JB Murphy on snatching Gorey win from a brave Cian Smailes
JB Murphy was a minute down with 6km to go in the Gorey Three Day. He had to get the escape pegged back and also place in the sprint. Above, he gallops in for 5th on the day just ahead of impressive veteran John Priest who took flight to make the podium (Photo: Sean Rowe)
By Brian Canty
JB Murphy endured a nerve-shredder of an afternoon before he was eventually crowned winner of the Gorey Three-Day.
The fifth year student in PBS Newbridge yesterday added his name to a long list of quality riders who have won the race.
And he had his teammates to thank for helping him to the line in the final showdown.
Indeed were it not for the Trojan work of 2010 winner Gareth Enright, the indefatigable John Lynch, the wily Colm Bracken and Kenny Bucke he may well have lost the jersey.
“I’m absolutely delighted I still can’t get over it,” said Murphy.
“I didn’t know what to expect at all. It was definitely touch and go at times especially coming into the last few kilometres. But the lads did a super job for me.”
Murphy had just one second to spare on Eoghan McLaughlin (NRPT) and there were eight riders within 49 seconds of him starting out.
One of those was Cian Smailes of Cycling Munster who needed just 16 seconds to win outright.
JB Murphy leads Adam Ward, both riding for Ireland, during the recent Gent-Wevelgem junior edition in Belgium (Photo: Jens Morel)
“Cian went up the road and had a minute on me coming through Blessington with six kilometres to go. So he was yellow on the road,
“But my lads worked their arses off all day and they did an absolutely super job.
“Lynch went on the front and pulled everything back. The break went up the road and nobody really responded. I didn’t even know it went.
“It was quite scary coming into Blessington but Gareth, John Lynch, Colm and Kenny were unbelievable.
“Before the stage they said I should sit in but I would have to follow a few attacks.
“One of the riders from Spokes (Kevin Barclay, third on GC) was always attacking. But I sat on him all day; when he went I went.
“Gareth jumped after nearly every move as well. Lads were just getting sick of looking back and seeing Murphy Surveyors behind them!”
Murphy had to hold something in reserve for a sprint because with time bonuses on the line he knew he could lose it in an instant if he didn’t get up.
But the situation played out perfectly when the riders in the break –Alex Ridehalgh (Spokes Racing team) and Smailes – mopped up the time bonuses.
“At 5k to go the speed just went up and our lads were spent but they dragged me to the line.
“There was no point in me going to the front and drilling it because I needed to get up in the gallop.
“It was cagey coming in; I went from being in the top 10 all the way back to 25th wheel within seconds.
“But I managed to get fifth and we were just a few seconds behind and that was enough, just.”