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Tour of Ireland 2009

Date range:
August 21-23, 2009

August 23, Stage 3: Bantry - Cork 185km

Nordhaug wins final stage in Ireland

By:
Shane Stokes
Published:
August 23, 2009, 14:57 BST,
Updated:
August 24, 2009, 1:59 BST

Downing romps home for general classification win as Armstrong withdraws

Lars Petter Nordhaug (Joker Bianchi) wins the stage three of the Tour of Ireland beside him Russell Downing (CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta) secures the general classification

Lars Petter Nordhaug (Joker Bianchi) wins the stage three of the Tour of Ireland beside him Russell Downing (CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta) secures the general classification

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Returning to the race determined to improve on his second overall of last year, Russell Downing took the best result of his career when he won the Tour of Ireland in atrocious conditions.

The British rider gave himself the best birthday present when he broke clear with Joker Bianchi's Lars Petter Nordhaug in the closing kilometres, having previously coped with the attacks from defending champion Marco Pinotti (Columbia HTC), several members of the Saxo Bank squad plus other riders.

They threw all they could at him but he refused to buckle, then turned defence into offence when he attacked with approximately four kilometres to go. Nordhaugh also went with him.

It was a complete reversal of last year's finale when, as race leader, Downing was unable to follow a late attack by Pinotti and slipped out of yellow.

"The guys were attacking me all day... it was pretty nervous racing and hard to work out what was going to come back and what could stay away," the CandiTV - Marshall's Pasta rider said afterwards. "I actually got in a move myself to relieve the stress and try to put people on the back foot. I think it worked, it got people panicking."

"I felt strong out there... as soon as we came onto the big climb [St. Patrick's Hill] I was really good. I looked across at Pinotti and his tongue was out and everything, but I was there feeling pretty comfortable. This is definitely my biggest result."

Downing had also held the yellow jersey going into the final stage in 2008 but lost it when Pinotti surged clear inside the last 10 kilometres. "Last year was the best ride of my career, and to go one better than that is something else," he said today.

The 31-year-old is riding with the CandiTV Marshall's Pasta squad, a relatively small outfit based in Britain. But, as Breschel said, he's very strong and deserves a ride with a top team.

"I'd hope this result will help," said Downing. "I've had no discussions as yet but hopefully Monday it will start." He'll also hope for a rethink on Britain's world championship selection which has left him out, despite the fact that he was the only finisher from the team last year.

Twelve months ago, Nordhaug finished fifth on the final stage and seventh overall. He improved considerably on that today, making a podium appearance vis-à-vis the stage result and ending the race as runner-up to Downing. "This is for sure my biggest win," said the past Norwegian national MTB champion. "I like this circuit very much. I am a former mountainbike rider so with these conditions too I enjoy it. For sure it is pretty dangerous so you have to be careful."

He said that the key to his success was biding his time, picking his moment. "They were really attacking Russell Downing all the time so I think they were tired from that," he said of the other contenders. "I had to just watch a bit and then attack for myself with the right move. Russell Downing also attacked at almost the same time, so then we went away and just rode hard to the finish."

They crossed the line 33 seconds ahead of the next group of chasers: Matti Breschel (Team Saxo Bank), Craig Lewis (Team Columbia - HTC) plus six others. Pinotti was also in this bunch.

There were 22 riders starting the stage who sat within 26 seconds of Downing's lead but his strong performance completely changed the general classification. Nordhaug finished 23 seconds back while Breschel netted third, a further 20 seconds down. Alexander Kolobnev (Team Saxo Bank) and Pinotti were fourth and fifth respectively.

Irish rider Philip Deignan had started the stage fourth overall and was hoping to finish strongly, but came home in a group 51 seconds behind Downing and had to be content with 12th. He wasn't too disappointed, though; he said the big priority was staying safe prior to his start this coming Saturday in the Vuelta a España.

"It split as soon as we got onto the circuit, on the first climb. I didn't have the legs - I knew straight away that I didn't have the power. I felt sort of average today, and if I'd had the legs I had on the first day I would have been up at the front," he said.

The conditions complicated things a lot, too. "My back wheel was just spinning on the climbs, maybe I had too much pressure in the tyre - every time I was going up the climb, it was losing traction. I was sliding a bit on the corners going downhill and I didn't want to take crazy risks with the Vuelta next week. But things are fine - I'm happy enough with my condition before that race."

