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Luke Mannings wins the final stage from Tadgh Killeen with the chasing group in the distance at the end of Gorey Three Day 2024 (Photo: Sean Rowe)

Conor Murphy has defended his yellow jersey to win the overall at Gorey Three Day at the first time of asking, the 17-year-old from Caldwell Cycles picking up two stage wins along the way.

Though he was not in the winning move today, Murphy went on the attack out of the bunch and gained time on his nearest rivals, finishing with Killian O’Brien (Cycling Leinster) at the end of the 101km stage on the Eddie Tobin Circuit.

Today’s final stage saw two men – Tadgh Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) and Luke Mannings (Halesowen A & CC) – go for broke out front in the finale after getting clear of a breakaway group.

Killeen had been at the front of the stage for much longer than Mannings, with got across to the breakaway with a big effort, first catching a chasing group and then pressing on towards the leaders.

Yellow jersey Conor Murphy on the front of the bunch chasing the breakaway today. He got away with Killian O’Brien later in the stage (Photo: Sean Rowe)

In the end it came down to just Mannings and Killeen, with the British rider proving quicker in the final sprint to the line.

That duo finished 15 seconds ahead of Marine Lenehan (Team Dan Morrissey-Primor by Pissei), the women’s race overall leader who once again won the women’s stage today, and crossed the line in 3rd place.

The chasing group of some 17 riders was comprised of the best of the women’s group – who had been given a large handicap again today – and attackers from the men’s race.

Eamon Potter of Dublin Wheelers show he is in good condition coming out of a hard weekend of racing as he was 3rd on the men’s stage, 4th to cross the line, with Sian Botteley (Brother UK-Das Handsling) and Laura Bessamusca (TC Racing) in 5th and 6th.

Marine Lenehan wins the sprint for 3rd place on the stage after the women’s bunch, which got a 15-minute handicap, was caught by the men’s chasing group close to the finish (Photo: Sean Rowe)

Race leader Murphy got out of the bunch today and finished with O’Brien – in 21st and 22nd place – some 33 seconds down on winner and runner-up Mannings and Killeen.

How the stage was won

The start of the winning move – though neither the eventual winner or runner-up were in it – was started by four riders: Feidhlim Dignan (Blarney Cycling Club), Cahir O’Higgins (Orwell Wheelers), Isaak Herbert (Halesowen A & CC) and Killian O’Brien (Cycling Leinster). Killeen then bridged across.

However, as they opened the gap and yellow jersey, Murphy, began spearheading the chase in the bunch. O’Brien punctured out of the breakaway. As the gap was only about 20 seconds, he had to wait for the bunch to catch and pass him, before getting a changed and fighting his way back into the peloton.

Up front, Herbert attack, with Killeen joining him, as that duo now became the new breakaway, chasing the women’s group still four minutes up the road. The two leading men were then joined by eventual stage winner Mannings, meaning Killeen now had two Halesowen riders for company.

Killian O’Brien of Cycling Leinster was very unlucky to puncture out of the breakaway and had to wait until the bunch caught and passed him before he could get a wheel (Photo: Sean Rowe)

Behind them, a five man breakaway was chasing; Dignam, Conor McKeown of Moynalty CC, Eamon Potter of Dublin Wheelers, Patrick O’Sullivan of Leinster Cycling and James McKenny of Team Dan Morrissey-Primor by Pissei.

With 80km completed, the two leaders had about 25 seconds on the men’s chasing group, with the bunch about one minute back. As the three leaders reached Carnew, they were trimmed to two as Herbert was spat out by Mannings and Killeen.

And that’s the way it stayed to the line; Mannings beating Killeen for the stage win and the men’s chasing group finishing with the remains of the women’s bunch, with Lenehan winning the sprint, very impressively.

Behind, in the men’s main bunch, Murphy and O’Brien – the earlier breakaway puncture victim, got off the front and finished in between the women’s bunch and the men’s peloton.

And that was enough to wrap up victory as he took the 2024 crown by 21 seconds from former yellow jersey Conor Dooney (Foyle CC). In 3rd place was stage 2 winner Ryan Oldfield (Halesowen A & CC), at 1:06.

In the women’s race, Marine Lenehan claimed the victory. She was 37 seconds up on Annalise Murphy (Longcourt Hotel NCW Wheelers). Tuva Mauland (Brother UK Cycling Team OnForm) was 3rd at 51 seconds.

Max Fitzgerald won the bunch sprint by a considerable distance; a kick that may come in handy in the months ahead (Photo: Sean Rowe)

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