American continental squad Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling is delighted with the start to its first overseas foray at the FBD Insurance Rás in Ireland. After the opening two stages the squad holds the King of the Mountains, and points jerseys and also sits pretty on general classification with Jesse Anthony holding second place.
"I'm really excited to be leading the KOM competition," said Anthony after the second stage. "I'd like to be leading in the best young rider contest or in the overall, but this is great! I am feeling really good now and hopefully my form will continue to improve as the week goes on."
The squad's six-time Canadian National Champion Dominique Rollin holds the points jersey heading into tomorrow's 171 kilometre Stage 3. Rollin has had a strong season to date, with National Racing Calendar victories in Roswell and Walterboro in America.
"I feel great," said Rollin. "I am a bit disappointed because I couldn't be in the fight for the win today - I showed myself a bit too much leading out our climber today and everyone was watching me."
Team director Kurt Stockton was also excited by the team's showing in its first race in Europe, but cautioned that there's still many kilometres to cover before the event concludes on Sunday in Skerries.
"There is a reason why this race has not been won by a foreign rider since 1989," noted Stockton. "We know there is a long hard week of racing ahead on roads that will test our riders and equipment.
"We are concentrating on staying focused on the job at hand," he added, "and to making sure the team keeps riding at the front of the field where it can control the race and stay out of trouble."