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Cav’ pours an Irish triple

Alexander Kristoff followed last year’s successful script and launched an early sprint with 350 meters to go, but Mark Cavendish, as he continues to do with his blossoming career, is following his own plan. At stage 3 of the Tour of Ireland from Ballinrobe to Galway, that plan was simple: win. Cavendish was one of many riders to go down on slick tarmac just over the top of the final categorized climb, but Columbia put him back into the front group and wound it up in the closing kilometers to 70kph.

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Cavendish makes it three.

Cavendish makes it three.

Photo: Pete Goding

Alexander Kristoff followed last year’s successful script and launched an early sprint with 350 meters to go, but Mark Cavendish, as he continues to do with his blossoming career, is following his own plan. At stage 3 of the Tour of Ireland from Ballinrobe to Galway, that plan was simple: win.

Cavendish was one of many riders to go down on slick tarmac just over the top of the final categorized climb, but Columbia put him back into the front group and wound it up in the closing kilometers to 70kph.

The dead-flat run-in along Galway Bay featured a slight chicane with about 350 meters to go. It was there where last year Edvald Boassan Hagen — now on Columbia but then a teammate of Kristoff — launched a surprise long-range sprint that stuck for the victory. This year, Kristoff tried the same.

Columbia patrols at the front.

Columbia patrols at the front.

Photo: Pete Goding

“I started a little bit early, trying to surprise [Cavendish], but I couldn’t hold the pace all the way to the finish,” said Kristof, who also went down in the crash over the last climb. “Last year Edwald managed to do it. I couldn’t, but it’s all right to try.”

Kristoff hung on for fourth in the stage behind Bernardo Riccio (Tinkoff) and Julian Dean (Garmin-Chiptole), thereby retaining the points jersey.

With road rash on his hip and down his leg, Cavendish wasn’t exactly chipper at the finish. As he has all week, the stocky sprinter attributed his win largely to the efforts of his team, which controlled the race all day.

In the closing kilometer it was Columbia’s Canadian Michael Barry, fresh off his ninth place Olympic finish, selling out for his man Cavendish, following a fierce pull at the front by Dean’s teammate Magnus Backstedt.

With two more stages remaining, Cavendish dismissed suggestions that he could carry the yellow all the way to the race’s end in Cork on Sunday.

Cavendish seems to enjoy his time in yellow.

Cavendish seems to enjoy his time in yellow.

Photo: Pete Goding

“No, my form’s not good enough,” he said. “My hip is sore. Hopefully I’m okay tomorrow.”

Early aggressions
The day got off to an active start with numerous small groups darting off the front, only to be quickly retrieved. A light mist dampened followed the race on and off for most of the day, which took riders over more tight, winding roads. Race radio crackled numerous times with warnings to watch out for sheep on the road.

Before the first of four categorized climbs, two men managed to get clear: Kieran Page (Pezula) and Kurt Hovelijnck (Topsport Vlaanderen). They worked well together to build a maximum advantage of more than five minutes.

Hovelijnck pulled over to the side of the road for a nature break at about 90km into the 200km stage, and was later reabsorbed by the field. Up ahead, Page soldiered on over narrow and rough chip-sealed roads as the air turned wet, and the rolling roads gave way to steep mountainsides punctuated by waterfalls and scores of nimble-footed sheep. He kept his lead up through the rain and over the second climb of the day, but gave up the ghost at 135km.

Racing in Ireland offers its own unique character.

Racing in Ireland offers its own unique character.

Photo: Pete Goding

“It was lovely weather, yeah? For a guy who’s been living in the south of France for three years it was exactly what I wanted to see,” Page joked at the finish, where he finished more than six minutes behind Cavendish.

Page’s Irish Pezula squad is folding at year’s end, and the riders are clearly motivated to make an impression. On Thursday Pezula’s Fredrik Ericsson spent more than three hours off the front alone.

