Anna Shackley won Team GB’s second stage of Ras na mBan 2021 as she claimed the stage four time trial in Tullaroan on Saturday morning.
In the process, she’s leaped to the top of General Classification, taking over the lead from Abi Smith.
Starting the day third overall as part of a group of four riders level on time Shackley knew that whichever one of the four was fastest was likely to hold the lead into the evening criterium in Kilkenny City.
The 20-year-old Scot blasted up the 6.4km hilly course at Tullaroan to eclipse the best time to that point held by Murphy of Team Ireland by 34 seconds.
Alice Sharpe of Team Ireland, second overall starting the day, followed Shackley into action and finished 57s slower for what would be sixth place on the day.
Race leader for two days Abi Smith was the last rider to leave the start chasing her teammate’s blistering time and she made a valliant effort, breaking the timing beam just five seconds slower than Shackley to record a one-two finish for Team GB.
Murphy finished third, 34s behind Shackley with reigning Dutch time trial champion fourth at 44s. The standout performance came from New Ross rookie Linda Kelly, guesting with Cycling Munster, who finished fifth, 54s behind Shackley.
The upshot of it all is that Shackley now has the overall lead, five seconds in front of teammate Abi Smith with Loes Adegeest now third, 44s off the lead.
Sharpe is best of the Irish in fourth place, 18 seconds ahead of teammate Murphy who vaults two places to fifth with Natalie Grinczer of CAMS Basso sixth.
Linda Kelly holds the Kilkenny County Council green jersey for best Irish rider after stage four.
Kilkenny’s Mia Griffin posted 22nd place in a time of 15:34.94 (2:14 off Shackley & Smith in second) with Elizabeth Kent posting a 17:13.7, 3:53 off the lead in 56th. 78 riders completed the time trial.
The fifth and penultimate stage is a one-hour circuit race on a two-kilometre loop around Kilkenny starting at Kilkenny Castle at 6.30pm.