Dunne up to 5th in Taiwan

Taiwan’s mountains proved fearsome as the race travelled skyward on the 118km stage up to Jiabanshan National Park. Plucky rider Conor Dunne held strong to move into 5th overall on General Classification with two stages remaining.

“It was hard out there today, lots of riders wanted to be in the break, and Conor found the right attack again.” explained John Herety.

“All our riders rode well, both our climbers are in a good position. We are looking forward to attacking the race over the next two days.” explained team manager John Herety.

 

Conor Dunne, one of the tallest riders in the peloton at 6ft 7″, is a new signing for JLT Condor p/b Mavic. He featured in the lead group on stage 1, sprinting to 7th and finishing 58 seconds ahead of the main bunch. His high finish on day 3 now puts the Irishman at just 2 seconds off the leader, Australian Ben O’Connor from Avanti Whey Sports. 
Leader Russ Downing chats to Alex Wetterall before the stage start

The story of the race:

Several breakaway attempts were thwarted in the first 70km of racing. It was only after the first climb that a move featuring JLT Condor’s Conor Dunne, Peter Schulting and Anthony Giacoppo was finally allowed up the road. The trio worked well together and quickly opened up a 4 minute advantage. Nearly 40km later heading up the steep category 1 climb to Jiabanshan Park, Dutch rider Schulting decided to go it alone.

 

Back in the peloton, the race was well marshalled by seasoned pro team United Healthcare. The American outfit, who have an eye on the overall leaders jersey, began to step up the chase. The pace decimated the peloton, leaving just thirty riders in contention. JLT Condor worked hard to protect their two climbers, 18-year-old Stevie Williams and Steve Lampier, ensuring they stayed within the front group. 
As the race reached the finish, Shulting’s lead was whittled to just 33 seconds, his efforts were enough to earn him the stage win. Giacoppo narrowly held on for second place whilst Dunne was swept up by the small group of thirty riders.
Stevie Williams finished 15th on the stage, Steve Lampier in 27th both at the same time. Williams also sits in third in the young rider competition.
Tour de Taiwan – Remaining Stages
Stage 4 –  Wednesday 9th March – Nantou County
The stage begins to climb from the opening kilometres, once the categorised climb is crossed there is a lengthy traverse downhill before reaching the base of the final climb to Syuanzang Temple on top of the beautiful Yusan Mountain Range, home to Sun Moon Lake.
At an altitude of 762m, this is largest body of fresh water in Taiwan. The ascent to the lake is packed with hairpins and steep turns which will upset any riders rhythm. Upon reaching the temple the route follows the flat plateau around the lake to the finish line.
Estimated finish time – 1.30pm (4.30am GMT).
Stage 5 – Thursday 10th March – Wutai Mountain Finale 146km
Four climbs for the riders to tackle as the race steadily rises to the remote Rukai village of Wutai. The climb to Wutai winds through some truly amazing scenery, with steep roadside drop-offs framed by rushing waterfalls at almost every turn. The  stone-paved lanes of the ancient Wutai Village host an epic summit and race finale.
Estimated finish time – 1.30pm (4.30am GMT).

 

 

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