Evan helps Scotland to 2nd

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Capital cyclist Evan Oliphant finished as he had started when he produced a strong performance in the concluding stage of the eight-day An Post Ras in Ireland over 145 kilometres from Naas to Skerries, writes COLIN RENTON.

Riding for the Team Scotland squad, the 31-year-old had been sixth after the opening stage before dropping out of overall contention after losing more than four minutes on stage two. However, he performed solidly throughout the rest of the week, posting a string of top-20 finishes.

On the last day, his Scotland colleagues Robbie Hassan, Ben Greenwood and Alex Coutts all featured at the head of the field at various times, but it was again Oliphant who posted the best result, crossing the line in ninth after the stage was decided by a bunch sprint which was won by the Irishman Sam Bennett.

Greenwood, an Englishman based in Fife who will qualify for Scotland on residential grounds for the Commonwealth Games next year, was the top Scotland rider overall, finishing in 12th place, 1 minute 47 seconds down on winner Marcin Bialoblocki, while Oliphant ended the week in 26th spot overall. The Scotland team finished in 
second place behind Great Britain in the international team category.