How it played out: The platforms for attacks were five category three climbs, namely the Hill of Allen km He was caught very soon afterwards, but soon afterwards three others started chasing. After 21 kilometres the chasers were 30 seconds back, with the peloton close by.
They were caught soon afterwards. The main field was 58 seconds behind then. Jeffers realised that it was impossible to catch eight riders solo and sat up. He was caught after several minutes and, in Kilcock after 42 kilometres, the break was two minute and forty seconds ahead. This gap remained constant for a long time afterwards. White took the category 3 climb of Plukhimin km Four kilometres later, at kilometre 92, the gap was two minutes and ten seconds, and this dropped to one minute 57 seconds.
However the peloton backed off slightly and Samuel Tillett Wales Racing Academy — National Team jumped clear of the bunch around kilometre He was two and a half minutes back two kilometres later, with the peloton a further 15 seconds behind.
Two kilometres later the gap was one minute 45 seconds, at on the first crossing of the finish line with two laps to go, the break was just one minute and ten seconds ahead. The finishing circuits were Jeffers was first to the summit, with Potts, Lavery and White next over. Potts and Lavery felt good and both tried to get clear, but they were hauled back.
The increased speed and intensity led to Rounds and Ryan being dropped from the break. Heading onto the final lap, Maximilian Stedman Britain Canyon Eisberg attacked the bunch and caught the dropped duo. However the bunch reeled them in and continued closing on the break. Potts, White and Alderman then attacked the other breakaway riders, leaving them to be caught.
Alderman pushed on alone but was caught and passed by Sjoerd Bax Netherlands Delta Cycling X , who built a nine second lead. Race leader Thiery had started the day just ten seconds ahead of Bugter and tried to get him back. Bugter pushed on and caught his teammate Bax, with the duo then being joined by Ghys. They opened a 15 seconds gap, making Bugter race leader on the road. This increased further to 23 seconds but, with the yellow jersey and Ireland Holdsworth Pro Racing chasing, the gap dropped to eight seconds.
It looked like Thiery might be able to save his race but the leaders accelerated again. Crucially, that bunch was 12 seconds back and Bugter was awarded the overall win by 1 second.
I knew I had good legs for the climb. They chased Varley over the summit and down the descent, then on the flatter roads afterwards, but were unable to reel him in The leader built an advantage of well over a minute over the yellow jersey group, making him race leader on the road and provoking a hard chase behind.
However he was able to hold on for the win, and crossed the line arms aloft. I had 45 seconds on yellow, but all you can do in that situation is give it everything. I was going yellow, I was going for the stage win, I got the stage but maybe not the yellow. We will see tomorrow. So fair play to him, I would say he definitely did the ride of the race. Thiery now has just one day to go and is on the verge of a very important win. From the beginning of the race I have a great team. I lost one teammate yesterday but I never panicked.
I had Lukas Ruegg in the group. For sure the guys from GC tried to attack, but I could follow. In the final I had to let this guy from KTM go. But I had Lukas with me, he could ride with me and we saved the yellow jersey. Ruegg had a strong day in the mountains and retakes the lead in the King of the Mountains classification, Bugter holds the points classification and Dowling takes over from Ronan McLaughlin Westmeath Viner — Caremark — Pactimo as the best county rider.
Stage seven from Carlow to Naas was arguably the toughest of the race, with the kilometre leg through Wicklow dotted with eight climbs. These were Ballythomas Hill category two, km However they were recaptured soon afterwards by the Switzerland National Team of race leader Cyrille Thiery.
However, after about 23 kilometres of racing, 11 riders were 13 seconds clear. These leaders had a 20 second lead in Shllelagh km Ruegg and Castillo Soto were again the first two to the top of the category three climb of Annagh Gap km. After 61 kilometres of racing they were 55 seconds ahead of two chasers, with the peloton one minute and nine seconds back.
