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Wycombe rider delivers Tour de Force
HIGH Wycombe Cycling Club star Karla Boddy won the final three stages of the Tour of Ireland to finish fifth overall and continue her rapid ascent up the rankings.
Boddy also tagged on two third place finishes in the six-stage tour and would have won the event outright but for a disappointing 3km time trial on the opening day, when she lost 17 seconds in the final 1,000m.
That apart though, the elite team rider from Wycombe did more than enough to enhance her burgeoning reputation in the sport.
The Tour of Ireland is five-day international stage race around the Ring of Kerry, incorporating climbs of 5,000m.
For the sprint specialist Boddy, it represented an ideal opportunity to gauge her progress in building stamina.
A third-place finish in the 45-mile stage one was a decent start, but the time trial set her back after that and left her with an awful lot of time to make up over the last four days.
Another third place finish on day two, which took the riders up the infamous Healy Pass with its 14 per cent gradients, kept her in it before the fireworks came in the second half of the tour.
The first cracker came on day three.
Her timing and positioning had been slightly off in the first two sprints, but Boddy changed tack slightly this time and it was third time lucky as she attacked first and held her lead all the way to the line.
Spurred on by her first win, which moved her up to 11th in the overall placings, Boddy dug in and after losing about 35 seconds up the first climb she hit turbo charge to catch a breakaway group of eight on the descent.
Showing her growing confidence going uphill, Boddy led the group up the second climb, helping to build a six-minute lead on the peloton.
From there it was a 20km race to the line and despite numerous attacks, none of the breakaway group could make a decisive move, leaving Boddy to snatch victory in a sprint to the line.
To cap a fabulous week, Boddy signed off with another sprint victory on the final day to finish fifth overall, 30 seconds behind the winner.
Also competing for Wycombe, Hanna Bonnett was 14th with Clemence Copie 28th to help Wycombe to seventh overall.