This was set to be a good race for us, a tough format and very hilly final stage.
Stage 1, Team Time Trial, 6km. The lads rode well and finished 3rd, 5 seconds behind the winning team.
Stage 2, 120km lumpy road stage. After numerous attempted escapes failing it looked as if this stage might come down to a bunch sprint on the uphill finish. that was until Louis attacked with 8km to go and with his team mates covering the moves behind, he pulled out a 39 second gap and took the victory in style.
Stage 3, individual Time Trial, 4km. Louis was now in the leaders yellow jersey. We were confident Louis would put in a good performance. He didn’t disappoint, finshing top 10 and retaining the yellow jersey.
Stage 4, 80km Kermesse. This stage didn’t go to plan, and a 15 rider group slipped away. We had Harry in the break, but Louis was in the bunch with Joe and Kieran chasing. At the finsih Louis had lost the lead, but the time gap was not significant and we were confident we could take it back on the final stage.
Stage 5, 130km including four 10 minute climbs. The team rode incredibly well. Kieran escaped early with 3 other riders. Joe and Harry rode tirelessly for Louis back in the bunch. Joe set a blistering pace in to the penultimate climb setting Louis up to attack and go across to Kieran. With 20 km to go we had both Kieran and Louis in the select front group.
Liam Holohan took the stage win, with Kieran 3rd and Louis 4th. Harry and Joe came in the top 20 a few minutes later looking spent after a tough day on team duties.
Louis took overall victory, Kieran was 2nd overall. Harry and Joe were 14th & 16th respectively.
The team won the team prize.
Kieran won King of the Mountains jersey and best Under 23 rider jersey.
Needless to say, this was a successful race for us. The lads had ridden incredibly well and made a huge impression on the race.