Foyle Cycling Club’s Finn Crockett wins final stage as Corkery claims overall Rás Tailteann title
Foyle CC, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2023, made the decision to mark the anniversary year by entering their first ever local team in the event and the move paid on in spectacular style with Crockett’s sprint victory capping a remarkable display which culminated in the Derry club lifting the 'Best County Team' award.
Dillon Corkery of Team Ireland emerged the overall Rás Tailteann winner, but day five belonged to Foyle with Crockett fastest in a breakaway sprint victory after 133.4km of racing at the end of the the FBD Insurance sponsored stage. Second over the line was Jack Crook of UK: Trek Richardson followed by Matthew Fox of Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli.
It was a sensational day for the general classification as Corkery of Team Ireland who came home fifth on the final day gained more than two minutes on the Bective Stud yellow jersey holder, Conor McGoldrick of UK: Trek Richardson. That time was enough to see Corkery overtake McGoldrick and claim overall victory today followed by Cormac McGeough of US: Good Guys Racing in second with McGoldrick third.
McGoldrick did have the consolation of claiming the Cycling Ireland King of the Hills classification, while the City Break Apartments points classification was won by Matthew Fox of Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli following his placing on Sunday. JB Murphy of Cycling Leinster was first county rider home on the final day and winner of the Festina County Rider award. Conn McDunphy (Cycling Leinster) won the Sport Ireland county rider jersey with Aaron Wade (Team Ireland) winning the Spin
After a ceremonial start in Monaghan town centre, the race commenced and saw many attacks within the first 10km. A dangerous move of 11 riders went clear after 20km of racing which featured Corkery, Cormac McGeough of Good Guys Racing and Wade who all started the final stage within 20 seconds of the race lead. The gap continued to build, going out to over three minutes as the leaders entered Blackrock for the final 45km of racing.
Attacks were non-stop in the lead group as five riders went clear with 25km of racing remaining. This group included Foyle’s Crockett, Jack Crook (UK: Trek Richardson), Matthew Fox (UK: Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli), Ben Chilton (UK: Halesowen Academy) and Corkery. They extended their advantage rapidly
holding more than 2 minutes as the race entered Blackrock for the final time.
In the final 200m, Foyle’s Crockett proved strongest as he blasted to a first Rás stage victory for the Derry club, just pipping Crook in second, and Fox in third.
Importantly, Corkery was fifth on the day and the 2 minutes gained over the Bective Stud yellow jersey wearer McGoldrick proved enough to make him overall Rás Tailteann winner, a victory even more remarkable as it his follows Daire Feeley’s Irish victory in 2022 which was the first time an Irish rider won the race in 14 years.