|Last Updated: 9 Sep 2023 - 9:06:10 PM
Rás na mBan heads to Laois for tomorrow’s Stage 3. Riders will roll out from O’Moore Park in Portlaoise at 11:05 for a ceremonial start, before racing gets underway from 11:30.
The opening 4km of the stage is neutralised before the riders enter the fast opening section from Stradbally to Emo, and then on to Mountmellick, before hitting the main climb of the day.
The General Classification remains wide open with 24 riders within 30 seconds of the top spot. Rixt Hoogland of NWVG-plus will wear the Magenta leader’s jersey tomorrow. With several riders finishing on the same time again today, Hoogland wears the leaders jersey on countback having achieved the best combined finishing position over the first two stages.
With 839m of climbing to take on across the longest stage of the week, Stage 3 will see the riders take on the infamous climb of The Cut at the mid-way point of the race.
The only Category 1 climb of the week, the Cut stretches for 7.4km at an average of 4.5% and maxing out at 9.8%. Manon de Boer of NWVG-plus leads the Queen of the Mountains classification with a score of 24 points so far, ahead of nearest rival Katherine Sheridan of Hutchinson-Brother UK on 11 points, and Noa Jansen of JEGG – DJR Academy on 10 points.
The Points Classification will be a much tighter fought battle as Rixt Hoogland, of NWVG-plus, who also wears the Magenta leader’s jersey, leads winner of Stage 2, Tiffany Keep of Hutchinson-Brother UK, by a single point, while Ireland’s Mia Griffin and Noa Jansen are hot on their heels.
In the Best Irish Rider competition, Linda Kelly has taken the jersey from her Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei team mate Marine Lenehan. Lenehan remains in contention, trailing by only 20 seconds.
Meanwhile, Team Noord Holland’s Renée van Hout leads the Sport Ireland Young Rider Classification ahead of Shibden Hope Tech Apex’s Ruby Oakes.
Conditions tomorrow in Laois look warm and sunny again, with little wind to influence the race dynamics. Riders are expected to complete the 104.4km route and start arriving in Mountrath from 14:15.
Neutralised Section: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/43818235
Full Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/41818995?highlight=1771-2150
Where to Watch:
There are plenty of spots to cheer them on as they move through a fast opening section from Stradbally to Emo, on to Mountmellick, before hitting the main climb of the day. Cheer the riders over the top of the QOM at The Cut. There is a carpark at the top of the climb which will also allow you to explore some of the amazing views of the Slieve Bloom mountains. Be sure to get there well ahead of the planned time to ensure the road is still accessible to vehicles. Mountrath will see the race twice. Having descended down from The Cut, riders will be glad to see flatter roads as they race towards Ballacolla and Abbeyleix before tearing back to Mountrath.