“We were already in the limelight being an Irish team in the Irish national tour,” Page said. “And we’ve got to step up as we’re all looking for jobs. We’ve got to make the best of it.”

Slippery slope
Columbia patrolled the front of the field for the entirety of the wet stage.

“We tried to control it, but it’s getting harder day by day,” said Columbia’s Bernie Eisel. “It’s a hard job for us, most of all for Frantisek Rabon, Adam Hansen and Morris Possoni. We were all working, but they did most of the work.”

Hansen also went down in the big crash over the last climb with about 25km to go. He was loaded into an ambulance with a deep gash in his arm.

An Post’s Daniel Lloyd went down while off the front.

Photo: Pete Goding

Although most of the other crashed riders remounted, there were a lot of battered and bloody bodies at the finish. Among them was An Post’s Daniel Lloyd, who had been off the front with Simon Clark (SouthAustralia.com-AIS) when he went down. Lloyd crashed in the exact spot as claimed Cavendish, Hansen and the others minutes later. The duo had a three-minute gap at the point.

Riding in the red king of the mountains jersey, Team Type 1’s Matt Wilson kept it upright and delivered at the KOM points along the way.

“But half the team crashed,” Wilson said. “I got points on every climb. I should have a commanding lead by now, so I can relax a little bit and start to think about GC.”

For his part, Columbia director Brian Holm said he’s not thinking about the final overall classification.

“Here we consider the stages like one-day races; we take it day by day,” he said. “Building the tactic on trying to be second on [on GC] Sunday doesn’t sell any tickets, you know? We try to win every day. Maybe we win, maybe we don’t. But we’re not yet thinking about going to [the race finish in] Cork. That’s more for Michael Barry. But after working so hard the last three days, he’s screwed. Although, I keep asking him how he feels, expecting him to say he’s tired, but he says, no, I’m fine. He and Adam [Hansen] have been unbelievable. They’re both just a little bit stronger than everyone here.”

Hansen suffered a big gash on his right arm.

Hansen suffered a big gash on his right arm.

Photo: Pete Goding

With all the talk about stage 5’s finish in Cork — four circuit laps that include the 25-percent St. Patrick’s Hill — Team Type 1’s Wilson has been asking around.

“I’ve heard mixed reports. Some people say it’s hard, but it could be a group at the finish. But someone else told me it will come in in ones and twos, the climb is that steep,” Wilson said. “I’m of mixed emotions: I want it to be hard enough to break it up but not hard enough to get rid of me.”

The Tour of Ireland continues Saturday with stage 4 from Limerick to Dingle. The 186km stage includes the Cat. 1 Conor Pass, which falls 50km from the finish.

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage Results | (GC Standings )

1. Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia in 4:57:01
2. Bernardo Riccio, Tinkoff – Credit Systems
3. Julian Dean, Garmin Chipotle H30
4. Alexander Kristoff, Joker Bianchi Team
5. Kenny De Haes, Topsport Vlaanderen
6. Kenny Lisabett, An Post Sean Kelly Team
7. Ciaran Power, Pezula
8. Ruben Bongiorno, Csf Group Navigare
9. Boy Van Poppel, Rabobank
10. Michael Van Staeyen, Rabobank
11. Sven Renders, Topsport Vlaanderen
12. Joachim Bohler, Joker Bianchi Team
13. Malcom Elliott, Pinarello Canditv
14. Russell Downing, Pinarello Canditv
15. Juan Van Heerden, Mtn Energade
16. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk
17. Paul Healion, Irish National Team
18. David Abal, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team
19. Zakkari Dempster, Southaustralia.com/ais
20. Francisco Mouron, Juan Karpin Galicia Cycling Team
21. Johnnie Walker, Southaustralia.com/ais
22. Emile Abraham, Team Type 1 Cycling Team
23. Michael Barry, Team Columbia
24. Gonzalo Rabunal, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team
25. Fredrik Ericsson, Pezula
26. Dale Appleby, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk
27. Kurt Hovelijnck, Topsport Vlaanderen
28. Massimo Graziato, Tinkoff – Credit Systems
29. Matt Wilson, Team Type 1 Cycling Team
30. Alex. Surutkovych, Team Type 1 Cycling Team
31. Alex Wetterhall, Pezula
32. Alexander Gottfried, Tinkoff – Credit Systems
33. Peter Williams, Pinarello Canditv
34. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk
35. Daniel Lloyd, An Post Sean Kelly Team
36. Luca Mazzanti, Tinkoff – Credit Systems
37. Roger Aiken, Irish National Team
38. Nikolas Maes, Topsport Vlaanderen
39. Tom Murray, Pinarello Canditv
40. Magnus Backstedt, Garmin Chipotle H30
41. Travis Meyer, Southaustralia.com/ais
42. Fabio Calabria, Team Type 1 Cycling Team
43. Cameron Jennings, Pezula
44. Trent Lowe, Garmin Chipotle H30
45. Wesley Sulzberger, Southaustralia.com/ais
46. Max Richeze, Csf Group Navigare
47. Adam Semple, Southaustralia.com/ais
48. Marco Pinotti, Team Columbia
49. Erik Vold, Svein Joker Bianchi Team
50. Moises Aldape, Team Type 1 Cycling Team
51. Valeriy Kobzarenko, Team Type 1 Cycling Team
52. Petter Nordhaug, Lars Joker Bianchi Team
53. Martyn Irvine, Pezula
54. Stephen Gallagher, An Post Sean Kelly Team
55. Stephen O’sullivan, Irish National Team
56. Ramon Sinkeldam, Rabobank
57. David Millar, Garmin Chipotle H30
58. Bart Aernouts, Rabobank
59. Martijn Maaskant, Garmin Chipotle H30
60. David O’loughlin, Pezula
61. David Mccann, Irish National Team
62. Simon Clarke, Southaustralia.com/ais
63. Frederiek Nolf, Topsport Vlaanderen
64. Mauro Richeze, Csf Group Navigare
65. Johan Coenen, Topsport Vlaanderen
66. Thomas Berkhout, Rabobank
67. Thomas Rabou, Rabobank
68. Sean Lacey, Irish National Team
69. Joeri Adams, Rabobank
70. Ilya Chernetskiy, Tinkoff – Credit Systems
71. Matteo Priamo, Csf Group Navigare
72. David George, Mtn Energade
73. Mathew Kipling, Pinarello Canditv
74. Kevin Evans, Mtn Energade
75. Morris Possoni, Team Columbia
76. Serguei Klimov, Tinkoff – Credit Systems
77. Francesco Tomei, Csf Group Navigare
78. Daniel Fleeman, An Post Sean Kelly Team
79. Lee Davis, Pinarello Canditv
80. Miceal Concannon, Irish National Team
81. Ramon Troncoso, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team
82. Mark Cassidy, An Post Sean Kelly Team
83. Graham Briggs, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk
84. Rob Partridge, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk
85. Jay Thomson, Mtn Energade
86. Neil Macdonald, Mtn Energade
87. Frederik Wilman, Joker Bianchi Team
88. Stian Sommerseth, Joker Bianchi Team
89. Andy Roche, Pinarello Canditv
90. Paul Griffin, Irish National Team
91. Simon Holt, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk
92. Paidi O’brien, An Post Sean Kelly Team
93. Filippo Savini, Csf Group Navigare
94. Benny De Schrooder, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 4:57:43
95. Maarten Neyens, Topsport Vlaanderen in 4:57:48
96. Bernard Eisel, Team Columbia in 4:59:02
97. Frantisek Rabon, Team Columbia in 4:59:02
98. Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 4:59:04
99. Alejandro Paleo, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team in 4:59:22
100. Matt King, Southaustralia.com/ais in 4:59:30
101. Kieran Page, Pezula in 5:03:57


GC Standings | (Stage Results)

1. Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia in 13:54:42
2. Julian Dean, Garmin Chipotle H30 in 13:55:02
3. Alexander Kristoff, Joker Bianchi Team in 13:55:07 at 25
4. Kurt Hovelijnck, Topsport Vlaanderen in 13:55:11 at 29
5. Max Richeze, Csf Group Navigare in 13:55:12 at 0
6. Daniel Lloyd, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 13:55:13 at 1
7. Matt Wilson, Team Type 1 Cycling Team in 13:55:13 at s.t.
8. Russell Downing, Pinarello Canditv in 13:55:14 at 2
9. Simon Clarke, Southaustralia.com/ais in 13:55:14 at s.t.
10. Juan Van Heerden, Mtn Energade in 13:55:15 at 3
11. Boy Van Poppel, Rabobank in 13:55:16 at 4
12. Ciaran Power, Pezula in 13:55:16 at s.t.
13. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 13:55:16 at s.t.
14. Zakkari Dempster, Southaustralia.com/ais in 13:55:16 at s.t.
15. Malcom Elliott, Pinarello Canditv in 13:55:16 at s.t.
16. Francisco Mouron, Juan Karpin Galicia Cycling Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
17. Nikolas Maes, Topsport Vlaanderen in 13:55:16 at s.t.
18. Massimo Graziato, Tinkoff – Credit Systems in 13:55:16 at s.t.
19. Gonzalo Rabunal, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
20. Valeriy Kobzarenko, Team Type 1 Cycling Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
21. Michael Barry, Team Columbia in 13:55:16 at s.t.
22. Magnus Backstedt, Garmin Chipotle H30 in 13:55:16 at s.t.
23. Moises Aldape, Team Type 1 Cycling Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
24. Tom Murray, Pinarello Canditv in 13:55:16 at s.t.
25. Alexander Gottfried, Tinkoff – Credit Systems in 13:55:16 at s.t.
26. Luca Mazzanti, Tinkoff – Credit Systems in 13:55:16 at s.t.
27. Johnnie Walker, Southaustralia.com/ais in 13:55:16 at s.t.
28. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 13:55:16 at s.t.
29. Dale Appleby, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 13:55:16 at s.t.
30. Wesley Sulzberger, Southaustralia.com/ais in 13:55:16 at s.t.
31. Petter Nordhaug, Lars Joker Bianchi Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
32. Stephen Gallagher, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
33. Ramon Sinkeldam, Rabobank in 13:55:16 at s.t.
34. Roger Aiken, Irish National Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
35. Cameron Jennings, Pezula in 13:55:16 at s.t.
36. Bart Aernouts, Rabobank in 13:55:16 at s.t.
37. Adam Semple, Southaustralia.com/ais in 13:55:16 at s.t.
38. Francesco Tomei, Csf Group Navigare in 13:55:16 at s.t.
39. Marco Pinotti, Team Columbia in 13:55:16 at s.t.
40. Serguei Klimov, Tinkoff – Credit Systems in 13:55:16 at s.t.
41. Frederiek Nolf, Topsport Vlaanderen in 13:55:16 at s.t.
42. Kevin Evans, Mtn Energade in 13:55:16 at s.t.
43. Trent Lowe, Garmin Chipotle H30 in 13:55:16 at s.t.
44. Joeri Adams, Rabobank in 13:55:16 at s.t.
45. Ilya Chernetskiy, Tinkoff – Credit Systems in 13:55:16 at s.t.
46. Mark Cassidy, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
47. Daniel Fleeman, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 13:55:16 at s.t.
48. Johan Coenen, Topsport Vlaanderen in 13:55:16 at s.t.
49. Rob Partridge, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 13:55:16 at s.t.
