Junior rider Clarke comes of age with winner-takes-all ride up Glengesh Pass

Posted on: June 3rd, 2012

Cormac Clarke of Cycling Ulster beats yellow jersey Sean Hambrook for stage 3 on Saturday afternoon (Photo: Marian Lamb – Cycling Ulster). We will bring you photos from today’s final stage as soon as we can.

Cormac Clarke of Cycling Ulster beats yellow jersey Sean Hambrook for stage 3 on Saturday afternoon (Photo: Marian Lamb – Cycling Ulster). We will bring you photos from today’s final stage as soon as we can.

 

Cormac Clarke has put in a breakthrough performance on the queen stage of Ras Dhun na nGall today, going on the attack before the feared final climb of the race, Glengesh Pass, and taking the stage and overall victory. He also wrapped up the climbers’ and junior classifications in the three-day.

Clarke, a Newry Wheelers junior riding with a Cycling Ulster selection this weekend, and Liam Blanchfield (Bray Wheelers) were simply too good for the rest of the field, emerging at the finish at the top of the climb almost two minutes ahead of the next man.

That third placed rider was none other than New Zealand junior Sean Hambrook who had held the yellow jersey going into this morning’s stage. Hambrook, who rides with VCC Morteau in Eastern France, had come to Ireland with his team mate, first-year U23 rider Darragh Zaidan from Dublin.

Hambrook won the stage two uphill TT on Saturday morning and looked very strong when taking second in a two-up sprint finish behind Cormac Clarke in yesterday’s afternoon road stage. It appeared he would be very hard to dislodged form the yellow jersey on today’s 61-mile final stage.

But Clarke and Blanchfield took the fight to him, with the Newry teenager taking a chance and winning big; going home with the best win of his career after his most impressive performance ever on a bike.

Clarke showed great courage in seizing the initiative early today, going clear in an eight-man group with only around five miles of the stage completed.

That group pulled out a gap of 40 seconds almost immediately and while it would stubbornly stay like that for the next five or six miles, the elastic to the peloton soon snapped and the gap rocketed to two minutes and then three.

The riders up front with Clarke were, among others: Matt Blayney (North Down), Liam Blanchfield (Bray Wheelers), Thomas Fallon (Black Rose), Jonathan Gibson (Unattached) and Ian Richardson (UCD).

The breakaway combined very well to build their lead but around 40 miles into the stage it began to fragment with Fallon and Richardson paying the price for perhaps doing too much work early on and losing their places.

By the time the final ascent of Glengesh Pass started up to the summit finish, there were only four riders left in the break. And almost immediately the road went it, it was Clarke and Blanchfield who pulled away together.

Behind them, the yellow jersey and his one team mate Zaidan had not given up. By the time they reached the foot of the climb they had pegged the gap back to 2:20 and it was not inconceivable that Hambrook might motor up the climb after the leaders and that the pair up front might crack.

However, while Hambrook is a classy rider who has been pre-selected for the New Zealand team for the World Championships later this year, there was to be no fairytale ending for him on the weather-battered Glengesh.

Clarke and Blanchfield showed no signs of weakening at all up front. Hambrook rode all but a handful of riders off his wheel on the climb as he tried desperately to protect his lead, but he only managed to shave around 20 seconds off the gap to the two men out front.

Coming towards the top of the climb, Clarke – who had started the day second on GC just 13 seconds down – dropped Blanchfield. The Bray man fought very hard to stay in touch and actually caught and passed Clarke again just before the finish. But the teenager had plenty in the tank and put in a strong finishing gallop that put four seconds between him and Blanchfield on the line.

Not only did he wrap up the stage and overall win, but his taking the final KOH prime also won him the climbers’ classification. Cycling Ulster also won the team prize, won the junior category and two of the four stages and one second on a stage with Clarke and were second in the U23 category with Marc Potts.

Blanchfield may have come up short in his efforts to win the stage today, but his breakaway heroics moved him up to second, with third on the stage Hambrook also finishing third on the final GC.

Organised by John Curran and all the team from Fourmasters CC, it was another weekend of great racing that further cements the event as one of the toughest and most prestigious fixtures on the Irish calendar open to all but the A1s.

