Holland's Loes Adegeest of Team Jan Van Arckel (centre) wins the sprint finish from Abi Smith of Team GB in Piltown PICTURE: Lorraine O'Sullivan
The high intensity action of the Rás na mBan continued as cyclists conquered Templeorum on day two.
Dutch rider Loes Adegeest from the Jan van Arckel team took the victory, finishing first in a quick sprint in Piltown.
The cyclists took on the 89.5km stage, leaving the Springhill Court Hotel at 12 noon and making their way towards Piltown. The route took them through Ballyhale and on to Templeorum, where the first of the day's Queen of the Mountains points were up for grabs. The race exploded on the first ascent, with a group of 15 riders holding a 20 second gap on the chasing pack. Jo Tindley, who started the day in the Mountains jersey, took the maximum nine points on offer with Anna Shackley (7pts), Loes Adegeest (5pts) and Ireland's Alice Sharpe (3pts) taking the rest.After passing through Piltown it was back to Templeorum for the second time, where the QOM points went to Shackley (9), Sharpe (7), Adegeest (5) and Abi Smith (3) before Adegeest won in a sprint finish to the line.
Abi Smith (British Cycling) was second with Anna Sharpe third and Anna Shackley fourth. Smith is now wearing the leaders' magenta jersey and has the lead in the points classification. She is also the leader of the Best Young Rider category. Jo Tindley retains the Mountains jersey while Linda Kelly (Cycling Munster) is now the proud wearer of the Kilkenny Co Council Best Irish Rider green jersey.
Tomorrow's stage will see the riders show off their climbing abilities as they take on the 104km Queen stage through The Cut in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The route will take them from Castlecomer to County Offaly, via Stradbally and Portlaoise.
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