Wednesdays stage four, on paper at least, is the most difficult stage in this years edition. 183.6km long, with ten categorised climbs, including two category two ascents and one category one mountain – it will push every rider to the limit. Luckily the sun came out for most of the day to make it slightly more bearable (and safe) than earlier in the week.
The Phoenix guys put in a great ride to catapult themselves to 4th in the county team ranking. Just over a minute off third position! Quite an achievement when you consider the strength of the Aquablue and DID teams, both containing ex-professional and international riders.
|1||CORK City Aquablue||44h26’06″|
|2||MEATH Dunboyne DID||@ 16’22″|
|3||TIPPERARY North Visit Nenagh.ie||@ 25’19″|
|4||ANTRIM Phoenix McConvey Cycles||@ 26’30″|
|5||DONEGAL Inishowen Gateway McCafe||@ 34’55″|
Unfortunately Alex crashed on what looked like a stage well suited to his abilities, but still finished well. Mike fared best of the Antrim team, finishing in the second group home, with Ali and Daniel just behind. Brian rolled in with the grupetto to secure a strong result for the team.
The scenery around todays stage was stunning at times, but I’m not sure the riders got much chance to enjoy it. At least the team mechanic Joe did. Thursday is another hilly route, hopefully the guys can keep up their great form!