Those chasers were caught very soon afterwards. The leaders raced on to the lower slopes of the category three Cronebeg, where they were just 34 seconds ahead. Peter Kibble Wales Racing Academy — National Team then bridged across to the nine leaders, who increased their lead again and were one minute and 38 seconds clear after about 74 kilometres of racing.
The move spelt danger for the yellow jersey as five riders — McDunphy, Stedman, Janssen, Ruegg and Kibble — had all started the day just 35 seconds back. Ruegg beat Castillo Soto to the summit of the category two Garrymore km. The toughest mountains break things up: Starting the first category climb of Drumgoff, the gap had dropped to just over a minute and a half and, within a kilometre, plummeted to just 40 seconds. The race blew apart there, with several of those in the front group, including McCarthy and mountains leader Castillo Soto being dropped.
Ruegg took top points at the summit of Drumgoff km After the summit, those six leaders remained out front. The chasing group containing the race leader Thiery and points leader Luuc Bugter Netherlands Delta Cycling X were 30 seconds back, while another group containing best county rider Ronan McLaughlin Westmeath — Viner — Caremark — Patcimo were a further 15 seconds back.
The yellow jersey group caught the six leaders on the approach to the Wicklow Gap and the yellow and green jersey attacked. However they were reeled in just before the start of the climb. Behind, Dowling attacked the group and was chasing Varley.
Stedman jumped clear and caught Dowling, but the duo were 30 seconds behind Varley. The yellow jersey group was a further ten seconds back. Varley crossed the top of the Wicklow Gap, 33 seconds ahead of Dowling and Stedman and 44 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group.
On the descent, Varley pushed his advantage out over the chasers to 45 seconds. The yellow jersey group was at one minute 2o seconds, making him race leader on the road. He had started the day 45 seconds back, ten seconds behind Stedman and Dowling. After about kilometres of racing, Dowling dropped Stedman. McDunphy took fourth at the front of the yellow jersey group. Heading into Hollywood km The race leader Thiery was doing much of the chasing.
Dowling and Stedman were caught by the yellow jersey group, leaving just one leader. McLaughlin then punctured and needed to change a wheel. With about 15 kilometres left, Varley was holding a one minute 13 second advantage.
This dropped to one minute at the ten kilometre to go banner, with the blue jersey group a further 20 seconds back. The platforms for attacks will be five category three climbs, namely the Hill of Allen, Plukhimin, the Cross of the Cage and the two ascents of the Black Hills on the finishing circuit in Skerries.
He is from a famous cycling family and said he was delighted to land the victory for his father Mick, a former international, his uncle Ciaran, who is now Cycling Ireland president, and others who had helped him during his years racing. Of these, Downing, Lavery, Potts, Castillo Sotto and Ryan were still in front inside the final ten kilometres, but were caught with less than three kilometres to go.
Overnight leader Cyrille Thiery finished in the same time as McKenna and retains his overall lead. He stays ten seconds clear of Bugter, 11 ahead of Shaw and 13 up on Robbe Ghys Belgian National Team , who is also the best young rider. One of them [Shaw] let the wheel go. We just caught them literally on the line. The guy in green [points leader Luuc Bugter] just overtook me in the last five meters, and he got third.
Everybody was so close. Stage six covered These all came in the final 50 kilometres, and were that of Byrnesgrove category 3, km There were several attacks in the early kilometres but it took 18 kilometres for something to stick.
A dozen riders built an eight second lead, prompting too others to set off in pursuit. The gap from break to bunch grew to 20 seconds but, after 21 kilometres, those two chasers were caught and the peloton was 15 seconds back. The gap inched up to 23 seconds as the race reached Cahir km Maximilian Stedman Britain Canyon Eisberg bridged across after 34 kilometres of racing, making it 13 out front entering New Inn km However the bunch was very close and reeled in the break a minute later.
The peloton remained together through Cashel km They were 12 seconds clear with 55 kilometres covered. One kilometres later, the two chasers joined up to make it eight out front. They were 55 seconds back at kilometre 60, and just ahead of the peloton.