Bibby best in sprint after super breakaway
British professional Ian Bibby of NFTO took stage six of the An Post Rás in Ballinamore yesterday, with a superb finish, outsprinting Louth's Damien Shaw (Asea) and Welshman Ed Laverack.
Having spent much of the 160.1km stage out front in a 13-man move - which also contained Belgian-based Irish pro Conor Dunne (An Post Chain Reaction) and two more county riders, Mark Dowling (Meath DID Electrical) and Peter Hawkins (Down Nth Graham Powerhouse Sport) - the lead trio managed to jump clear of their fellow escapees in the final kilometres.
In the gallop to the line, Bibby proved fastest.
"It was pretty hilly but it looked as if it would always come down to a sprint finish so we knew the stage would suit me," said the 28-year-old from Preston.
Shaw was just a bike length behind as he took the daily award for best county rider.
"With the level of fitness I have this week, I don't have the jump to attack so I was hoping for a steadier tempo on the run-in," admitted the Mullingar-based firefighter.
"To go from struggling all week to be in the top two today was a bit of a turnaround."
Twenty-one seconds behind the lead trio, Dowling led home.
The yellow jersey of Lukas Postlberger wasn't unduly worried about the breakaway yesterday. "Today was a good stage to defend," said the Austrian. "We knew the best rider in the break was 13 minutes away so we had no problem with them staying away."
Ian Richardson (UCD) picked up where he left off yesterday with another impressive ride to retain the leading county rider jersey after finishing fourth in that category.