DAS-Handsling double at Rás na mBan
Stage 3 was the longest stage of the the Rás na mBan and was run off in scorching temperatures.
Today’s stage of the Rás na mBan started after a ceremonial presentation in Portlaoise. The riders then headed for the Slieve Bloom Mountains. This included the challenging ascent of The Cut, followed by a fast run back to the finishing circuit around Mountrath.
Stage 3 saw an aggressive start with several riders breaking clear of the bunch. These were all brought back by the bunch, which was keen to keep the race together. So it remained until the foot of the day’s only categorised climb, the fearsome 7.4 kilometre Category 1 ascent of The Cut.
Climbing the Cut
The pace was high all the way to the summit, with a group of fifteen riders remaining at the head of the race. This contained race-leader Rixt Hoogland and all the other classification leaders. However after a fast descent the front group relaxed as the terrain eased, allowing chasers to re-join the group. With 25 kilometres to the finish the bunch had grown to 45 riders.
The bunch is back together
Another series of attacks were shut down inside the final 10 kilometres. This was setting up for a hotly contested sprint finale. DAS-Handsling riders Emma Jeffers and Monica Greenwood sprinted for the line, with Jeffers just pipping her team-mate.
In the overall classification, Tiffany Keep’s consistency has been rewarded, moving her up one place in the standings and into the Magenta Jersey by virtue of countback on finishing positions over the first three stages. The South African swaps places with overnight leader Rixt Hoogland, who remains one of seven rider’s level on time at the top of the standings.
The 102.7km Stage four will begin with a ceremonial start from Tramore Promenade at 11:42, with the race officially getting under way from noon. It will then travel through Kilmeaden and Kilmacthomas, on to Dungarvan, before returning along the Copper Coast to the finish line on the Prom in Tramore at approximately 2.40pm.