The large crowds who turned out to see Lance Armstrong were disappointed; the American pulled out on the first passage over the finish line, without starting St. Patrick's Hill. He indicated afterwards that his back was sore. Lashed by rain almost all stage and facing a very tough finishing circuit, more than half of the 103 starters did not finish.
 

Results
1 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Joker Bianchi 4:00:10  
2 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV    
3 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:33  
4 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia-HTC    
5 Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank    
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Continental    
8 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia-HTC    
9 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank    
10 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri    
11 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:42  
12 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team 0:00:51  
13 Jason McCartney (USA) Team Saxo Bank    
14 Andrey Grivko (Ukr) ISD - Neri    
15 Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
16 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo Test Team    
17 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) Astana    
18 Michael Schar (Swi) Astana 0:01:02  
19 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo Test Team 0:01:07  
20 Christoff Van Heerden (RSA) MTN Cycling    
21 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) Candi TV Marshalls Pasta    
22 Dale Appleby (GBr) Candi TV Marshalls Pasta    
23 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
24 Matt Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1 0:02:10  
25 Sam Bennett (Irl) Irish National Team 0:02:43  
26 Robert Partridge (GBr) Team Halfords 0:02:46  
27 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Team Halfords    
28 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo Test Team    
29 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo Test Team    
30 Steven Van Vooren (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
31 Mark O'Brien (Aus) Australian National Team 0:02:51  
32 Peter Williams (GBr) Candi TV Marshalls Pasta 0:05:38  
33 Timothy Roe (Aus) Australian National Team    
34 Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri Neri 0:06:20  
35 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team Columbia HTC 0:06:43  
36 Paul Griffin (Irl) Irish National Team 0:07:27  
37 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:08:01  
38 Stian Remme (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:08:23  
39 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Rabobank Continental    
40 Mark McNally (GBr) Team Halfords    
41 Juan Van Heerden (RSA) MTN Cycling    
42 Ian McLeod (RSA) MTN Cycling 0:08:35  
43 Chris Newton (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team 0:10:06  
44 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0:13:44  
45 Kurt Arvesen (Nor) SAX Team Saxo Bank    
46 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:20:50  
47 Sondre G Sortveit (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) Columbia-HTC    
DNF Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Columbia-HTC    
DNF Vincente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Columbia-HTC    
DNF Morris Possoni (Ita) Columbia-HTC    
DNF Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana    
DNF Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana    
DNF Jesus Hernández (Spa) Astana    
DNF Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana    
DNF Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Astana    
DNF Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervélo Test Team    
DNF Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervélo Test Team    
DNF Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervélo Test Team    
DNF David McCann (Irl) Irish National Team    
DNF Philip Lavery (Irl) Irish National Team    
DNF Martyn Irvine (Irl) Irish National Team    
DNF Igor Abakoumov (Bel) ISD - Neri    
DNF Bartosz Huzarsky (Pol) ISD - Neri    
DNF Kenny Lisabeth (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
DNF Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
DNF Ronan McLaughlin (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
DNF Jef Peeters (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
DNF Benny De Schrooder (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
DNF Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor Cycling Team    
DNF Tom Southam (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team    
DNF S Richardson (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team    
DNF Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor Cycling Team    
DNF Dean Downing (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team    
DNF Michael Creed (USA) Team Type 1    
DNF Shawn Milne (USA) Team Type 1    
DNF Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1    
DNF Ino Ilesic Aldo (Slo) Team Type 1    
DNF Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 1    
DNF Graham Briggs (GBr) Candi TV Marshalls Pasta    
DNF James Sampson (GBr) Candi TV Marshalls Pasta    
DNF Andrew Roche (Irl) Candi TV Marshalls Pasta    
DNF Thomas Frei (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Jack Bobridge (Aus) Australian National Team    
DNF Leigh Howard (Aus) Australian National Team    
DNF Travis Meyer (Aus) Australian National Team    
DNF Michael Matthews (Aus) Australian National Team    
DNF Nicholas Walker (Aus) Australian National Team    
DNF Frederik Wilman (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
DNF Sven Erik Vold (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
DNF Stake Laengen (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
DNF Jeste Bol (Ned) Rabobank Continental    
DNF Martijn Keizer (Ned) Rabobank Continental    
DNF Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Rabobank Continental    
DNF Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Continental    
DNF Maurice Vrijmoed (Ned) Rabobank Continental    
DNF Jay Thomson (RSA) MTN    
