Here’s the report from stage 3 courtesy of Amy-Norah Farrell.
Results of the top 10 are as follows;
1 Darragh Zaidan Adamstown CC 2hr34.08s
2 Mark Reilly LCRC s/t
3 John Priest LCRC +31s
4 Colm Bracken Murphy Survey s/t
5 Dave O’Reilly SDCC s/t
6 Marc Gater Waterford Racing s/t
7 Phillipe Bourdarins Orwell CC s/t
8 Marc O’Callaghan Limerick CC s/t
9 Hugh Byrne SERC s/t
10 Ben Dunne Tullamore s/t
1 Mark Reilly LCRC 5h58.09s
2 Robin Seymour Epic MTB/Expert +19s
3 Paul Kinch Slipstream +28s
4 Marc Gater Waterford Racing +42s
5 Billy Purcell Usher IRC +44s
6 Ciaran Kelly Team Bikeworx +51s
7 Justus Ossege Team Bike-Online +55s
8 Darragh Zaidan Adamstown CC s/t
9 Marc McGavley Mad MTB +1m05s
10 John O’Shea Carlow RCC +1m23s
LCRC’s Mark Reilly will be wearing the yellow jersey into the final stage of the Gorey 3-Day.
Reilly finished second in the stage, crossing the line beside Darragh Zaidan (Adamstown CC) having gone clear of the main bunch on the last lap.
The third stage comprised of four laps of the Craanford-Camolin-Gorey circuit. Robert Seymour (Epic MTB/Expert) started the stage in the yellow jersey, with Peter Kirwan (LCRC) in the KOM jersey & Ciaran Kelly (Team Bikeworx) in the Points jersey, having shown blistering pace in the early morning TT, finishing 30 seconds ahead of nearest rival Seymour.
The race got underway with 153 starters, and it wasn’t long before the attacks started. Riders tried in vain to get away from the main field. The first time up Craanford, the bunch stayed together. One rider was successful is getting 200 metres ahead of the bunch on the road to Camolin, but as the bunch descended into the small village, everyone was back together and it was all to play for again.
Four riders held a slight advantage over the bunch, but Seymour was not ready to lose his yellow jersey just yet, and put in some hard work at the front of the bunch to see the riders swallowed up before too long.
Small groups of riders continued to try & pull out a lead on the peloton, but the bunch never let anyone more than 22 seconds up the road.
The weather was set to change, and as the storm clouds moved in, the bunch was back together and fighting its way up Craanford once again. Driving rain made the roads slippy and it wasn’t long before a split in the group of 20 metres became a cause for concern for riders left behind. The descent into Camolin once again saw the bunch come back together. Early race favourite Ciaran Kelly was to suffer some bad luck, breaking spokes on his wheel. After a quick wheel change, he was fighting his way back through the cavalcade and back into the bunch.
It was at this point that the first significant break of the day occurred. Simon Twomey (Cork County CC), Sean O’Callaghan (Naas CC) and Darragh Zaidan broke clear of the main field. 10 minutes later,and Zaidan and Twomey held a 15second advantage, while O’Callaghan was now hovering ahead of the bunch before being absorbed by the charging bunch.
The gap would continue to increase, eventually making its way up to 55s. Reilly took his chance to jump now, and starting to reel in the break on his own. Zaidan continued to ride hard, losing touch with Twomey and ploughing on on his own. Reilly caught Twomey and the pair worked together, before Reilly’s hard riding saw him splitting from Twomey and going in pursuit of Zaidan. In the final kilometres, Reilly caught up to Zaidan and the pair worked together to hold their 30 second advantage over the bunch, who were now organised and starting to close the gap ever so slightly.
With the line in sight, Zaidan and Reilly went wheel to wheel, sprinting hard and finishing almost side by side, Zaidan the eventual victor and Reilly riding himself into the yellow jersey.
The bunch screamed in 31 seconds later, with John Priest (LCRC) taking third place.
19 riders withdrew during the race, the constant speed and harsh weather causing all sorts of difficulties.
Reilly will now have to defend his yellow jersey in tomorrow’s final stage back to Blessington, his closest rival Seymour just 19 seconds behind. The top eight are within one minute of each other, making for an interesting race.
Zaidan holds the green points jersey & Peter Kirwan retains the polka dot jersey.