The Irish News Archive: July 13 1998: Belgian Tom Steels takes Tour stage honours in Phoenix Park, Dublin

Tom Steels of Belgium outsprints the rest of the peloton in Dublin yesterday to win the first stage of this year’s Tour de France
The Irish News Archive

GERMAN Erik Zabel will today aim to take the yellow jersey from Tour leader Chris Boardman when the Irish hosting of the race climaxes in Cork. Zabel was pipped at the finish line in yesterday’s first stage which started in Dublin.

Belgian Tom Steels took the stage honours as the riders came into the finish at Phoenix Park on what proved to be a disastrous day for Mario Cipollini’s Saeco team.

The Italian playboy and two team-mates were involved in a crash on entrance to Phoenix Park, allowing an unpredicted rider to win the stage. Mapei team member Steels, 26, won the stage in a time of four hours 29 minutes and 58 seconds.

Chris Boardman completed the stage at the same time coming over the line in 39th place and holds onto the yellow jersey.

Boardman admitted afterwards he felt nervous at the start of the stage but found conditions suited his aim to remain at the forefront of the pack.

“I was very nervous but I kept well placed going over the Wicklow Gap and with all those people there it was fantastic” said Boardman.


FINBAR McConnell turned from goal-stopper to goal-grabber with dramatic effect, but could do nothing to prevent Newtownstewart from crashing out of the Tyrone Intermediate Championship 2-13 to 3-6 in an extra-time thriller.

Playing at midfield, the Tyrone keeper cracked home two spectacular goals, and thought he had done enough to send his side through to the semifinals at the second attempt, but Moy had their own goal hero.

Karl McQuaid grabbed a sensational equaliser in the final minute of normal time, and hammered home a second in extra-time to clinch his sides passage at the end of a two and a half hour epic.

Moy scorers: K McQuaid 2-1, R Mellon 0-5, P Holmes, B O’Neill, P Jordan 0-2 each, B Kelly 0-1.

Newtownstewart scorers: F McConnell 2-0, D Patton 1-1, S McConnell 0-3, A Morris, M McConomy 0-1 each.


MARK Allen from Ballymena/Antrim has been added to the Irish Junior team for the World Track and Field Championships.

He passed the javelin qualifying distance at the BLOE championships in Tullamore on Saturday with a 66.45 metre throw.


SLIGO Rovers pre-season plans have been plunged into turmoil following the burning of the clubs dressing rooms complex at the show grounds writes Michael McGarry.

Vandals who entered the grounds sometime between 5am and 6am yesterday morning set fire to the newly renovated dressing rooms which were completely gutted.

Thousands of pounds of damage was caused including a newly-purchased ride-on lawn mower.


THE hurling fraternity of Galway could hardly have expected what materialised at Hyde Park on Saturday night.

Clear favourites to win the Connacht title the Galway men encountered a passionate and resourceful Roscommon side who were intent on dismissing their critics and claiming the title as their own.

Whilst not being able to do the latter, going down Galway 2-27 to 3-13, the critics have been well silenced and no doubt next season they will view the Roscommon men with a greater level of respect.

Brian Boyle and Colin Kelly with personal tallies of 1-5 and 1-4 respectively were best for Roscommon.

Their goals, especially Kelly’s from a 21-yard free in the second half, helped to sustain his team’s hope of victory.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access