Ryan Sherlock Polygon Sweetnice was in yellow going into the last stage with a comfortable buffer of 1;10” on his wife Mel Splath and 2 minutes on Eoin Morton UCD.
The ladies got 5minutes handicap on the Scrath men with the A3’s at 2minutes.
After lap one the gap to the A3’s was only 30” and this is when the race went pear shaped for Sherlock, an attack from Galway Bay duo Darach Behan and Derek Joyce and Brian Martin Seven Springs saw them join the A3 group followed by another attack from Richard Hooton Visit Nenagh, Mark Perry Dirt wheel cycles and Sean Mc Kenna UCD, with Padraig Marrey Western Lakes CC in between.
When the 6 scratch men got to the front of the A3 group the gap to the ladies disappeared rapidly and the gap back to the yellow jersey widened.
Up front a combined effort by some strong juniors and the 6 mentioned opening up a 3minute gap by lap end of lap 4 of 8 of the 15k circuit.
Behind race leader Sherlock kept the pace reasonable but wasn’t fast enough to eat into the leaders. On lap 5 attacks up front created a new breakaway group with Mark Perry Dirtwheels, Cale Coen Castlebar, Darach Behan & Derek Joyce Galway Bay, Sean Mc Kenna UCD, Keith O Connell Westport Covey, Danny Bruton NRPT, Chris Jeuken Black Rose racing , Alan Clogher TC Racing and Mark Kelly Western Lakes CC this group worked very well together opening a big gap on the rest of the A3 bunch containing Mel Splath the green jersey and Amy Brice the mountains jersey with Sherlock’s Group further back.
By the end of lap 6 the gap to the leaders was nearly 5minutes on the Sherlock group with the A3’s now only ambling along.
On Lap 7 Sherlock’s group caught the A3 bunch but was still 4.45 down on the Mark Perry group who looked odds on favourite to take one of his biggest wins to date, the GC was going to get a full overhaul as Coen Castlebar was only a handful of seconds behind Perry and Mark Kelly Western Lakes also up in the frame.
On the final lap Sherlock put in a huge effort dragging the bunch at speed cutting the gap down by 2minutes by the finish line leaving the final GC up in the air until the final sums were totted up. Mark Perry had just done enough to take yellow by a mere 5seconds with Sherlock second and young Cale Coen Castlebar filling the podium in third @23”.
In the sprint for the stage the wiley Derek Joyce Galway Bay had a few bike lengths to spare on Sean Mc Kenna UCD after the 2 of them escaped the rest of their breakaway group. Danny Bruton of the NRPT won the gallop for third.
Mel Splath Team Tibco took both the mountains and points jerseys with Western Lakes CC winning the team prize overall.
A2 Kieran O Grady PWR@Toachim house
A3 James Mc Greevy Westport Covey
Junior Darragh Freeley Donamon
lady Amy Brice DID Electrical.
Lap 1 Mel Splath Team TIBCO
Lap 2 Liam Corcoran Castlebar CC
Lap3 Keith O Connell Westport Covey
Western Lakes CC would like to take all the volunteers that helped to keep the race safe, the order of Malta, The Gardai and all the cycling Ireland officials.
Main sponsor of the event was Marrey bikes with Petal and buds and Inch’s bar also supporting.
On August 31st and September 1st Western Lakes CC will promote its final race of the year The Bog week 2 day in Tullycross in the heart of beautiful Connemara. See www.westernlakescc.com for details.