Cameron McIntyre has once again shown his potential as a top international competitor in the Gorey 3 day stage race.
Riding for the Nicolas Roche Performance Team, the Banbridge lad was competing against Ireland’s top juniors who had gathered at the race following a cancelled race programme in Belgium.
With a tough first stage it was likely the overall contenders would be identified early. The hilly stage was always likely to suit McIntyre and with 10km to go he was able to bridge across to a breakaway, reserving his energy to the last and showing great experience early in his career. McIntyre crossed the line alone in 3rd place losing only 12 seconds.
Stage 2 was much more aggressive and after only 10km of racing McIntyre was in another breakaway. The lead group worked well together and quickly opened up an advantage of three and a half minutes on the chasing bunch, giving Cameron enough time to place him in the virtual yellow jersey on the road.
Placing well in the bunch and claiming 6th on stage would see McIntyre gain enough bonus seconds to move within 7 seconds of the lead in 2nd place and into the green jersey of leader of the points classification.
Many would have settled for the green jersey and high overall placing, but McIntyre started the 3rd and final day determined to challenge for the overall lead. Unfortunately he was caught up in a crash after only 15km, losing substantial time and having to spend the next 20km chasing the front of the race. Remarkably he still had enough energy left in his legs to contest the final sprint, gaining another 2 bonus seconds over the race leader to take him within 5 seconds of the overall win.
The initial disappointment of coming so close to the biggest win of his career will be short lived, and on reflection the performance will be a great morale boost for bigger targets ahead.