Ireland 1: Neo-pro Vandenbergh takes it

Belgian proves his mettle in Cork; wears yellow

First year professional Stijn Vandenbergh (Unibet.com) became the first race leader of the Tour of Ireland in Cork August 22, after surging clear of a 10-man breakaway on the final finishing circuit. The 23-year-old Belgian took victory by 14 seconds from T-Mobile's Aaron Olsen, with Wesley Sulzberger of the Australian AIS team leading home the rest of the break for third.

Glorious sunshine greeted the peloton as it left Kilkenny Castle for the first 174km stage to Cork. After a calm start to proceedings, a ten-man group went clear after 50km. There were no Irish riders in the break, which contained Sulzberger, Olsen, Craig Lewis (Team Slipstream), Gabriel Rasch (Maxbo-Bianchi), Marcus Ljungqvist (CSC), Roger Beuchat (LPR), Valeriy Kobzarenko (Navigators) Glenn Bak (Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn / M. Donnelly) and the Unibet duo of Vandenbergh and Pieter Jacobs.

Hopes of a home victory in the race were dealt a further blow after 78km, when Irish national team leader Nicolas Roche abandoned the race with a saddle sore. The Credit Agricole pro, who had been in great form prior to the event, had made the race one of his goals for the season and was bitterly disappointed. "I have been off the bike for four days before the race and instead of thinking about how I can win today, I'm just worried about finishing," he said at the start.

Murphy & Gunn's Danish rider Glen Bak took on the role of adopted Irishman as he infiltrated the break for Sean Kelly's team and crested the summit of The Vee first. Indeed the Dane looked set to take the King of the Mountains jersey, scoring points on the first ascent of St. Patrick's Hill before a bout of cramp put paid to his efforts on the final climb. With most teams represented in the lead group, the main field crossed the line over 13 minutes down on Vandenbergh at the finish.

"This win means a lot to me, because it's my first victory as a professional, and also because we've had a lot of problems at Unibet this year," Vandenbergh said at the finish. "It's so stupid. We should be allowed to ride the races we want to ride. Now Unibet are stopping sponsorship and I will need a new team."

With two riders in the top 10, Unibet now look in control of the five day race and plan to defend the jersey.

"All of the big teams were represented in the break, so the peloton just let us go," Vandenbergh said. "The first time up the hill, I had problems with my chain. It locked and I nearly stopped. I was surprised that the hill was so steep. On the second time up, it wouldn't go into the 25, so I rode up in a 23.

"I had good legs and I just attacked after the final hill," he added. "We had two guys in the break and Jacobs did a good job for me. I think we will try to defend the jersey now. We have a strong team with Jeremy Hunt and Baden Cooke and we have two guys up on the general classification."

Results, Tour of Ireland stage one - Kilkenny to Cork (174km)

