Former champion Valerio Zamboni (Monaco) led the way as midnight approached on the first day of Race Around Ireland.
The 2011 race winner and multi World Cup champion had completed 191km in his first seven hours of racing for an average speed of 26.5kmh and as Sunday night gave way to Monday morning was approaching Ballymena in County Antrim.
The veteran ultra cyclist was just under 1kmh faster than Henk Verouden of the Netherlands with Brian Fitzpatrick of Ireland third some 10km behind Zamboni.
Iceland’s Eiríkur Ingi Jóhannsson and Joaquin Dominguez of Spain were battling for fourth with Dominguez slightly ahead after seven hours of racing. The sole solo woman competitor Nicole Reist of Switzerland was third fastest of the solo riders holding a steady average speed of over 25kmh heading for the northern coast and the challenges to come in Donegal.
Fastest team in the event over night were the Meath Fireblazers eight-man crew averaging 35.3kmh while the Wild Atlantic Warriors held a tiny lead in a terrific three way scrap for honours among the four-man teams.
The four rider VeloRoos women’s team from Australia were over 75km ahead of the Galway Baybes after half a day of racing with both squads ahead of the record four-women race record.
Team Aldo Racing from Canada enjoyed a comfortable over Team MickTed in the two-rider match while at the tail of the field the inspirational Dan Fallon continued in his bid to become the first recumbent rider to complete Race Around Ireland.
NOTE: All times unofficial and subject to change.