Britain’s Nicola Juniper claims lead in Rás na mBan

Matthew Teggart was forced to abandon his goal of winning the sprints classification in Tour of Britain

Stage winner Nicola Juniper of TC Racing on her way to the summit of Mount Leinster with sewcond-placed Coralie Demay of Team Breizeh Ladies. Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan

Stage winner Nicola Juniper of TC Racing on her way to the summit of Mount Leinster with sewcond-placed Coralie Demay of Team Breizeh Ladies. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

 

British rider Nicola Juniper (TC Racing) grabbed the overall lead when she won the tough third stage of the Rás na mBan on Friday. She showed her strength on the summit finish of Mount Leinster, beating Coralie Demay (Team Breizh Ladies) by two seconds and Rikke Lonne (Maaslandster International) by 32. Lydia Gurley was best of the Irish in 12th, one minute and seven seconds back.

Juniper leads Demay and Lonne by the same gaps; Gurley is 11th overall. The race continues on Saturday with an uphill 6.4 kilometre time trial at Tullaroan and then an evening criterium in Kilkenny City.

In Britain, Matthew Teggart was forced to abandon his goal of winning the sprints classification in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Friday, with the Irish Team Wiggins rider pulling out of the race. He had been sitting second overall in that competition but the effects of a recent crash took a toll.

“The whole race I have been fighting a back injury I picked up in a crash at Tour de L’Avenir,” he said via social media prior to the start of the sixth day of racing. “I’ve been putting on a brave face but the problem is only getting worse and affecting my position and power output!

“It’s become too much for me to continue. I am extremely disappointed to end my race in this way, especially not being able to fight for the leaders jersey which I wore for two days.” His teammate Mark Downey is the sole Irishman remaining in the race and finished 69th on the stage, five minutes and six seconds behind the winner Wout Poels (Team Sky). Julian Alaphilippe finished second and leads overall, almost 18 minutes ahead of Downey.

In Spain, Nicolas Roche was 54th on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, the summit finish of Valle de Sabero. La Camperona. First to the line was the Spaniard Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias), with Roche just over six minutes back.

Jesus Herrada continues to lead overall, while Roche is 38th.

Ras na mBan

Stage 3, Kilkenny to Mount Leinster: 1, Nicola Juniper (TC Racing) 2 hours 58 mins 11 secs; 2, C. Demay (Team Breizh Ladies) at 2 secs; 3, R. Lonne (Maaslandster International) at 32 secs; 4, M. Barker (Great Britain) same time; 5, A. Henderson (Cycle Team OnForm) at 37 secs; 6, N. Abgrall (Team Breizh Ladies) at 55 secs

Overall standings: 1, Nicola Juniper (TC Racing) 2 hours 58 mins 11 secs; 2, C. Demay (Team Breizh Ladies) at 2 secs; 3, R. Lonne (Maaslandster International) at 32 secs; 4, M. Barker (Great Britain) same time; 5, A. Henderson (Cycle Team OnForm) at 37 secs; 6, A.S. Harsch (Andy Schleck Cycles Women Project) at 55 secs

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