50. David Millar, Garmin Chipotle H30 in 13:55:16 at s.t.
51. Matteo Priamo, Csf Group Navigare in 13:55:16 at s.t.
52. Thomas Rabou, Rabobank in 13:55:38 at 56
53. Thomas Berkhout, Rabobank in 13:55:38 at s.t.
54. Ruben Bongiorno, Csf Group Navigare in 13:55:44 at 01:02
55. Travis Meyer, Southaustralia.com/ais in 13:56:06 at 01:24
56. David Mccann, Irish National Team in 13:56:49 at 02:07
57. Frederik Wilman, Joker Bianchi Team in 13:56:52 at 02:10
58. Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 13:57:19 at 02:37
59. Sven Renders, Topsport Vlaanderen in 13:58:20 at 03:38
60. Neil Macdonald, Mtn Energade in 13:58:20 at s.t.
61. Stian Sommerseth, Joker Bianchi Team in 13:58:33 at 03:51
62. Benny De Schrooder, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 13:59:02 at 04:20
63. Filippo Savini, Csf Group Navigare in 13:59:13 at 04:31
64. Morris Possoni, Team Columbia in 13:59:31 at 04:49
65. Michael Van Staeyen, Rabobank in 14:04:50 at 10:08
66. Joachim Bohler, Joker Bianchi Team in 14:04:54 at 10:12
67. Kenny De Haes, Topsport Vlaanderen in 14:04:56 at 10:14
68. Emile Abraham, Team Type 1 Cycling Team in 14:04:56 at s.t.
69. Alex. Surutkovych, Team Type 1 Cycling Team in 14:04:56 at s.t.
70. Mauro Richeze, Csf Group Navigare in 14:04:56 at s.t.
71. Martijn Maaskant, Garmin Chipotle H30 in 14:04:56 at s.t.
72. Fabio Calabria, Team Type 1 Cycling Team in 14:04:56 at s.t.
73. Peter Williams, Pinarello Canditv in 14:04:56 at s.t.
74. Erik Vold, Svein Joker Bianchi Team in 14:04:56 at s.t.
75. Paidi O’brien, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 14:04:56 at s.t.
76. Simon Holt, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 14:04:56 at s.t.
77. Maarten Neyens, Topsport Vlaanderen in 14:05:43 at 11:01
78. Kenny Lisabett, An Post Sean Kelly Team in 14:07:47 at 13:05
79. Mathew Kipling, Pinarello Canditv in 14:07:47 at s.t.
80. Ramon Troncoso, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team in 14:07:47 at s.t.
81. Graham Briggs, Rapha Condor Recycling.co.uk in 14:07:47 at s.t.
82. Frantisek Rabon, Team Columbia in 14:07:58 at 13:16
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83. Jay Thomson, Mtn Energade in 14:08:00 at 13:18
84. Andy Roche, Pinarello Canditv in 14:08:00 at s.t.
85. Bernard Eisel, Team Columbia in 14:08:17 at 13:35
86. Paul Healion, Irish National Team in 14:08:27 at 13:45
87. David O’loughlin, Pezula in 14:08:27 at s.t.
88. Sean Lacey, Irish National Team in 14:08:27 at s.t.a
89. Alex Wetterhall, Pezula in 14:09:55 at 15:13
90. Paul Griffin, Irish National Team in 14:10:15 at 15:33
91. Alejandro Paleo, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team in 14:10:21 at 15:39
92. Martyn Irvine, Pezula in 14:11:28 at 16:46
93. Miceal Concannon, Irish National Team in 14:11:31 at 16:49
94. Kieran Page, Pezula in 14:11:47 at 17:05
95. Fredrik Ericsson, Pezula in 14:13:37 at 18:55
96. Bernardo Riccio, Tinkoff – Credit Systems in 14:13:40 at 18:58
97. David Abal, Karpin Galicia Cycling Team in 14:17:17 at 22:35
98. Matt King, Southaustralia.com/ais in 14:19:06 at 24:24
99. David George, Mtn Energade in 14:20:03 at 25:21
100. Stephen O’sullivan, Irish National Team in 14:20:06 at 25:24
101. Lee Davis, Pinarello Canditv in 14:25:35 at 0:53