 

 

Stage 4: Ardara to Glengesh 60.9miles

1) Clarke,Cormac ULS Cycling Ulster Slane 2h37’24”
2) Blanchfield,Liam BRA Bray Wheelers 2h37’29” @05″
3) Hambrook,Sean VCC VCC Morteau-Montbenoi 2h39’18” @01’54”
4) Robinson,Geoff BRA Bray Wheelers 2h39’18” @ s/t
5) Smyth,Cathal PHA Phoenix A 2h39’20” @01’56”
6) Ryder,Mike GAL Galway Bay 2h39’20” @ s/t
7) Farren,Shane DOW North Down CC 2h39’32” @02’08”
8 Adair,Matthew CRV Chain Reaction-Vitus 2h39’32” @ s/t
9) Potts,Marc ULS Cycling Ulster Slane 2h39’39” @02’15”
10) Morton,Eoin UCD UCD Team 2h39’41” @02’17”
11) O’Tuathail,Sean BRA Bray Wheelers 2h39’50” @02’26”
12) Sheehan,Geoff SDU South Dublin 2h39’52” @02’28”
13) McCardle,Brian DTC DTC Orwell Wheelers 2h39’52” @ s/t
14) Reid,Ivan OMA Omagh Wheelers 2h39’55” @02’31”
15) McFadden,Sean ERR Errigal CC 2h39’55” @ s/t
16) Stewart,Daniel ULS Cycling Ulster Slane 2h39’55” @ s/t
17) Fettiplace,James PHB Phoenix B 2h39’55” @ s/t
18) Kelly,John DWW Dublin Wheelers 2h39’55” @ s/t
19) McKee,Gareth CRV Chain Reaction-Vitus 2h39’55” @ s/t
20) Keeney,Cormac ERR Errigal CC 2h40’02” @02’38”
21) Hedley,Andrew CRV Chain Reaction-Vitus 2h40’03” @02’39”
22) Watson,Lawrence FOY Foyle CC 2h40’12” @02’48”
23) Collins,Ross UCD UCD Team 2h40’14” @02’50”
24) Rimmer,Peter DBA Donegal Bay CC 2h40’18” @02’54”
25) McCauley,Alastair PHA Phoenix A 2h40’23” @02’59”
26) Woods,Des NEW Newry Wheelers 2h40’26” @03’02”
27) Joyce,Derek GAL Galway Bay 2h40’26” @ s/t
28) Gibson,Fran SDU South Dublin 2h40’26” @ s/t
29) Millar,Mike PHA Phoenix A 2h40’26” @ s/t
30) Stanley,Andrew UNI Dublin Uni CC 2h40’32” @03’08”
31) McCaffrey,Ted DBA Donegal Bay CC 2h40’35” @03’11”
32) McCartney,Declan FOU Four Masters CC 2h40’40” @03’16”
33) Coughlan,Dave DTC DTC Orwell Wheelers 2h40’43” @03’19”
34) McKenna,Stephen OMA Omagh Wheelers 2h40’45” @03’21”
35) McKinnley,Drew NEW Newry Wheelers 2h40’54” @03’30”
36) Gibson,Jonathan U/A U/A 2h40’56” @03’32”
37) Quigley,Nigel BAN Bann Wheelers 2h40’56” @ s/t
38) Murphy,Mark BRA Bray Wheelers 2h40’56” @ s/t
39) Cox,Stuart ROS Black Rose 2h40’56” @ s/t
40) Ortiz,Sara LADY ROS Black Rose 2h40’56” @ s/t
41) Hunter,Danny ERR Errigal CC 2h40’56” @ s/t
42) Devins,Michael EIR EireOg 2h41’11” @03’47”
43) McKinney,Bryan DUF Duffin Transport RT 2h41’11” @ s/t
44) McWilliams,Stephen PHA Phoenix A 2h41’11” @ s/t
45) Prendergast,Jason ROS Black Rose 2h41’14” @03’50”
46) Collins,Diarmuid DTC DTC Orwell Wheelers 2h41’14” @ s/t
47) McDaid,Glen POL North Pole CC 2h41’14” @ s/t
48) Power,Finbarr COM Comeragh CC 2h41’30” @04’06”
49) Marshall,Phillip DOW North Down CC 2h41’35” @04’11”
50) McCormack,Gareth CAS Castlebar TF Royal 2h41’39” @04’15”
51) Brownfield,Ray DOW North Down CC 2h41’48” @04’24”
52) Blayney,Matty DOW North Down CC 2h41’48” @ s/t
53) Martin,Brian DBA Donegal Bay CC 2h41’54” @04’30”
54) Wall,Aidan NAV Navan RC 2h41’57” @04’33”
55) Conway,John HAR Harps CC 2h41’57” @ s/t
56) O’Hagan,Niall DUF Duffin Transport RT 2h42’03” @04’39”
57) Graham,Andrew OMA Omagh Wheelers 2h42’09” @04’45”
58) Doyle,Matthew ULS Cycling Ulster Slane 2h42’15” @04’51”
59) McBride,Peter ERR Errigal CC 2h42’24” @05’00”
60) Doyle,Cathal CAR Carn Wheelers 2h42’37” @05’13”
61) Stewart,Brian PHA Phoenix A 2h42’39” @05’15”
62) Moloney,Brendan SDU South Dublin 2h43’03” @05’39”
63) Holian,Kevin ERR Errigal CC 2h43’15” @05’51”
64) Toughy,Peter CAS Castlebar TF Royal 2h43’15” @ s/t
65) Smyth,John PHB Phoenix B 2h43’15” @ s/t
66) McHugh,Jason FOU Four Masters CC 2h43’15” @ s/t
67) Richardson,Ian UCD UCD Team 2h43’15” @ s/t
68) Kenny,John NAV Navan RC 2h43’21” @05’57”
69) Fallon,Thomas ROS Black Rose 2h43’30” @06’06”
70) Long,Neil DWW Dublin Wheelers 2h43’37” @06’13”
71) Gault,James PHB Phoenix B 2h43’46” @06’22”
72) Russell,Michael FOU Four Masters CC 2h43’52” @06’28”
73) Zaidan,Darragh VCC VCC Morteau-Montbenoi 2h44’23” @06’59”
74) O’Conluain,Ciaran UCD UCD Team 2h44’23” @ s/t
75) McIlwaine,Devon DUF Duffin Transport RT 2h44’59” @07’35”
76) Sheridan,Francis DBA Donegal Bay CC 2h46’06” @08’42”
77) O’Higgins,Ben BRA Bray Wheelers 2h46’26” @09’02”
78) Spath,Melanie LADY CYC CycleWays CC 2h47’04” @09’40”
79) Boylan,Kenny LAK Lakeland CC 2h47’27” @10’03”
80) McCafferty,Pauric FOU Four Masters CC 2h47’34” @10’10”
81) Reade,Aidan ROS Black Rose 2h47’41” @10’17”
82) Warnock,Glenn OMA Omagh Wheelers 2h47’48” @10’24”
83) Dooey,Jonathan SPI Spires CC 2h48’02” @10’38”
84) Conroy,Rory CAS Castlebar TF Royal 2h48’08” @10’44”
85) Cole,Kyle ULS Cycling Ulster Slane 2h48’34” @11’10”
86) Mullane,Stephen DBA Donegal Bay CC 2h49’05” @11’41”
87) Parker,Barrick UCD UCD Team 2h49’59” @12’35”
88) Conlon,Ger COM Comeragh CC 2h49’59” @ s/t
89) Driver,Mark BWB Bray Wheelers B 2h56’50” @19’26”
90) Loughren,Mark BWB Bray Wheelers B 2h57’41” @20’17”
91) McMullen,Michael DOW North Down CC 3h05’54” @28’30”
92) Doyle,Jim FOY Foyle CC 3h15’43” @38’19”
93) Doherty,Mickey POL North Pole CC 3h15’54” @38’30”
94) Gavin,Paul I.V.C.A 3h16’46” @39’22”
95) Henry,Joe PHB Phoenix B 3h19’24” @42’00”
96) Moran,Tonya LADY U/A U/A 3h21’41” @44’17”
97) Elder,Nigel CRV Chain Reaction-Vitus 3h23’44” @46’20”
98) Brice,Amy LADY PHO Phoenix Lady 3h25’31” @48’07”

