Philippe Bourdarias spearheaded a seven man Orwell team at the Gorey 3 Day over the Easter weekend, which saw the fast Frenchman bag a brace of placings and a top 20 overall position.

Philippe Bourdarias was an ever-present threat throughout the race, infiltrating a late break on stage one and looking good for a result until the stage was stopped due to a road traffic accident on the course. He and his ten breakaway companions were given their time advantage on the chasing bunch. Bourdarias made up for his disappointment on stage three, where he sprinted well to take seventh on the stage. The final stage once again saw him in the thick of the action, attempting a late attack in the closing kilometres before getting up in the sprint to take eighth on the stage. His performances over the weekend saw him claim 17th in the final general classification and some more Cycling Ireland ranking points that will edge him even closer to an upgrade to A1.

Updated: CI have belatedly awarded 5 points to Bourdarias for the annulled stage, therefore promoting him to A1 status. Congratulations!

Jamie Busher was one of five Gorey debutantes, putting in a classy display throughout the weekend, keeping himself well positioned in a fast and often frantic bunch. Busher was one of only two Orwells to survive in the main bunch during the horrific weather conditions during stage three. High winds and icy rain made for a treacherous race, evidenced by the fact that 19 riders abandoned. Busher’s performances left him an excellent 33rd overall after the final stage.

Another man making his Gorey debut was Fionn Sheridan, who rode the race like a veteran, appearing cool and composed in the top half of the bunch most days. The first year senior managed to animate the final stage by launching an impressive attack as the bunch approached Blessington in a bid for stage glory and is clearly one to watch in the coming years.

Dick O’Brien meanwhile put in a strong ride on Sunday morning’s time trial which saw him come a fine 15th on the stage. This followed a frantic but successful chase back to the bunch on stage one when he suffered a mechanical, but his hopes for a high general classification placing were quashed on the third stage however, when he lost contact with the main bunch and came in eleven minutes down on the leaders.

Ronan Grimes, Ed O’Mahony and David Swift were the remaining trio of Gorey debutants, all of whom made the transition to stage racing at this level with aplomb, putting in strong rides throughout the weekend. Swift was perhaps the unluckiest of the Orwell contingent, with the weather conditions on stage three forcing him to reluctantly abandon the race due to the extreme cold.

The team was excellently managed by Declan Quigley. A Gorey veteran, Quigley’s knowledge and encouragement proved invaluable in keeping the team motivated. He was ably assisted by Emma Convey, the most stylish mechanic in the race; along with John Busher and Sandra Telford, who were tireless in providing transport, food and plenty of roadside bottles for the riders.

If you want to hear about the race in some of the riders' own words, you can have a look at the forum and this thread.


L-R: Ronan Grimes, Ed O'Mahony, David Swift, Philippe Bourdarias, Fionn Sheridan, Dick O'Brien, Sandra Telford (photo thanks to Emma Convey)

Feeding time! Jamie Busher with Bourdarias and O'Brien (photo thanks to Jamie Busher)

Emma Convey and Declan Quigley, support and Twitter experts (photo thanks to @OrwellWheelers)


Gorey 3 Day, Wicklow/Wexford (19-21/4/2014)

Stage 1 (annulled)
Philippe Bourdarias @0'00"
Dick O'Brien @1'02"
Jamie Busher @1'02"
Fionn Sheridan @1'02"
Ronan Grimes @1'02"
Ed O'Mahony @1'02"
David Swift @1'02"

Stage 2 TT
1 Ciaran Kelly (Bikeworx) 8'19"
15 Dick O'Brien 9'14" @55"
38 Jamie Busher 9'31" @1'12"
73 Fionn Sheridan 9'58"
91 Philippe Bourdarias 10'12"
92 Ed O'Mahony 10'12"
95 Ronan Grimes 10'16"
120 David Swift 10'30"

GC after Stage 2
1 Robin Seymour (Epic MTB/Expert) 3h23'49"
19 Philippe Bourdarias @1'23"
20 Dick O'Brien @1'27"
41 Jamie Busher @1'44"
76 Fionn Sheridan @2'11"
93 Ed O'Mahony @2'26"
97 Ronan Grimes @2'29"
121 David Swift @2'43"

Stage 3
1 Darragh Zaidan (Adamstown CC) 2.34'08"
7 Philippe Bourdarias @31"
46 Jamie Busher @31"
92 Ronan Grimes @2'40"
101 Fionn Sheridan @4'28"
105 Ed O'Mahony @5'19"
112 Dick O'Brien @11'16"

GC after Stage 3
1 Mark Reilly (Lucan CRC)
17 Philippe Bourdarias @1'42"
33 Jamie Busher @2'03"
93 Ronan Grimes @4'57"
97 Fionn Sheridan @6'27"
103 Ed O'Mahony @7'33"
112 Dick O'Brien @12'31"

Stage 4
1 Martin Meschkat (Team Bike-Onlineshop) 2.13'09"
8 Philippe Bourdarias s/t
18 Jamie Busher s/t
97 Dick O'Brien s/t
103 Fionn Sheridan @1'04"
114 Ed O'Mahony @13'10"
115 Ronan Grimes s/t

Final GC
1 Mark Reilly (Lucan CRC) 8.11'18"
17 Philippe Bourdarias @1'42"
33 Jamie Busher @2'03"
93 Fionn Sheridan @7'31"
100 Dick O'Brien @12'31"
104 Ronan Grimes @18'07"
108 Edward O'Mahony @20'43"