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STAGE RACING : Junior Tour Last Updated: 2 Apr 2018 - 8:45:17 PM

M DONNELLY JUNIOR TOUR: Joey Bestebreurje Wins
By Tommy Campbell, Pictures Peter Purfield
17 Jul 2005,

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Tommy Campbell reports from Castlebar
They came to Ireland with no ambition of creaming off the prizes, so said the Dutch manager, Henk Wintermans and a regular visitor to Ireland for the Martin Donnelly Junior Tour, "Our intention was to take one stage victory and maybe the team prize. So we are over the moon with the win. The team worked well together all week with good trust and team spirit, like a family. So everything went like clockwork. I think this years' JT was one of the best. I have been here for nine years. It was well-organised and roads very safe and well marshalled. The move to Mayo this year was brilliant, said Henk.

Well! They certainly tied up the JT with the likes of Joey Bestebreurje who was an inspiration to all who took part in the Tour.

An unassuming young man who did his talking on the bike and boy! He just got on with the job.

His opening time in the test against the watch on last Tuesday evening at Turlough, close to Castlebar, did not the set the world on fire. Joey was 35 seconds behind the race favourite and the hope of Ireland, Martin Munroe who looked invincible on the night.

Bestebreurje came into his own on Wednesday when he was edged out in the sprint by the superb sprint of Kanturk's Maurice O'Brien who withdrew from the race on Saturday because of another engagement in Italy next week.

A defining moment in the JT was to rear its head on Thursday when a lead group went ahead of the bunch. This break included Adam Armstrong and Fergus Keogh of the Irish team and within miles a transformation on the leader board had taken place. Evidently there were frantic messages to get the two Irish guys in particular to take their foot off the pedal. The break stayed out front for over 32 miles but the junction was always possible. On the run into Cong, Joey came alive by winning the stage, thus announcing his arrival as a contender. Joey had pared off 10 seconds and was just outside of the top ten.

If Wednesday's stage caused anguish in various camps! We were again treated to a gutsy display on Thursday by No. 1 on the programme, Adam Armstrong.

This was the third attempt he was making to show that he had the qualities to land the big prize from his viewpoint. The platform was there as he escaped in a group of six including the bold Bestebreurje and his travelling companion Willem Schwaner who it has to be said, along with Urban Monks of the Down team were not in the least daunted by taking on the bunch and burying themselves up the road. Also in the train was Ciaran Cassidy guesting for Navan/Avonmore CC and Tom Diggle of the British Cycling NW team. This sextet made all the running on a day when unfortunately for the competitors, but the supporters were able to view magnificent scenery out and around Achill where believe it or not Visitors were non-existent! The lead got up to well over a minute and the alarm bells went dingle dangle in the bunch. Such was the determination that the only picture in their frame was to make it to the line and a new leader would be on the throne that evening in Lough Lannagh Village in Castlebar. Joey obliged with another stage, but the big picture was emerging and on the penultimate day when the mix got going that the Irish were left marooned. They tried to make inroads, but the hill top finish evaporated the Irish hopes and gave a platform to the Dutch to sleep well in their beds on Saturday night with the formality of the flat road stage yesterday.

Thus, Joey Bestebreurje from the BMV Veldhoven Cycling Team in Holland carved out a piece of history for himself when he claimed overall victory in the Martin Donnelly Junior Tour yesterday. The event was held for six days in Castlebar and surrounding towns. Bestebreurje along the way won two stages and also finished runner-up in two, thus showing his overall superiority. The Dutch competitor went into the lead on Friday and from then on it was a formality. The Irish team had high hopes as Martin Munroe who was the favourite for overall victory. Munroe nudged ahead of everybody in the time trial. Then the surprise was, that his team mate, Adam Armstrong went into yellow on Friday, but after that, things went belly ache on their behalf and they have come away with nothing to show, except, Munroe's stage win on the opener last Tuesday.

The Photo Finish camera picture - courtesy of Frank Gibson & Cycling Ireland
The South African Neal Corbett just ahead of Daniel Clifford and Jermiah O'Sullivan of Killorglin Credit Union CC won yesterday's stage from Party to Castlebar. Such was closeness of the sprint that the Killorglin guys, requested a look at the photo finish picture, which proved that indeed it was close and unfortunately not in their favour. Bestebreurje from Antwerp finished safely in the main pack and acknowledging his success to all and sundry at the finish.

Final word from the organiser, Alice Sherrat, "Delighted we had an excellent competition with fine young men who are an inspiration to our sport.

Naturally I was concerned with the move to Castlebar from Waterford where Pat Power made us feel welcome and was of tremendous help in steadying the race for future years. Brendan Quigley stepped into Pat's brief and truly made us welcome as did the local clubs and officials who I am greatly indebted too for making us so welcome and going out of their way to make us feel at home in their environment. As for next year! Well, I have a backroom team who are second to none and we'll sit down very soon and make our intentions known. Thanks to everyone who came along and stood at the side of the road to give us encouragement and particularly the Garda Siochana who were simply magnificent," said Alice.

The strong BMV Veldhoven team kept the race together during the final stage

Race Leader Joey Bestebreurje (BMV Veldhoven)

Stage 6 finish was very close

Martin Donnelly Junior Tour
Stage 6-Partry/Castlebar, 40 miles (Sponsored by M. Donnelly & Co. Ltd.)
1 Neal Corbett (South Africa), 1hr.32mins.23secs;
2 Daniel Clifford (Killorglin Credit Union CC), same time;
3 Jermiah O'Sullivan (Killorglin Credit Union CC), st;
4 Alaister Carr (British Cycling WM), st;
5 Jonathan Bellis (British Cycling NW), st;
6 Tshepo Marmo (South Africa), st;
7 Shaun Rock (Ireland), st;
8 Anthony O'Boyle (Wales), st;
9 Niall Blakes (Down), st;
10 Michael Murray (Ulster), st.

Final Overall after 6 stages:
1 Joey Bestebreurje (BMV Veldhoven), 12.26.09;
2 M. Schwaner (BMV Veldhoven), @14secs;
3 C. Cassidy (Navan Avonmore CC), @17;
4 A. Armstrong (Ireland), @21;
5 T. Diggle, @32;
6 Bellis, same time;
7 Murray, @1.16;
8 R. McLoughlin (McNally Swords), @1.24;
9 D. Dyllan (Wales), @1.43;
10 M. Robinson (BMV Veldhoven), @1.46.

Points: Bestebreirje.
Mountains: D. Minne (South Africa).
1st Year Junior: Diggle.
Team: BMV Veldhoven.

Pictures were taken by Peter Purfield, More pictures from all the stages will be added on this website in the next few days.

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