Conor Hennebry put in a brave display in Killorglin on Monday to defend his yellow jersey and be crowned overall winner of the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan race for 2018.
The crowds on the 112km stage were treated to an exciting day of racing as the international teams battled hard to claim victory over the domestic riders.
Despite numerous attacks on the 10km finishing circuit in Killorglin, the peloton was not letting anything away as the strong West Frisia team controlled the speed in the main bunch.
Having already won stage two, the Dutch were clearly keen to add to their tally and would eventually prove triumphant again as Joury Ottenbros won the uphill sprint from Alex Luhrs and Conor Murnane.
Finishing safely in the main peloton meant Hennebry lost no time to his rivals and secured the yellow jersey in the biggest victory of his career so far.
The 24-year-old was quick to praise the work of his Viner-Caremark team shortly after crossing the line. “I can’t thank the guys enough for the work they did today,” said the Waterford man.
“Yesterday’s stage up Coomoneaspaig was one of the hardest days I ever had on the bike so that makes the victory that bit sweeter.”
Hennebry’s coach, Tim Barry, was managing the rival Irish national team in the race, and the Ireland team fought hard to take the yellow jersey right up until the closing kilometres.
“Today was a strange day because I was managing the national team to take the jersey from a rider I coach (Hennebry).
“I am sure Conor was not too pleased with me after everything we threw at him, but we laughed about it afterwards,” said Barry.
“I told him you will enjoy this one even more as you had to suffer like mad to hold on.”
Meanwhile, Dubliner Philip Lavery of Stata3-Velorevolution won the polka-dot jersey for the best climber in the race while Conn McDunphy of the Irish development team took home the young rider prize for the best placed under-23 rider.
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