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Trails and Tribulations- 2015 An Post Ras

Yesterday was a significant day in the 2015 An Post Ras. Significant because the organisers expelled not just the race leader, Francesco Reda (Team IDEA) but also the team's DS Alberto Elli.

Reda picked up a rear wheel puncture with 15km to go. He was handed a wheel by one of his teammates and rode away. He shortly pulled up to the team car and requested assistance to re-align the wheel correctly in the drop-outs and to free a stuck chain that wouldn't budge from his 39x12 gear position. This much we know as fact. From here on in versions diverge.

Francesco was holding onto the team car while his wheel was realigned, he didn't deny that. He does, however, deny that he was twice warned by a motorcycle race official for holding onto the car. He also claims that he was in that position for little more than 150m, as opposed to the 1.5km claimed by the race official.

One might be forgiven to think that his team manager at the wheel might not be beyond giving him a tow back to the group, especially as they were travelling uphill at the time. But the truth of the matter is that it was a race appointed driver at the wheel of the Team IDEA team car at the time, a former Irish policeman with only his own reputation and impartiality to protect and no vested interest in Reda's success, or otherwise.

At the end of the day's racing, Reda was DQ'd by the UCI race official. Not a time penalty and a fine, but a straight up DQ. Team IDEA DS Alberto Elli went to the organisers to argue the case for Reda but was similarly given short shrift and was fined and then kicked out of the race himself. One might think that the Irish event organisers don't like their lads being beaten on their home turf at the most prestigious race in their calendar such was the zeal with which they applied the rules.

Now that the driver of the Team IDEA car has given his own statement we're sure that the truth will come out in due course. Was Reda simply hitching a ride or was he genuinely receiving service to his bike?

With Reda expelled and on the way to the airport with Alberto the local riders may have thought that they had the race all sewn up and that the laurels of success were simply theirs for the taking for the rest of the week. Think again. Team IDEA dug deep and answered their critics today in the best way possible- by running the race on the road and taking first place over the line.

Congratulations to Matteo Malucelli on his win today, his first Elite category win. He proves that Team IDEA have strength in depth and it bodes well for the rest of the week. We wish them all the best at the race and in their continued appeal against Monday's disciplinary decision.

STAGE 3 - Stage 3 Stage Result
Tipperary - Bearna 19 May 2015
Issued: 19 May 2015, 16:02

PLNo.NatNameTMTeamTime@
161ITAMalucelli,MatteoIDETeam IDEA 2010 ASD3h58’50" 
270NZLFrame,AlexNZLNEW ZEALAND National Team3h58’50" 
35AUTHofer,AndreasHACHrinkow Advarics Cycling Team3h58’0" 
499IRLHawkins,PeterdnnDOWN Nth Graham Powerhouse Sport3h58’50" 
510NZLGate,AaronSKTAn Post Chain Reaction3h58’50" 
641GBRCuming,MichaelJLTJLT Condor3h58’50" 
726NEDde Man,JaapMMMTeam 3M3h58’50" 
812AUTPostlberger,LukasTIRTirol Cycling Team3h58’50"/td> 
952CANCowan,AlexanderCANCANADA National Team3h58’50" 
1035GBRBarras,TomNPCNFTO3h58’50" 

19 May 2015