Ben Walsh on top as Ulster’s Buller wins Junior Tour finale

Posted on: July 16th, 2017

(It’s an emphatic second stage win for John Buller in Ennis as Ben Walsh defends his Junior Tour yellow jersey for one last time to win the 2017 title by six seconds)

 

Ben Walsh on top as Buller wins Junior Tour finale

 

TAKING the first yellow jersey on the opening stage TT, Ben Walsh has successfully defended the diminutive six-second lead he mastered that evening to win the 40th Junior Tour of Ireland.

His victory, and the efforts of his Team Ireland colleagues – Aaron Doherty, Dillon Corkery, Ethan Downey, and PJ Doogan – to help hold that yellow jersey, awarded Team Ireland the team classification for a memorable double.

Impressively, the five showed their dominance as a whole as early as that opening night 6.2km test, all finishing in the top 17, with three in the top five.

Today’s circuit race stage in Ennis was about maintaining positions and protecting Walsh.

A high pace ensured very few ever left the main peloton, and very few finished in the bunch at the end of 77.5km.

Victory went to stage 2 winner John Buller; green jersey Jason Ousthuizen chasing him in, with Michael Hall (Swinnerton) in third.

Ireland’s Aaron Doherty finished highest of the national team, securing fifth.

But, crucially, Walsh had hung on in the depleted bunch to win the overall title by the six seconds he took on stage one.

 

 

How Stage 6 was won

Back in Ennis on Sunday for the final event, a 77.5km circuit race around the County Clare town, Doogan was one of the first to attack on the 7-lap race, a break of three getting away on the second lap.

Ruben Bacon (Hincapi), Sean Kennedy (NRPT-Titan), and Eoghan McLoughlin (Connacht) built up a gap of 35 seconds, staying clear for the guts of three laps.

Lone wolves continued to attack after the absorption of that trio, GC danger man Eli Husted (Hot Tubes) among them, Connacht’s Connor Gallagher another.

But in a blisteringly fast race, the only break that looked set to stick came in the final 10km when Gallagher went again with Lucan’s Cameron Orr, second just 24 hours later on Stage 5 and only 21 seconds adrift of Walsh on GC.

There were only 15 minutes left to race at this stage, and the highly motivated pair quickly pulled out 15 seconds. Efforts by the leading teams to bring them back splintered the bunch, the pace having already been high before the attack.

When they were caught, flurries of counter-attacks ricocheted, Munster, Hincapi, Ireland, Hot Tubes, and South Africa moving all resources up to ensure a bunch sprint.

Replicating Wednesday’s fast stage, Ulster’s John Buller out-gunned Green Jersey Jason Ousthuizen (South Africa) to win his second stage of the 2017 Junior Tour of Ireland.

Oosthuizen, who won Stage 3, retained the green jersey, Walsh finishing safely in the bunch to retain the yellow jersey, Lucan’s Cameron Orr taking the mountains jersey, with Gaelen Kilburn (Hot Tubes) collecting the young riders jersey for the US.

Full results Junior Tour 2017 Stage 6 and Final General Classification

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