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RAS Stage 3 - Warning goes out to RAS as Avenger limits

RAS Stage 3 - Warning goes out to RAS as Avenger limits

A tough day in the Irish mountains may have cost the GingerAvenger the chance of a stage win but the GC is still up for grabs according tohis agent. "He is very disappointed that his team couldn't keep him in touchwith the lead group over the top of the first climb and despite a frantic chasehe was unable to rejoin the leaders." Said Frank

The race started today with a 189km toride and 2 x Cat 2 KOM coming at 150km and 160km. Setting off at a frantic pacethe riders covered 48km in the first hour and then 47km in the second hour asthe peloton snaked across the roads as the cross winds blew strong.

Early movers included Planet X StephenBarrett that rode into a30man group that moved clear and gained about 40seconds before being closed down. Next The Dodger, aggressive all day, triedhis luck. It wasn't going to stick with the peloton moving so quickly.

RAS and Planet X stalwart Mark Lovattwas swinging on the back as usual. Then at 12.45 he sneaked up the outside ofthe 170 man group and scuttled into a move. He was away, a group of around 15riders moved clear, 10secs, 30secs...by this time the Ireland andRapha team had seen the danger and the hammer went down again. Within 5 milesLovatt was back man.

Talking through the skermish he said,"I was gunna go at 1. But made a move early at about quarter to...if I hadgone at 1 it might of stuck".

Just as Lovatt's group came backanother group of 20 riders moved clear. This group stayed clear until around140km. The race had come together at the brink of the mountains, Dodger madehis move again. This time he managed to get a gap. It wasn't to be his day andhe was caught half way up the first climb.

Meanwhile, chewing his bars for 3 hoursthe Avenger hit the first climb nearly back man and on Lovatt's wheel. Mistakeand a half as Lovatt disappeared and the Avenger crept slowly to the top. Theleaders had gone. Over the top and the Avenger rejoined the Lovatt group on thedecent as his extra timber allowed him an advantage over his skinny rivals.

Now around 2 minutes behind the leadersthe game was up. As they rode into the finish the Ginger Avenger did muster upa sprint to take the prized 70th place leading in his group dreamingof what could have been if he had a stronger team behind him.

Now only 27 minutes down on GC theAvenger is spending tonight in the Planet X war room trying to plan a masterfulcomeback in the next 5 days.

3 days down, 5 days to go....it can't get any harder than today surely.

26 May 2010

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