Coraline Demay and fellow Frenchwoman Iris Sachet landed success on the final day of the Rás na mBan on Sunday, with the former taking the overall classification in the international women's cycling event and the latter taking the stage win.
Demay won Saturday’s stage four time trial and moved two seconds clear of the previous day’s stage winner, Nicola Juniper (TC Racing). The latter tried to get back into pole position on Saturday afternoon’s criterium in Kilkenny city and while she won that stage, Demay finished in the same time and thus preserved her advantage.
Juniper tried to get clear on Sunday's final stage, attacking on the day's sole categorised climb of Woodstock. However she was unable to break the elastic. A nine-woman break was clear for much of the stage but these came back before the finish, with Sachet beating Jessica Roberts (Great Britain), Désirée Ehrler (Momentum CCN) and the rest of the bunch to the line in Kilkenny.
Ellen McDermot (Team NH) was best of the Irish riders on the stage. Demay took the overall with a two second margin over Juniper, while 2016 race winner Rikke Lonne (Maaslandster International) was 57 seconds back in third. Lydia Gurley (Ireland national team) was best home rider in 10th, two minutes and seven seconds behind.
In Spain, Nicolas Roche’s big push to take a stage win in the Vuelta a España on Saturday took a toll on Sunday, with the Irish BMC Racing Team rider finishing 28 minutes behind the solo stage winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). The Frenchman beat Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) by 28 seconds. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished 30 seconds back in third place, and boosted his overall lead to 26 seconds over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) Roche is 36th, 50 minutes and nine seconds adrift.
There is a rest day on Monday, after which the Vuelta resumes. Roche will continue chasing what would be the third Vuelta stage win of his career.
Finally, Mark Downey (Team Wiggins) was 54th on the final stage of the Tour of Britain. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) sprinted to victory on Sunday's final leg, with Downey 32 seconds behind. Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep Floors) won overall, beating Wout Poels (Team Sky) by 17 seconds. Downey was 72nd overrall.