Non starters/finishers/eliminated Riders

Did Not Finish: 15-Stewart.S, 25-McKendry.J, 37-Deane.A, 41-Jacobsen.A,
44-McCann.S, 45-Dunlop.R, 93-Kane.B, 96-Grimes.C, 109-Daly.J, 119-Conway.P

Did Not Start: 43-Johnston.K, 53-McLoughlin.P, 56-McCarter.P,
70-Henderson.M

 

Final General Classification

1) Clarke,Cormac J Cycling Ulster S 6h06’33”
2) Blanchfield,Liam 2 Bray Wheelers 6h07’52” @01’19”
3) Hambrook,Sean J VCC Morteau-Mont 6h08’14” @01’41”
4) Smyth,Cathal V Phoenix A 6h08’39” @02’06”
5) Ryder,Mike 2 Galway Bay 6h08’50” @02’17”
6) Robinson,Geoff V Bray Wheelers 6h09’12” @02’39”
7) Adair,Matthew YY Chain Reaction-V 6h09’15” @02’42”
8 Stewart,Daniel J Cycling Ulster S 6h09’36” @03’03”
9) Sheehan,Geoff 2 South Dublin 6h09’40” @03’07”
10) Morton,Eoin 3 UCD Team 6h09’46” @03’13”
11) Fettiplace,James 3 Phoenix B 6h09’48” @03’15”
12) Potts,Marc Y Cycling Ulster S 6h09’48” = s/t
13) Farren,Shane 3 North Down CC 6h09’49” @03’16”
14) McKee,Gareth 3 Chain Reaction-V 6h09’55” @03’22”
15) Collins,Ross 2 UCD Team 6h09’58” @03’25”
16) McFadden,Sean 2 Errigal CC 6h10’01” @03’28”
17) Kelly,John 2 Dublin Wheelers 6h10’04” @03’31”
18) McCauley,Alastair 3 Phoenix A 6h10’07” @03’34”
19) McCardle,Brian 3 DTC Orwell Wheel 6h10’11” @03’38”
20) O’Tuathail,Sean 3 Bray Wheelers 6h10’11” = s/t
21) Reid,Ivan 3 Omagh Wheelers 6h10’18” @03’45”
22) Keeney,Cormac 2 Errigal CC 6h10’19” @03’46”
23) Watson,Lawrence 3 Foyle CC 6h10’20” @03’47”
24) Stanley,Andrew Y Dublin Uni CC 6h10’32” @03’59”
25) Rimmer,Peter V Donegal Bay CC 6h10’32” = s/t
26) Hedley,Andrew 2 Chain Reaction-V 6h10’41” @04’08”
27) Millar,Mike 3 Phoenix A 6h10’43” @04’10”
28) Gibson,Jonathan V U/A 6h10’44” @04’11”
29) Coughlan,Dave 2 DTC Orwell Wheel 6h10’48” @04’15”
30) Gibson,Fran 2 South Dublin 6h10’53” @04’20”
31) Woods,Des 3 Newry Wheelers 6h10’58” @04’25”
32) Joyce,Derek 2 Galway Bay 6h10’59” @04’26”
33) Cox,Stuart 2 Black Rose 6h11’03” @04’30”
34) McCaffrey,Ted 3 Donegal Bay CC 6h11’04” @04’31”
35) McCartney,Declan 3 Four Masters CC 6h11’08” @04’35”
36) McKinney,Bryan 2 Duffin Transport 6h11’10” @04’37”
37) Murphy,Mark V Bray Wheelers 6h11’11” @04’38”
38) McKenna,Stephen 2 Omagh Wheelers 6h11’23” @04’50”
39) McWilliams,Stephen 3 Phoenix A 6h11’34” @05’01”
40) McKinnley,Drew 3 Newry Wheelers 6h11’36” @05’03”
41) Quigley,Nigel V Bann Wheelers 6h11’37” @05’04”
42) Prendergast,Jason J Black Rose 6h11’38” @05’05”
43) Devins,Michael V EireOg 6h11’42” @05’09”
44) McDaid,Glen 3 North Pole CC 6h11’46” @05’13”
45) Blayney,Matty 2 North Down CC 6h11’48” @05’15”
46) Collins,Diarmuid 2 DTC Orwell Wheel 6h11’51” @05’18”
