Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:43:22 PM EST5EDT
Holler increases lead in KOM classification – 2 days to go to Dublin
With his 14th place and even more points in the KOM classification on today’s 6th stage of An Post Rás (UCI 2.2) in Ireland, Nikodemus Holler could successfully defend his mountains jersey and still ranks promising in GC.
Actually it should be a day without lot of trouble and a little bit more calm as the previous days. That’s what the riders were thinking. But in reality the stage was again very hectic, nervous and fast in the beginning due to lots of attacks. With 158 kilometers and “only” 3 KOM climbs of category 3 it was not a very hard stage, but at the end it’s the riders who make the race hard. And in the Rás there is no real day to rest or to let you hang around in the pack, as you always have to keep the tension and concentration.
Luckily the “joint-venture” of TeamTirol and Stradalli – BIKE AID succeeded after a while to control the race to make it a little more comfortable for their captains as there is a real day of fight waiting for the guys tomorrow.
At the end of the stage Nikodemus Holler could manage to reach the finish again with the other favorites and keep his promising position in the GC with only 10 seconds back of yellow. In the KOM classification he could increase his gap to 18 points to the second position.
“I still feel very good in the climbs and just didn’t want to invest too much today, as tomorrow will be another hard and probably the decisive day for the GC. But it was also important to me, to win another points for the KOM classification, as this jersey is so beautiful and I want to keep that until Dublin”, Nikodemus Holler described his day.
In the morning before the stage there was some bad news the team received: Joschka Beck couldn’t start the stage as he fell sick and got a fever during the night. We wish him all the best!
Niko Holler extended his lead in the King of the Mountains classification at UCI 2.2 An Post Ras today during Stage 6 through Eastern Ireland.
Stage 6 was not as mountainous as the previous several stages, but it still provided opportunities for the climbers of the race to compete for points on several categorized climbs. The race was hard enough to split the field down to only 50 riders, but the fast flat finish meant Stradalli – Bike Aid team chose to focus on protecting the general classification and king of the mountain classification position held by Holler instead of contesting for the win.
This week at An Post Ras has been about riding as strong as possible as a team to prepare for Qinghai Lake, the most prestigious race on the UCI calendar in Asia. Holler has confirmed all season is ability to lead the team in top level UCI races.
Stradalli – Bike Aid riders Joschka Beck, Patrick Lechner, Damien Garcia and Janvier Hadi have been riding solely to protect Holler and give him the opportunity to chase big wins at An Post Ras. It has been a full team effort to shield Holler from the wind and ensure he makes the front group during every stage of racing. It is very difficult to win a leader’s jersey at a race like An Post Ras, but the goal is very achievable.
Holler still remains 10 seconds away from the leader’s jersey and with several hard stages left the team is going to try everything in the book to gain the lead in the general classification and build on the lead in the King of the Mountains classification.
An Post Ras continues tomorrow with Stage 7, 155 kilometers from Dungarvan to Baltinglass. There will be 4 opportunities for King of the Mountain points. 3 category 3 climbs come early in the race, but the big ascent of the day comes at 110 kilometers. Mount Leinster will give the general classification riders the last opportunity to sort out the overall and the Stradalli – Bike Aid team is looking forward to their defense of the King of the Mountains jersey.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 11:21:13 AM EST5EDT
2 new teams have confirmed their entry for the May 22nd start of An Post Rás.
The France Amical Vélo Club Aix-en-Provence and Germany Stradalli - Bike Aid have joined teams from Australia, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and the USA. The line-ups from both teams will raise the quality of racing even higher.
The eight day event is Ireland’s toughest and most prestigious cycling race on the calendar.
France Amical Vélo Club Aix-en-Provence will include: Florent Castellarnau, Grégoire Tarride, Matthieu Converset, Alexis Dulin and Loïck Lebouvier. It is a team loaded with talent including Castellarnau who recently won Monaco – La Turbie. Tarride has picked up stages wins in the Vuelta Madrid and the Tour d’Alsace as well. Dulin has the most number of wins including the Trophée Roger Walkowiak, Circuit de la Drôme and Boucles du Haut-Var.
The Germany Stradalli - Bike Aid team, has been working towards the noble goal of developing young African cyclists. To date, they have raised over €200,000 in donations for social projects which support numerous young athletes.
The team for An Post Rás will include the Rwandans Jean Bosco Nsengimana and Janvier Hadi, as well as the Germans Nikodemus Holler, Timo Schäfer and Joschka Beck, all of whom have had great success to start the season.
Nsengimana took three stages plus the overall in last year’s Tour du Rwanda won a stage in the Tour du Cameroun this season. Hadi won the All African Games Road Race in 2015 while Niko Holler was second in the 2012 German championships. This year he also picked up fifth on a stage of the 2.1 ranked La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.
The An Post Rás will total 1240 kilometres and include 25 climbs. The race will roll out from Dublin Castle on Sunday May 22nd, with the venue chosen to mark the 2016 Easter Rising commemorations.
The world-ranked event will feature stage finishes in Multyfarnham, Charleville, Dingle, Sneem, Clonakilty, Dungarvan, Baltinglass and Skerries.