sun came out to
greet the riders as they left Kilkenny Castle and stayed with them throughout the stage.

23-year-old Vandenbergh had escaped with nine other riders after 60km of racing in
temperatures approaching 25 C. The group moved quickly into a four minute lead with many
of the key teams represented in the brave move.

When the break finally reached over ten minutes, the bunch was riding for eleventh place
as the race reached the outskirts of Cork city. The leaders were greeted by thousands of
cycle racing supporters on the first ascent of the 1-in-4 climb of St Patrick?s Hill and
the severity proved to be the decisive factor in the race winning move. Vandenbergh
attacked as they reached the summit for the second time and the Belgian time-trialled his
way to the finish to take his first victory as a professional.

?I have problems with my gears on the hill,? said Vandenbergh: ?I couldn?t get into my 25
tooth sprocket and I was delayed. So I stayed in the 23 sprocket on the second climb and
didn?t try the 25.?

?Steep hills are normally not normally good for me,? continued Vandenbergh: ?But I was
very strong today and attacked at the top. This is my first year as a professional and it
is my first professional victory. I think I have a big chance of keeping the yellow
jersey because I have a good team and the stages are not too hard.?

Nicolas Roche (Irish National Team) was one of two non-finishers on the stage suffering
from saddle boil infection. Ulster riders David McCann and Stephen Gallagher finished
in the peleton at 13-32 with Martyn irvine from Ards coming home a further minute in
arrears.

The races continues today on a 166km trek from Clonakilty to Killarney with the climbs
of the Healy Pass and Molls Gap included in the tough itinerary.

RESULTS: Tour of Ireland Stage 1 Kilkenny - Cork
1. Stign Vandenbergh (Unibet) 4-02-03
2. Aaron Olson (T-Mobile) @ 14 secs
3. Wesley Sulzberger (South Australia.com-AIS) @ 15 secs
4. Gabriel Rasch (Team Maxbo-Bianchi) @ 32 secs
5. Pieter Jacobs (Unibet) St
6. Roger Beuchat (team LPR) St
7. Valeriy Kobzarenko (Navigators Insurance) St
8. Craig Lewis (Team Slipstream) St
9. Marcus Ljungqvist (Team CSC) St
10. Glenn Bak (Murphy and Gunn) @ 32 secs

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