47) Marshall,Phillip 3 North Down CC 6h11’55” @05’22”
48) McCormack,Gareth 3 Castlebar TF Roy 6h11’55” = s/t
49) Brownfield,Ray 3 North Down CC 6h11’59” @05’26”
50) Doyle,Matthew J Cycling Ulster S 6h12’02” @05’29”
51) Power,Finbarr V Comeragh CC 6h12’08” @05’35”
52) Conway,John 3 Harps CC 6h12’12” @05’39”
53) Wall,Aidan YJ Navan RC 6h12’23” @05’50”
54) Hunter,Danny Y Errigal CC 6h12’27” @05’54”
55) Graham,Andrew 3 Omagh Wheelers 6h12’47” @06’14”
56) Richardson,Ian 2 UCD Team 6h12’48” @06’15”
57) Ortiz,Sara LADY 3 Black Rose 6h12’55” @06’22”
58) Martin,Brian 2 Donegal Bay CC 6h13’07” @06’34”
59) Doyle,Cathal 3 Carn Wheelers 6h13’12” @06’39”
60) Holian,Kevin 3 Errigal CC 6h13’26” @06’53”
61) Kenny,John 2 Navan RC 6h13’32” @06’59”
62) Fallon,Thomas J Black Rose 6h13’33” @07’00”
63) Stewart,Brian V Phoenix A 6h13’36” @07’03”
64) Moloney,Brendan 3 South Dublin 6h13’40” @07’07”
65) Smyth,John V Phoenix B 6h13’45” @07’12”
66) Zaidan,Darragh Y VCC Morteau-Mont 6h14’31” @07’58”
67) Russell,Michael V Four Masters CC 6h14’56” @08’23”
68) McIlwaine,Devon 3 Duffin Transport 6h14’58” @08’25”
69) Gault,James V Phoenix B 6h16’19” @09’46”
70) Sheridan,Francis J Donegal Bay CC 6h16’27” @09’54”
71) Spath,Melanie LADY 3 CycleWays CC 6h17’49” @11’16”
72) Warnock,Glenn 3 Omagh Wheelers 6h17’56” @11’23”
73) McCafferty,Pauric Y Four Masters CC 6h18’19” @11’46”
74) Cole,Kyle J Cycling Ulster S 6h18’53” @12’20”
75) O’Hagan,Niall V Duffin Transport 6h19’30” @12’57”
76) McHugh,Jason V Four Masters CC 6h20’31” @13’58”
77) Conlon,Ger 3 Comeragh CC 6h20’33” @14’00”
78) Toughy,Peter 3 Castlebar TF Roy 6h20’42” @14’09”
79) Long,Neil Y Dublin Wheelers 6h21’41” @15’08”
80) McBride,Peter 3 Errigal CC 6h22’30” @15’57”
81) Reade,Aidan V Black Rose 6h25’38” @19’05”
82) Conroy,Rory 3 Castlebar TF Roy 6h25’47” @19’14”
83) O’Conluain,Ciaran 2 UCD Team 6h27’14” @20’41”
84) Boylan,Kenny V Lakeland CC 6h29’21” @22’48”
85) Mullane,Stephen 3 Donegal Bay CC 6h29’26” @22’53”
86) Dooey,Jonathan 3 Spires CC 6h30’28” @23’55”
87) Parker,Barrick Y UCD Team 6h32’35” @26’02”
88) Loughren,Mark V Bray Wheelers B 6h35’17” @28’44”
89) McMullen,Michael V North Down CC 6h36’35” @30’02”
90) Driver,Mark 3 Bray Wheelers B 6h46’34” @40’01”
91) O’Higgins,Ben YY Bray Wheelers 6h50’07” @43’34”
92) Doherty,Mickey 3 North Pole CC 7h09’12” @1h02’39”
93) Doyle,Jim V Foyle CC 7h09’32” @1h02’59”
94) Gavin,Paul V I.V.C.A 7h20’05” @1h13’32”
95) Henry,Joe 3 Phoenix B 7h23’09” @1h16’36”
96) Moran,Tonya LADY 3 U/A 7h26’26” @1h19’53”
97) Brice,Amy LADY 3 Phoenix Lady 7h30’42” @1h24’09”
98) Elder,Nigel 3 Chain Reaction-V 7h42’18” @1h35’45”

