World omnium silver medallist Shane Archbold has finished a creditable fourth on the opening stage of the Ras Tour of Ireland today.
The Timaru rider is part of the BikeNZ endurance track squad who are competing extensively on the roads in Europe in preparation for next year’s campaign towards the London Olympics.
Archbold was in the bunch sprint to decide the opening 148km stage from Dunboyne to Portumna west of Dublin, to be second in overall classification for the under-23 honours.
The eight-day race comprises 185 riders from 12 international teams along with a host of British and Irish combinations. The race covers 1247 kilometres with 28 categorised climbs, starting in Dunboyne near Dublin and travelling counter-clockwise around the country to the south and west before the traditional finish at the coastal town of Skerries.
A small group had a small break before the race was controversially stopped after a serious accident.
The break was quickly reeled in leaving a large bunch sprint with Archbold prominent in the stage won by British sprinter Dean Downing in 3:47.53 with the kiwi given the same time.
Teammates Myron Simpson, Aaron Gate and Cameron Karwowski finished in the peloton four seconds back with Marc Ryan in the bunch 41 seconds behind the winner.
Tomorrow’s second stage is 164km to Kilrush.
Meanwhile sprinters Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins enjoyed some success but at a cost in the Grand Prix meet at the Velodrome of Tula south of Moscow today.
Webster finished fifth in the final of the men’s sprint while Dawkins impressed to cruise through to the semifinal of the keirin but was brought down while challenging comfortably for a place in the final. He lost some skin and suffered some bruising but coach Justin Grace said they will wait for their return to Moscow tomorrow to check out if there are any more serious injuries.
Teammate Simon van Velthooven remained in Germany after crashing heavily in a keirin final last week.