Dutch Rider Takes Magenta Jersey from Teammate Hoogland
Manon de Boer of NWVG-uplus took the lead of Rás na mBan in dramatic fashion this morning, winning the Stage 5 Time Trial around Kilkenny Castle by just 2.38 seconds ahead of Team Noord Holland’s Renée van Hout, with Stage 2 winner Tiffany Keep third at 2.40 seconds.
The Dutch Elite National Time Trial Champion, the highest category in The Netherlands for riders without a professional contract, blasted around the technical 2.5 kilometre circuit in just 3 minutes and 31 seconds, at a blistering average speed of 42.49 km/h.
Overall leader going into Stage 5, Rixt Hoogland, also of NWVG-uplus, finished seventh on the stage, just over six seconds down on her teammate. Hoogland remains in the lead of the Cycling Ireland Points Classification with one stage remaining, with no points on offer in this morning’s time trial.
Caoimhe O’Brien of Team Ireland put in another impressive performance to finish the best of the Irish on the stage in eighth place, while Team Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei’s Linda Kelly retained the lead of the Kilkenny County Council Best Irish Rider Classification with an impressive ninth place finish.
Van Hout’s second place finish further cemented her lead in the Sport Ireland Best Young Rider Classification with just one stage remaining.
The action resumes this afternoon with the final Stage 6 criterium circuit race around Kilkenny City Centre, where new magenta jersey De Boer will look to defend her slender lead to secure overall Rás na mBan victory.