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Tuesday morning news – 31/05/05

Newton Takes Special FBD Insurance Ras
Chris Newton won the FBD Insurance Ras in Dublin’s Phoenix Park today after finishing safely in the bunch at the end of an uneventful one-hour circuit race for the Olympic medallist and double world champion.

The triple stage winner did not contest the sprint and took overall victory ahead of Malcolm Elliott (Trinity Capital) and Norway’s Morten Hegreberg (Sparebanken Vest) by 14 seconds and 2 minutes 21 seconds respectively.

Newton made history by becoming the first overseas rider to take two editions of the race, his first in 2003, and was delighted to take the 2005 edition of the race, speaking toirishcycling.com he said “I came into the race thinking my form was good, but not great, taking three stage wins plus the overall is special. It’s great to win this event again, the Rás is a super race.”

His win of course did not come without the help of his team mates, who rode superbly throughout, with Rob Sharman taking an excellent 5th place overall despite the necessary sacrifices.

Newton Dominant with Hat Trick Win
Newton’s third win of the FBD Insurance RAS came after an emphatic attack 700 metres from the line. As a result Newton increased his lead in the race from his nearest rival Malcolm Elliott (Trinity Capital) to 14 seconds.

A group of twelve riders started the day’s action after 55km of the 160km stage from Abbeyleix to Rathdrum. Recycling’s Evan Oliphant (representing Scotland) was a member of the group, but after some solid chasing by the main peloton they were brought back with just 4km remaining to pave the way for Newton’s devastating attack at the foot of the finishing climb.

Speaking to irishcycling.com Newton said, “the finish worked out perfectly. The Norwegian team were leading it out; some guy let the wheel go ahead of me inside the last kilometre. I decided to go for it and jumped hard. I wanted to get time out of Malcolm and the other riders, so that was more important than the stage result.”

The toughest stage of the race, was the 138km trek into the Wicklow Mountains from Rathdrum to Wicklow Town, which includes no less than seven climbs. Newton said beforehand “I am looking forward to tomorrow, with the climbs it will be a level playing field, it will simply be down to strength and so the best guys should come out on top. My plan is to ride tomorrow like a single day race, if I do it like that then it should work out well.”

As it happens he finished safely in the lead group on today’s penultimate stage to retain his 14 second lead over Malcolm Elliott (Trinity Capital).

Newton was led in by team mate Rob Sharman to take 10th place on the 138km 7th stage through the Wicklow mountain’s, with Norway’s Morten Hegreberg (Sparebanken Vest) taking his second stage win just ahead of the evergreen Elliott. Recycling’s 31-year-old race leader never looked troubled throughout a stage that featured seven major climbs, and when delayed by a puncture on the accent of Sally Gap, a team mate was close at hand to offer a wheel.

1, Chris Newton (GB Recycling.co.uk) 26 hours 32 mins 39 secs
2, Malcolm Elliott (Yorkshire – Trinity Capital) at 14 secs
3, Morten Hegreberg (Norway – Sparebanken Vest) at 2 mins 21 secs
4, Yanto Barker (Wales – Stena Line) at 2 mins 42 secs
5, Rob Sharman (GB – Recycling.co.uk) at 2 mins 43 secs
6, Tim Barry (Tipperary – Dan Morrissey) same time
7, Gabriel Rasch (Norway – Sparebanken Vest) at 2 mins 59 secs
8, John Tanner (Yorkshire – Trinity Capital) at 5 mins 40 secs
9, Stuart Gillespie (US – TIAA CREF) same time
10, Kevin Dawson (Yorkshire – Trinity Capital) at 6 mins 19 secs
11, Sigvard Kukk (Estonia – Kalev Chocolate) at 6 mins 35 secs
12, Eugene Moriarty (Meath – Cycleways.com) at 6 mins 49 secs
13, Evan Oliphant (Scotland) at 6 mins 51 secs
14, Rostislav Krotky (Czech Republic – Elmarco KK Cube) at 6 mins 53 secs
15, Morten Christiansen (Norway – Sparebanken Vest) at 6 mins 54 secs

Discovery discovers the future
There is perhaps a potential team leader after Armstrong hangs up his wheels… In the tightest Giro for many years Paolo Savoldelli kept a cool head in the final stages of the 88th Giro d’Italia.
Charly Wegelius continues to impress and finished a creditable 46th and he was a member of the winning team, Liquigas-Bianchi. Bradley Wiggins had a large dose of stage race reality and finished 123rd, not bad for his first Grand Tour however… RCUK favourite Vlad Karpets finished 7th, keep an eye on this Russian 24 year old, he’s our tip for the top.

Final General classification
1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 91.25.51 (37.855 km/h)
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 0.28
3 Jose’ Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Colombia 0.45
4 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 2.42
5 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 3.11
6 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 4.22
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 11.15

8 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole 11.38
9 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 11.40
10 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 12.33
46 Charles Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.30.13
123 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Credit Agricole 3.32.51

Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré marks the start of the Tour de France countdown…
Next week’s Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré race will be Lance Armstrong’s final shake down before the Tour. We will be there for a few stages and will have reports and pictures everyday. The race is a tough one with stages over Mont Ventoux and into the Alps. For a start sheet and further information go to ledauphine.com

New Nike website
Just in time for the Tour… Nike cycling

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