Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Three Day Tour - Stage 4

Warm(ish) but very windy conditions met riders again for the final stage of the of the tour.


The queen stage and the stage that would decide the podium. Having performed strongly in the previous day time trial and road stage Duggan and D'Alfonso started only a handful of seconds behind second and third places in the GC. With four laps of the Pastoria circuit on the menu for today, Baldy hill of Pastoria indicated that it would be a battle between the punchy climbers for the GC podium with big time gaps almost guaranteed.

As D'Alfonso was sitting 4th overall in GC, TDR decided to ride to protect his position. Straight away as soon as the flag came down to signal the commencment of racing the breaks went off searching for KOM points. The riders who were high in GC were all content to pass the first lap sitting in the bunch. The first GC hopeful went just after the first lap, taking a helper with him on an audacious attack. They worked well together building up a sizable lead on the bunch. The bunch continued to roll around content to ride tempo.

On the third ascent of Baldy hill, O'Callaghan attacked sharply increasing the pace and shelling a few of the fast sprinters with Duggan slowly poping off the back . One GC contender attempted to go with O'Callaghan to his detriment, going into the red zone and meekly returning to the pack. As the bunch rolled around for the final lap, Duggan was doing the time trial of his life trying to get back on, at one stage getting to within 20 meters of the pack. Sensing his 4th place slipping away, with 8 km to go to the finish, D'alfonso jumped from the pack and attacked.

The bunch reacted slowly, until two riders jumped across and joined D'alfonso. D'alfonso yelling 'come on, lets work and move up GC' saw the three work well together all the way to the line, putting 30 seconds on the bunch, and a minute on the rider who started the day in 2nd place in GC. Cementing 4th in GC for D'alfonso. Duggan fighting strongly all the way to the end 18th.

Duggan 18th (2:30:20), D'alfonso 6th (2:27:27)

Final General Classification:

GC: Duggan 17th 7:14:08 (+8:52), D'alfonso 4th 7:10:55 (+5:39)

(Photos courtesy of B. Mangano)

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