DAVID BALLERINI OF Italy claimed victory, while Austria Tirol Cycling’s Clemens Fankhauser was crowned overall champion in the final stage of An Post Rás today.
Ballerini was involved in a seven-man breakaway, which also included Irish county rider Chris Reilly (Louth South), that led for most of the final stage going into Skerries, with the Italian ultimately finishing 38 seconds ahead of nearest rivals Daniel Klemme (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) and Pierrick Naud (Canadian National Team).
Double stage winner Patrick Bevin (New Zealand National Team) won the points classification, as Markus Eibegger (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) earned the King of the Mountains jersey.
Alex Peters (Britain Madison Genesis) was named the best Under-23 rider, while Damien Shaw was confirmed as the best county rider.
Fankhauser, the newly crowned Rás champion, described the triumph as the biggest achievement of his career.
“I am shocked,” he said. “It’s amazing to win this race. It’s been a really tough eight days but it’s something I’ll always remember. This is the best day of my career for sure. This country is amazing and the people are very special. I am honoured to be crowned Rás champion.”