Lambert credits improving Great Britain under 23 riders after An Post Rás win

Lambert credits improving Great Britain under 23 riders after An Post Rás win

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Owain Doull, Sam Harrison, Ali Slater and Simon Yates took the honours after Joe Kelly was forced to withdraw through illness after stage six.

In addition to team success, Doull added the points jersey and Yates the under 23 classification in the eight-stage race.

The results maintain the group’s promising form on the road in 2013 and Lambert is encouraged by the progress he is witnessing.

“Overall they rode exceptionally well to get those two jerseys and to win the overall team classification, it’s very encouraging,” Lambert said.

“It’s a bit disappointing we didn’t get someone up their overall [in the general classification] but that was lost early on in the race. They adapted then to ride to their strengths and win what we eventually did.”

Currently fourth in the UCI under 23 Nations’ Cup, Great Britain recorded a podium finish through world points race champion Yates with third in April’s La Cote Picarde.

That result was shortly followed by Doull taking fourth in the ZLM Tour before the Welshman added a second place on stage six in Ireland on his way to the points jersey, which Lambert believes is another sign of the advancements being made.

“They rode collectively very well for the rest of the week and won the team prize in the end. They showed great togetherness and coordination in the team to do that.”

Keith Lambert

“There’s that consistency there this year, the way they are riding together,” Lambert said.

“The first year lads last year have made massive strides this year already and obviously Simon Yates is a top quality rider for his age group. Things in general have moved on really well from last year. I’m very pleased with the way they are performing.”

With hopes of victory in the general classification all but over after stage six and the team reduced to four following the loss of Kelly, a galvanised Great Britain group took the initiative in the team competition on stage seven and extended the margin on the final day.

“It’s the first time most of them have ridden eight days and there was good opposition - continental teams and national teams.

“They were only five man teams and it’s surprising what difference that extra man makes. We lost Joe Kelly, who was riding well, to sickness at the start of stage five. He managed to get through that stage but the following day he had to withdraw.

“So we were down to four and Sam [Harrison] was under the weather. For them to do that under those circumstances was very commendable.

“They rode collectively very well for the rest of the week and won the team prize in the end. They showed great togetherness and coordination in the team to do that.”

Great Britain will next travel to Germany to the Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt from 8-15 June to compete over eight stages.

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