 

Team General Classification

1 Cycling U 18h25’35”
2 Bray Whee @ 30″
3 Phoenix A @ 03’54”
4 Chain Rea @ 04’16”
5 Errigal C @ 05’52”

 

Mountains Competition

1 Clarke,C ULS 16
2 McKee,G CRV 14
3 Hambrook,S VCC 14
4 Blanchfield, BRA 11
5 Robinson,G BRA 5
6 Cox,S ROS 5
7 Richardson,I UCD 5
8 Fallon,T ROS 5

 

Junior Overall

1 Clarke,C ULS = 6h06’33”
2 Hambrook,S VCC @ 01’41”
3 Stewart,D ULS @ 03’03”
4 Prendergast,J ROS @ 05’05”
5 Doyle,M ULS @ 05’29”

U/23 Overall

1 Adair,M CRV = 6h09’15”
2 Potts,M ULS @ 33″
3 Stanley,A UNI @ 01’17”
4 Hunter,D ERR @ 03’12”
5 Zaidan,D VCC @ 05’16”

Vet Overall

1 Smyth,C PHA = 6h08’39”
2 Robinson,G BRA @ 33″
3 Rimmer,P DBA @ 01’53”
4 Gibson,J U/A @ 02’05”
5 Murphy,M BRA @ 02’32”

 

 

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