1 Stijn Vandenberg (Bel|Unibet.com) 4:02:03  
2 Aaron Olson (USA|T-Mobile Team) 0:00:14  
3 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS) 0:00:15  
4 Gabriel Rasch (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
5 Pieter Jacobs (Bel|Unibet.com)    
6 Roger Beuchat (Swi|Team L.P.R.)    
7 Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
8 Craig Lewis (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
9 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe|Team CSC)    
10 Glenn Bak DAN Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly 0:00:32  
11 Luis Pasamontes (Spa| Unibet.com) 0:13:15  
12 Matti Breschel (Den|Team CSC)    
13 Alessandro Maserati (Ita|Team L.P.R.) 0:13:32  
14 Charles Dionne (Can|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
15 Matteo Priamo (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
16 Karsten Kroon (Ned|Team CSC)    
17 Boy Van Poppel (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
18 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe|Unibet.com)    
19 Sven Nys (Bel|Rabobank Continental)    
20 Paidi O'Brien (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
21 Kristian House (GBr|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
22 Andy Guptill (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
23 Martijn Keizer (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
24 Martijn Maaskant (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
25 David McCann (Irl|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
26 Toms Veelers (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
27 Thomas Berkhout (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
28 Baden Cooke (Aus|Unibet.com)    
29 Michael Blaudzun (Den|Team CSC)    
30 Samuele Marzoli (Ita|Team L.P.R.)    
31 Borut Bozic (Slo|Team L.P.R.)    
32 Michael Ford (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
33 Sergey Lagutin (Rus|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
34 Daniel Lloyd (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
35 Nazareno Rossi (Swi|Team L.P.R.)    
36 Frank Schleck (Lux|Team CSC)    
37 Marcel Beima (Ned|T-Mobile Team)    
38 Daniel Vaillancourt (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
39 Simon Clarke (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
40 Svein Vold (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
41 Bernhard Eisel (Aut|T-Mobile Team)    
42 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
43 Mike Friedman (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
44 Thomas Ziegler (Ger|T-Mobile Team)    
45 Lasse Bochmann (Den|Team CSC)    
46 Daniel Fleeman (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
47 Dennis Van Winden (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
48 Zakkari Dempster (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
49 Richard Wilkinson (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
50 Moises Aldape Chaves (Mex|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
51 Roberto Traficante (Ita|Team L.P.R.)    
52 Mark Cassidy (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
53 Andy Schleck (Lux|Team CSC)    
54 Patrick McCarty (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
55 Rob Partridge (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
56 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
57 Ian Stannard (GBr|T-Mobile Team)    
58 Anthony Colby (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
59 Ben Day (Aus|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
60 Frantisek Rabon (Cze|T-Mobile Team)    
61 Joachim Bohler (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
62 Danny Pate (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
63 David O'Loughlin (Irl|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
64 Chris Newton (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
65 Glen Chadwick (NZl|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
66 Simon Richardson (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
67 Marco Marcato (Ita|Team L.P.R.)    
68 Stian Sommerseth (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
69 Troels Vinther (Den|Unibet.com)    
70 Stephen Gallagher (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
71 Alexander Kristoff (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
72 Paul Griffin (Irl|Irish National Team)    
73 Brian Keneally (Irl|Irish National Team)    
74 Ryan Bonser (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
75 Francesco Tomei (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
76 Tyler Wren (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
77 Adam Bonser (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
78 Evan Oliphant (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
79 Philip Deignan (Irl|Irish National Team)    
80 Tom Diggle (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
81 Hamish Haynes (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
82 James Millard (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
83 Tony Gibb (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
84 Isaac Speirs (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
85 Timothy Duggan (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
86 Johnnie Walker (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
87 Jeremy Vennell (NZl|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
88 Daniele Colli (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
89 Gene Bates (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
90 Derek Burke (Irl|Irish National Team) 0:14:07  
91 Simon Holt (GBr|Recycling.co.uk) 0:14:16  
92 Dermot Nally (Irl|Irish National Team) 0:14:49  
93 Gert Vanderaerden (Bel|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
94 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare) 0:15:02  
95 Filippo Savini (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
96 Ian MacGregor (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
97 Martyn Irvine (Irl|Irish National Team)    
98 Adam Bergman (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
99 Morgan Fox (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
100 Gordon McCauley (NZl|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing) 0:15:03  
101 Jeremy Hunt (GBr|Unibet.com)    
102 Graham Briggs (GBr|Recycling.co.uk) 0:15:16  
103 Rieno Stofferis (Bel|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly) 0:15:34  
104 Simon Gaywood (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing) 0:15:43  
105 Sven De Weerdt (Bel|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
     
