Great shot from stage 7 of the bunch behind!
Yesterday he was in the day’s breakaway until the very last, and even then his never say die attitude saw him make a last chance gasp for victory alone. We caught up with Morgan Smith as he continues on with the 2015 An Post Ras in Ireland.
Yesterday saw Morgan Smith line up with a breakaway opportunity in mind. He got his chance on the 155.9km stage from Tipperary to Beama and didn’t look back. “It did take a while but we were still out there for a fair haul around a 100km I think,” Morgan told RoadCycling. In fact it took more than 50km before Morgan’s move finally went clear.
Interestingly one of the characteristics that has become somewhat typical of the great Irish race, is that the An Post Ras has this reputation of being extremely aggressive and unpredictable. We asked Morgan about that – as a number of riders had tried and failed to go clear before he finally made it – about what it’s like being in a peloton that’s so . . . . unstable? “Early on it’s hectic with everyone trying to get away. It reminds me of [Tour of] Southland just more depth,” Morgan explained. “One thing here are the cats eyes. They make being in the bunch that bit more interesting.”
Being in the break, Morgan was blessed not just with good timing in getting into the right move, but also with getting into the move with the right people. Morgan was in the company of Louth Team Asea’s Roger Aiken, Anthony Walsh and Sean McKenna of CorkAquaBlue, Jimmy Janssens of Team 3M and Marc Potts of Down Nth Powerhouse Sport. “The boys went pretty hard early and we kept working together well. One guy in particular was very strong,” Morgan said. “Towards the end we started attacking but I think the long straight highway from about 20kms out was against us.”
With the long straight highway came headwinds that certainly did not help the break’s cause. But Morgan wasn’t done as he opted to attack one last time. “My head was on the job. I thought if we could get to the 10km mark 1-1.30mins up we would go close. You always hope. You have to, 1/6 is better than 1/200,” he told us. Is anyone else hearing a bit of a Voigt-like resemblance?
While Morgan’s last ditch move didn’t last, with himself and the breakaway group being caught 2km out from the finish it is a good sign of things to come, with Morgan’s aim for the rest of the race being crystal clear. “I’m here to have a crack,” he said. “So [I’ll] keep trying to be in the right place at the right time.”
Stay tuned for more from Morgan as the An Post Ras continues. You can check out our full race report from stage 3 of An Post Ras here.
Ed Wright – Roadcycling
Stage 1 – Morgan SmithMorgan Smith took third place in the opening prologue time trial, photo providedJan 28th, ’15. In brand new team colours for 2015, Morgan Smith rode to a brilliant third place in the opening prologue time trial of the NZCT Cycle Classic. Afterwards the Subaru Albion rider took time out to speak to RoadCycling about the ride and the road to here.
After his 2014 season with Charter Mason, 2015 has brought a new opportunity with Subaru Albion, and as Morgan told us it’s a chance he’s looking forward to. “Subaru Albion picked me up and I’m very happy to be here. The opportunities that they offer with their schedule are great and hopefully I can make the most of the ones I get,” Morgan told RoadCycling. “Also I think I can help the team develop and take the next step. This is my first outing with them and the team culture is great. The belief the boys had in me today was awesome.”
On the first day of his first outing Morgan has certainly made a big impression. Morgan’s third place finish in the prologue put him just 10 seconds behind stage winner Joseph Cooper and one tenth of a second behind Cooper’s teammate Fraser Gough. It was a great ride from Morgan, with there being another two seconds of daylight to fourth placed Daniel Barry. But as he explains to us, his journey to the podium today was pretty straightforward really. “With today being so short there wasn’t much tactics involved, just tried to go as hard as I could. For me the start and mostly the turn would be where it would be won or lost. I went out hard and coming into the turn I thought I was going ok. I chopped down the gears but still creeped out of it,” he said.
The prologue was the big goal for Smith in this year’s race and with mission accomplished it’s now a case of . . . . what next? “I came here after a good result in the prologue so much so that it doesn’t seem that big of a deal now that it happened,” Morgan admitted. “Today was the key target for me. For the rest of the week we will just wait and see what happens. There are still 5 days and it can get nasty here. Only time will tell!”
Stay tuned for more updates from the New Zealand Cycle Classic. Check out our race report from today’s stage.
CharterMason Drapac Development Team (CMDDT) will seek to build on the two stage wins the team achieved at the recent Tour of the Murray as they travel south across Bass Straight for the 2013 Tour of Tasmania.
While super sprinter and St Kilda CC member Shannon Johnson will take a well deserved rest (hello hills, goodbye sprinters!), St Kilda CC will still be well represented with 2012 St Kilda CC club champion Andy Naylor joining the team as soigneur and Nick Bensley set to augment the regular riders of the CMDDT squad of Matthew Clark, Sam Crome, Nicholas Katsonis and Jason Spencer. Joining the team again following a powerful performance at the Tour of Murray is Morgan Smith (NZ). Michael Torckler (NZ) joins the team fresh off winning the KOM jersey at the Tour of Utah in the USA, along with Taylor Gunman (NZ) who has come back from racing in Belgium to join the team for Tour of Tasmania.
See more on original article from Peloton Cafe