Stage 6 and 7 – an unfortunate loss and a tough day of racing
Written by Velo Staff on 28th May 2016
Stage 6 featured one of the “flattest” profiles of the week, but the race was to be a lot more difficult than anticipated. With a very early break that rolled away with the “irish pocketrocket” Eddie Dunbar, the GC teams were happy to control the race and not let the break get a chance to stay away. With that said, everything changed over the second Cat 3 climb of the day, when An post- Chain Reaction team hit it hard over the top of the rolling climb and split the field into pieces. With Elliot Porter, Jeremy Durrin and Kieran Simcox making over the top in the front group, everything was looking great for the team!
Unforunately the worst thing that could possibly happen, happened. When descending into one of the towns after the KOM, a rider took the turn too hot and shouldered Elliot into the side of the road and into the back of a parked vehicle. When Jeremy saw how bad the crash was, he immediately stopped to make sure Elliot was OK. Unfortunately Elliot suffered race ending injuries and had to be taken to the hospital. A broken Shoulder and a lot of scrapes and bruises is what he walked away with, but it could have been a lot worse. The speed at which Elliot hit the back of the parked vehicle would make anyone cringe and think the worst. Luckily he is at home now and in good hands with his family and we can expect him back on the bike very soon to be lighting up the climbs in future races.
Kieran was able to stick it out in the lead group and hold on to a very strong 17th place amongst some big hitters. Its Kierans best UCI result to date, and you can expect him to keep getting better every year.
Stage 7 – one for the climbers. Unfortunately with Elliot out of the race we had to look to our breakaway specialist, Jeremy and Marc, to get up the road to hopefully get a good result on the day. Marc managed to get into some really good early moves but unfortunately they all got brought back. Jeremy got away in a very selective group over the first cat 3 climb of the day, and it was looking poised to be the move of the day…. But thats when the real GC battle kicked off. The yellow jersey became isolated and the Irish team hit them hard and split the race to pieces, and it wasn’t until the third climb of the day that everything settled down and 4 riders not a threat to GC remained up the road.
Jeremy positioned himself really well into the climb, but unfortunately the steep gradients do not suit his climbing ability, and he crested just behind the leaders and chased hard but never made it back. Marc Potts came across and the group formed that would later sit up and finish 13 minutes down to the GC group up the road.
It was a very tough day, and one the team walks away empty handed. Tomorrow is the final stage and we will look to our sprinters to hopefully bring home some great results before heading back to England after a very tough 8 days of racing!
Check out the gallery below from Nathaniel Rosa.