General classification after stage 1    
     
1 Stijn Vandenberg (Bel|Unibet.com) 4:01:50  
2 Aaron Olson (USA|T-Mobile Team) 0:00:21  
3 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS) 0:00:24  
4 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe|Team CSC) 0:00:26  
5 Roger Beuchat (Swi|Team L.P.R.) 0:00:27  
6 Gabriel Rasch (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi) 0:00:28  
7 Pieter Jacobs (Bel|Unibet.com)    
8 Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
9 Craig Lewis (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
10 Glenn Bak DAN Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly 0:00:43  
11 Matti Breschel (Den|Team CSC) 0:13:25  
12 Luis Pasamontes (Spa| Unibet.com) 0:13:28  
13 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe|Unibet.com) 0:13:42  
14 Martijn Maaskant (Ned|Rabobank Continental) 0:13:43  
15 Paidi O'Brien (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly) 0:13:44  
16 Borut Bozic (Slo|Team L.P.R.)    
17 Alessandro Maserati (Ita|Team L.P.R.) 0:13:45  
18 Charles Dionne (Can|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
19 Matteo Priamo (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
20 Karsten Kroon (Ned|Team CSC)    
21 Boy Van Poppel (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
22 Sven Nys (Bel|Rabobank Continental)    
23 Kristian House (GBr|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
24 Andy Guptill (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
25 Martijn Keizer (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
26 David McCann (Irl|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
27 Toms Veelers (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
28 Thomas Berkhout (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
29 Baden Cooke (Aus|Unibet.com)    
30 Michael Blaudzun (Den|Team CSC)    
31 Samuele Marzoli (Ita|Team L.P.R.)    
32 Michael Ford (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
33 Sergey Lagutin (Rus|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
34 Daniel Lloyd (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
35 Nazareno Rossi (Swi|Team L.P.R.)    
36 Frank Schleck (Lux|Team CSC)    
37 Marcel Beima (Ned|T-Mobile Team)    
38 Daniel Vaillancourt (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
39 Simon Clarke (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
40 Svein Vold (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
41 Bernhard Eisel (Aut|T-Mobile Team)    
42 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
43 Mike Friedman (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
44 Thomas Ziegler (Ger|T-Mobile Team)    
45 Lasse Bochmann (Den|Team CSC)    
46 Daniel Fleeman (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
47 Dennis Van Winden (Ned|Rabobank Continental)    
48 Zakkari Dempster (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
49 Richard Wilkinson (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
50 Moises Aldape Chaves (Mex|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
51 Roberto Traficante (Ita|Team L.P.R.)    
52 Mark Cassidy (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
53 Andy Schleck (Lux|Team CSC)    
54 Patrick McCarty (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
55 Rob Partridge (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
56 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
57 Ian Stannard (GBr|T-Mobile Team)    
58 Anthony Colby (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
59 Ben Day (Aus|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
60 Frantisek Rabon (Cze|T-Mobile Team)    
61 Joachim Bohler (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
62 Danny Pate (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
63 David O'Loughlin (Irl|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
64 Chris Newton (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
65 Glen Chadwick (NZl|Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)    
66 Simon Richardson (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
67 Marco Marcato (Ita|Team L.P.R.)    
68 Stian Sommerseth (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
69 Troels Vinther (Den|Unibet.com)    
70 Stephen Gallagher (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
71 Alexander Kristoff (Nor|Team Maxbo Bianchi)    
72 Paul Griffin (Irl|Irish National Team)    
73 Brian Keneally (Irl|Irish National Team)    
74 Ryan Bonser (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
75 Francesco Tomei (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
76 Tyler Wren (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
77 Adam Bonser (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
78 Evan Oliphant (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
79 Philip Deignan (Irl|Irish National Team)    
80 Tom Diggle (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)    
81 Hamish Haynes (GBr|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
82 James Millard (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
83 Tony Gibb (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing)    
84 Isaac Speirs (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
85 Timothy Duggan (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
86 Johnnie Walker (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
87 Jeremy Vennell (NZl|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
88 Daniele Colli (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
89 Gene Bates (Aus|South Australia.com/AIS)    
90 Derek Burke (Irl|Irish National Team) 0:14:20  
91 Simon Holt (GBr|Recycling.co.uk) 0:14:29  
92 Dermot Nally (Irl|Irish National Team) 0:15:02  
93 Gert Vanderaerden (Bel|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    
94 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare) 0:15:15  
95 Filippo Savini (Ita|Ceramica Panaria/Navigare)    
96 Ian MacGregor (USA|Team Slipstream pb Chipotle)    
97 Martyn Irvine (Irl|Irish National Team)    
98 Adam Bergman (USA|Colavita/Sutter Home pb Cooking Light)    
99 Morgan Fox (Irl|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly)    
100 Gordon McCauley (NZl|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing) 0:15:16  
101 Jeremy Hunt (GBr|Unibet.com)    
102 Graham Briggs (GBr|Recycling.co.uk) 0:15:29  
103 Rieno Stofferis (Bel|Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn/M. Donnelly/Sean Kelly) 0:15:47  
104 Simon Gaywood (GBr|Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles Racing) 0:15:56  
105 Sven De Weerdt (Bel|DFL/Cyclingnews/Litespeed)    

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