Jaan Kirsipuu took the third stage of the Ras today, beating his three breakaway companions in a straight sprint.
Kirsipuu (Giant-Veoila), a four-time stage winner in the Tour de France, out-sprinted Chris Newton (Rapha Condor), David McCann (Irish National Team) and Brian Kenneally (Meath Engraveit.ie/BDBC) on the 189km stage from Cobh to Cahirciveen.
Kenneally tried to catch the wily Kirsipuu napping, jumping away as the foursome rode into the final kilometre, but he was brought back and it was the Estonian who emerged triumphant.
It was another hilly day for the riders, with three categorised climbs, and another day characterised by heavy rainfall.
Wilkinson?s yellow jersey looked unthreatened for most of the day, despite several break attempts, most of which proved unsuccessful.
At one point, Wilkinson and Simon Richardson (second overall) were in a group of 20 chasing down a break, but it was the group of Kirsipuu that prevailed, with what was left of the peloton coming in under two minutes later.
Whilst it was elation for Kirsipuu, it was disappointment for Newton, but he was philosophical in defeat.
?Chris went for it with about 500 metres to go at the same time as Kirsipuu did so it was a straight sprint,? said Rapha Condor manager, John Herety.
?Kirsipuu is not exactly a slouch. Chris played it perfectly but in the end was beaten by the better man on the day so he was not too disappointed.
?It was a relatively easy day for us and we didn?t really have to turn a pedal in anger all day.? Looking ahead, ?it?ll be hard to dislodge Wilkinson, but Simon Richardson is feeling good?.
STAGE THREE RESULTS:
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Giant-Veoila)
2. Chris Newton (Rapha Condor)
3. David McCann (Irish National Team)
4. Brian Kenneally (Meath Engraveit.ie/BDBC) at 0-04
5. Niko Eeckhout (An Post Sean Kelly) at 0-51
6. Russell Downing (CandiTV Marshalls Pasta)
7. Laurent Didier (Denmark Designa Kokken)
8. Conor Murphy (IRC Ushers Insulations) at 1-23
9. Jan Barta (Arbo-KTM-Junkers) at 1-27
10. Sven De Weerdt (Cinelli-Down Under) at 1-40
1. Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bikehut)
2. Simon Richardson (Rapha Condor) at 0-19
3. Mads Christensen (Designa Kokken) at 3-08
4. Jan Barta (Arbo-KTM-Junkers) at 3-21
5. Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor) at 3-43
6. Rune Jogert (Giant-Veoila)
7. Bert Roesems (Cinelli-Down Under)
8. Ole Jogen Jenson (Giant-Veoila) all at 3-54
9. Chris Newton (Rapha Condor) at 5-48
10. David McCann (Irish National Team) at 6-28
Official race website: www.fbdinsuranceras.com