Images: Karen M Edwards
Ed Laverack made an impressive solo attack to clinch overall victory in the Suir Valley 3 Day.
The 21 year old Welsh rider was part of a 5 man team racing in Ireland over the weekend. The squad was composed of only under-23 riders.
“One of the focuses of JLT Condor p/b Mavic is to provide a platform for young riders to gain experience and develop. Fifty percent of the team is under 23. I sent a young team to Ireland so they could show how they’ve learn to work together this season. In the team there are 3 first year riders, Dante, Harry and David. Tim Kennaugh who is also building his experience as a manager was sent as the Director Sportive.
The aims for the race were clear, work hard, work together and produce a result. I am delighted with the way the team rode, identifying chances and communicating. I am also delighted with Tim’s leadership especially as we look toward the Tour of Britain next month.” – Explained Team Manager, John Herety.
The opening 113 km stage featured three categorised climb as the race wound south east through the county of Tipperary. An initial five man break went clear after the first sprint point and as the race approached the first climb a group of fourteen chasers formed including JLT Condor’s Ed Laverack and Dante Carpenter. The chasers were unable to make contact with the break before the finish line, and Ed and Dante finished 31 seconds adrift of the new race leader Colm Cassidey (Team Aquablue).
Day two began with three early ascents and a group formed almost from the gun. On the third mountain ascent the peloton split and a chase group went clear. The chasers again included Ed Laverack and Dante Carpenter. The group of 11 worked hard to shut down lone leaders and once the groups had come together Laverack saw his chance to attack taking another rider with him. The pair sprinted into Colnmel town for the finish and it was Dave McGowan of Champion Systems who edged out Ed Laverack of JLT Condor. The attack by the pair saw Laverack gain time on his general classification rivals and move him into second, just 4 seconds adrift of the new yellow jersey, Dave McGowan.
A wet stage three saw several crashes in the peloton and only 28 riders left in contention for the town criterium. Luke Mellor attacked from the front on the slippery cobbles. His maintained his lead eventually taking a fine solo win, while his JLT Condor team mates marshalled the bunch, escorting Ed Laverack safely around the course until the commissaires neutralised the stage result due to the crashes meaning that no one gained or lost time.
|Luke takes solo victory on stage 3|
Monday’s final stage featured a summit finish in the stunning Comeragh Mountains. Initial attacks tried to go clear but the bunch was well marshalled by JLT Condor who stayed visible at the front of the peloton. On the second ascent Harry Tanfield and Luke Mellor wound up the pace to shatter the bunch leaving only twenty riders at the front of the race.
With 10km to go the pace was still high on the and at the foot of the final climb Dante Carpenter launched a stinging attack forcing the yellow jersey to chase and bring him back, as soon as Dante was caught Ed Laverack countered an rode away to the summit. His hard acceleration couldn’t be matched by the yellow jersey and Laverack put his head down to try to gain as many seconds as possible in the final throws of the race. His solo effort saw him pulled out a lead of one minute over the chasers.
The rider from South Wales impressive finish meant he not only took the stage win but the overall race victory. Dante Carpenter finished third on the stage and saw him move to third overall.
|JLT Condor rider push the pace on the stage 4 second mountain climb|
|Ed Laverack attacks the 4km climb to the finish|
|Harry Tanfield on stage 3|
|Ed Laverack on his way to stage 4 win|
|Luke in control|
Note: Team are pictures in version 1 jerseys as the race began before the official jersey change date set by the UCI.