DNF Bradley Potgieter (RSA) MTN    
DNF Adrian Niyonshuti (RSA) MTN    
DNF Rob Hayles (GBr) Halfords    
DNF Andrew Tennant (GBr) Halfords    
DNS Ken Hanson (USA) Team Type 1    
An Post Sprint: Leap
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Joker Bianchi 5 pts
2 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Columbia-HTC 3  
3 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia-HTC 2  
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Continental 1  
An Post Sprint: Kinsale
1 Stuart O:Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 5 pts
2 Jay Thomson (RSA) MTN 3  
3 Maurice Vrijmoed (Ned) Rabobank Continental 2  
4 Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1 1  
An Post Sprint: Cork Finish Circuit
1 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 5 pts
2 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia-HTC 3  
3 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV 2  
4 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 1  
KoM Cat.3: Ballybane
1 Jef Peeters (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly Team 6 pts
2 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor Cycling Team 4  
3 Morris Possoni (Ita) Columbia-HTC 2  
4 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo Test Team 1  
KoM Cat.1: St Patrick:s Hill
1 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia-HTC 15 pts
2 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Joker Bianchi 12  
3 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV 10  
4 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 8  
5 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia-HTC 6  
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 4  
7 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank 2  
8 Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank 1  
Team Stage Placing
1 Team Saxo Bank 12:02:09  
2 Candi TV - Marshalls Pasta 0:00:35  
3 BMC Racing Team 0:00:52  
4 Cervélo Test Team 0:03:05  
5 ISD - Neri 0:06:05  
6 Team Columbia - HTC 0:06:10  
7 Team Halfords 0:12:16  
8 MTN Cycling 0:16:26  
9 Joker Bianchi 0:27:34  
Final General Classification
1 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV - Marshalls Pasta 14:18:03  
2 Lars Nordhaug (Nor) TMB Joker Bianchi 0:00:23  
3 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:43  
4 Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:45  
5 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia - HTC 0:00:49  
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:03  
7 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia - HTC 0:01:05  
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Continental 0:01:06  
9 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD - Neri    
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
11 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank    
12 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo Test Team 0:01:08  
13 Andrey Grivko (Ukr) ISD - Neri 0:01:21  
14 Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:24  
15 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team 0:03:17  
16 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo Test Team 0:03:19  
17 Jason McCartney (USA) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:20  
18 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) Astana    
19 Michael Schar (Swi) Astana 0:03:31  
20 Christoff Van Heerden (RSA) MTN Cycling 0:03:36  
21 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) Candi TV - Marshalls Pasta    
22 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo Test Team    
23 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
24 Matt Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1 0:04:39  
25 Sam Bennett (Irl) Irish National Team 0:05:12  
26 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Team Halfords 0:05:15  
27 Steven Van Vooren (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly Team    
28 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo Test Team    
29 Robert Partridge (GBr) Team Halfords    
30 Mark O'Brien (Aus) Australian National Team 0:05:20  
31 Timothy Roe (Aus) Australian National Team 0:08:07  
32 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team Columbia - HTC 0:09:38  
33 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:10:30  
34 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Rabobank Continental 0:10:52  
35 Mark McNally (GBr) Team Halfords    
36 Juan Van Heerden (RSA) MTN Cycling    
37 Stian Remme (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
38 Ian McLeod (RSA) MTN Cycling 0:11:04  
39 Chris Newton (GBr) Rapha Condor Cycling Team 0:12:35  
40 Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri 0:13:01  
41 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0:14:10  
42 Dale Appleby (GBr) Candi TV - Marshalls Pasta 0:15:41  
43 Kurt Arvesen (Nor) SAX Team Saxo Bank 0:16:13  
44 Peter Williams (GBr) Candi TV - Marshalls Pasta 0:20:12  
45 Paul Griffin (Irl) Irish National Team 0:22:01  
46 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:23:12  
47 Sondre G Sortveit (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:23:19  
U25 General Classification
1 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 4:18:46  
2 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:20  
3 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia-HTC 0:00:22  
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Continental 0:00:23  
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
Team General Classification
1 Team Saxo Bank 42:56:48  
2 BMC Racing Team 0:03:27  
3 Cervélo Test Team 0:03:29  
4 Candi TV - Marshalls Pasta 0:04:50  
5 ISD - Neri 0:06:29  
6 Team Columbia - HTC 0:08:30  
7 Team Halfords 0:18:43  
8 MTN Cycling 0:22:53  
8 Joker Bianchi 0:29:54  
Points Competition
1 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV 31 pts
2 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 27  
3 Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank 25  
Mountains Competition
1 Matt Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1 39 pts
2 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia-HTC 25 pts
3 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia-HTC 15 pts