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The opening stage of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan was won in convincing fashion by Damien Shaw of the AquaBlue outfit based in Cork. Damien was by far the most active rider of the 193 competitors who went to the start line in Killorglin this afternoon. He was part of an eight man group who stole clear of the maim field shortly before the category two climb at Knocknaboul Cross which was the mid point of the 105kms stage.
Also sharing the pace upfront were Silvan Buis West Frisia, Michael Fitzgerald Fermoy CC, Nick Pilborough SpinRotor-Primaleurope, Joe Fenlon AquaBlue, Matthew Higgins Felt Colborne Hargroves, Simon Ryan Visit Nenagh, Mike Ashurst Biketreks and Ryan Mullen of the under 23 Irish National team. This group worked in unison and built a maximum of advantage of close on two minutes. This caused the break to fracture with Mullen, Pilborough and Ryan losing contact.
The 28-year-old Shaw from Mullingar a late convert to cycling distanced himself from the remainder of the group inside the last 10kms to claim the stage and the overall lead on day one of the four stage event which heads to Kemare tomorrow (Sunday).
1 D. Shaw (Aquablue) 2hrs,24mins45secs;
2 S. Buis ia (West Frisia), @33secs;
3 J. Fenlon (Aquablue) @35;
4 M. Ashurst (Biketreks); @36′
5 M. Fitzgerald (Fermoy CC), sametime;
6 M. Higgins (Felt Colbornes), st.
King of Hills-Shaw
Under-23 T. Stockdale (Primal Europe
A2 Category-E. Morton (UCD).