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made that move now dominate the head of the general classification.
Indeed, such was the breakaway's advantage on the vast majority of the field by the finish that the men who Nike Lebron 12 Low Red All Over
That margin would double by the end, and though Downey's initial reaction was disappointment after losing out in the Nike Zoom Bb 1.5
race's debut in Leeds on July 5, the team announced a 14 man provisional squad, from which nine will be selected at the end of June to ride the Tour.
The An Post Rs saw one of its most dramatic days in recent memory unfold on the road from Cahersiveen to Clonakilty yesterday when the yellow jersey lost over eight minutes and a new set of contenders emerged.
Clemens Fankhauser (Austria Tirol Cycling Team), who started second overall yesterday and had a significant gap of 1:55 to make up, was in the day's winning 11 man escape and now leads the race. From an Irish perspective, Sean Downey of the An Post Chain Reaction team rocketed up the overall standings and is now just 58 seconds down in eighth.
"Today was a funny kind of a day," he said. "I wasn't in the initial breakaway, my team mate Jack Wilson was, but we actually chased down that break to get someone higher up the standings into contention. I was on one of those days where I just couldn't hurt myself and managed to get into the break after Glengarriff and before I knew it we had a gap of four minutes."
Downey was eighth over the line in the same time but gave himself every chance of moving up even further in the days ahead.
With just six weeks to go before the Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 32
But with a second member of his New Zealand team forced to abandon the race due to the sickness that has decimated the peloton he was given an impossible task to try to protect the jersey yesterday.
sprint, that frustration was tempered when it dawned on him how close he is to the yellow jersey.
The biggest loser was Kiwi yellow jersey wearer Patrick Bevin, who had looked invincible in recent days as he won two stages and put in an especially epic ride to close down everything ahead of him on the road into Cahersiveen on Wednesday and yet still have the strength to win the sprint for victory.
"There are three days to go and I hope to attack on the climbs," he said. "The team is behind me and I feel really good, but we are the team who are most watched so we must choose the right moment and go all or nothing for it. The time is now for me, I know I can win and I need to as well," he added.
Reigning champion Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain Velosure Giordana) won the stage on the uphill sprint into Clonakilty, the big Pole besting Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis) and Peter Williams (France Betagne Genesis) to the line after 168 kilometres of racing.
The race has been quite a tumultuous affair so far, with umpteen crashes and a bout of the winter vomiting bug wiping out a considerable number of the peloton but with five of the eight stages down, a clearer picture of who will win is now Nike Zoom Flight 96 apparent.
Meanwhile, Sam Bennett's chances of riding the Tour de France in his first year as a professional were given a huge boost yesterday when the Carrick on Suir rider was named on NetApp Endura's long list for the race.
Downey dreams big as R
Despite several groups slipping off the front of the race early on, the winning move wasn't established until two of the day's five categorised climbs were crested but as soon as they broke clear, their gap to the remnants of a fragmented peloton just widened.
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