Reus holds on to yellow in style

 

Cycling: Dutchman Kai Reus defended his race leader's yellow jersey in style yesterday with a dominant solo win on stage three of the M Donnelly Junior Tour.

Twenty-four hours after he vaulted to the head of the overall classification, the Tempo BMV rider took his second successive stage victory, crossing the line 34 seconds clear of the next rider and extending his lead to over two minutes.

Although his Dutch team-mate Frits Pellemans crashed and broke his leg in the opening stages of yesterday's 65-mile stage, Reus and the Tempo BMV squad had little trouble in controlling matters.

A strong attack by English rider Ryan Bonner (North West Division) seemed to spell trouble, especially when his solo lead extended to over a minute and a half, but the Dutchman refused to panic.

Biding his time when a 10-man chasing group got clear, he made his move on the tough slopes of the day's second category climb and bridged the gap in another chasing group.

Irishmen Barry Woods and Theo Hardwick (both Ireland-Stena Line team), Eoin Concannon (Killorglin) and Cycling Ulster's Michael Mulvenna were also present in this front bunch, but their chances of a high placing were dashed when the rest of the field got across shortly afterwards.

That set the stage for a lone attack by English rider Daniel Martin (Team South West RICCI), who build a fine lead but was denied when caught by Reus and South African Leon Nel with just three miles remaining.

Reus then pressed on to extend his lead to two minutes and ten seconds over his closest rival, Jesse Anthony (USA), making it increasingly likely he will hold onto yellow through today's tough 54-mile stage in Carrick-on-Suir, and beyond.

Meanwhile, in mountainbike racing there has been a double boost for the Bray Downhill challenge event recently.

World number one rider Steve Peat and his Team Orange, England, team-mate Mark Beaumont have confirmed their participation in the world-ranking event this Saturday, taking place at Bray Head. Apart form this coup, the promoting Fiat LCV team have also announced that the race has secured vital sponsorship from the Bray Credit Union.

"We expect about 150 riders for the races, of which about 20 will be from the UK," said organiser Peter Popham. "It should be a great day of racing, and will offer world-ranking points to the 10 fastest riders."

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