DOMINIQUE ROLLIN WINS SECOND STAGE OF FBD INSURANCE RAS FOR KODAK GALLERY PRO CYCLING TEAM
Derry, Northern Ireland (May 25, 2007) The first appearance of the FBD Insurance Ras in Northern Ireland since 1987, saw Dominique Rollin of the Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company win in a crushing fashion in historic downtown Derry. The victory, Rollin’s second in the Ras, tightened his grip on the green points leader jersey and moved him up to 5th in the general classification, 40 seconds back. Teammate, Jesse Anthony remains in 4th place just 36 seconds out of the lead.
Stage 6 was the shortest stage of the 2007 Ras, covering just 60 miles. The combination of rolling roads and a strong tailwind as the race turned south along the coast from Buncrana to Derry resulted in a total stage time of just 2:12 and an average speed of 27mph. After the evening meal, several racers were overheard commenting that they felt as though they had had a rest day.
For many racers though, the stage felt anything like a rest day. After a bit of confusion on the course during the neutral roll-out, riders set off under welcomed sunny skies. As in previous stages, the attacks began immediately. Having relinquished the yellow race leader’s jersey on the previous stage, the Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team was now free to also relinquish the responsibility of defending it. While riding at the front of the field controlling and launching repeated attacks, a couple of individual riders slipped off the front and were joined by two pairs of two. Rollin bridged to the group and off they went up the road.
As the breakaway sped towards Derry for a dicey finishing lap on the greasy, rain soaked city streets, Rollin began trying to break the will of the other riders in his group. One after the other, Rollin launched a series of five separate attacks. The fifth effort succeeded in opening a gap. Behind, the remnants of the main field chased furiously trying to limit the time gap. Their efforts proved too little too late.
Inside of 500 meters to the finish one of Rollin’s pursers slipped out on a corner and fell to the pavement. The crash cascaded, bringing several riders to the ground. Showcasing his strong bike handling skills and the traction of his Michelin Pro2 Race tires, Rollin sped through the final 90-degree left hand turn and onto a 150 meter, 10% climb to the line.
While other racers stood, twisted and flailed on their bikes to translate every last watt of energy to the wheels, Rollin stayed seated for much of the climb and muscled his way to the line at a pace that left the others in his wake. One veteran Ras photographer observed after the stage, “That was a vulgar display of power - there was no pain whatsoever on his face. He really seems to be enjoying this race.”
Team director, Kurt Stockton was also impressed with Rollin’s win and optimistic about the team’s prospects for reclaiming yellow jersey, “Dom rode a great race today. He showed that he is one of the strong men of the Ras and we’re very excited about his two stage wins! We’re focused now on the two remaining stages. Jesse, Dom and Mark are all within striking distance and there is a lot of racing left before we return to Dublin on Sunday.”
The Ras continues with the 6th stage on Saturday, traveling from Derry to Newcastle on the eastern coast of Northern Ireland.