RAPHA Condor team leader Chris Newton confirmed his return to form after a broken collar bone with victory in the third stage of the FBD Insurance Ras on Tuesday.

Newton spent most of the 133-kilometre race off the front of the bunch, and after the leading group was whittled down as the race progressed, he attacked rival David McCann (Ireland) inside the final kilometre to cross the line two seconds ahead.

The first attack of the day was started by Patrick Kos (Netherlands) after just 15 minutes, and he was soon joined by Ireland?s Miceal Concannon and Robin Seymour.

They quickly established a lead of around one minute before a chase was launched by the bunch, with Newton leading the way, and they reeled in the leaders just before Claregalway.

Twice winner of the event, Ciaran Power (Pezula Racing) was next to attack, and he took four others with him at the 68-kilometre mark, just before Kinvarra, and that group had a 40 second lead before the bunch reacted, with Newton again driving.

He went off the front with Roger Aiken (Ireland), Norwegian Morten Hegreberg, McCann and Paidi O?Brien (Ireland-An Post), and they caught the leaders 20 kilometres later.

Plowman Craven had missed the break and were driving the bunch onwards, 1-20 behind, and when it split they had Alex Higham in a chasing group which included Andrew Bye and Chris McNamara (both Surrey League) as well as Keiran Page (Pezula Racing) and Rapha Condor duo Rob Partridge and Dale Appleby.

With a strong chase group of 12 chasing the nine leaders, McCann and Newton attacked again, with Patrick De Schrooder initially on their wheel before dropping back.

As they tackled the third category climb of Ballinalacken they had 29 seconds on the chasing group, and as they passed through the five kilometres to go mark, that lead had swelled to over a minute as the climb took its toll.

Heading for the line Newton was first to go, confident of his sprinting ability, and at the line he had two seconds on McCann.

FBD Insurance Ras (Stage three, Claremorris to Lisdoonvarna, 133km).-

1 Chris Newton (Rapha Condor)


2 David McCann (Ireland) at 2sec

3 Mateusz Komar (Poland) at 1-04

4 Ciaran Power (Pezula Racing) at 1-05

5 Rob Partridge (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 1-06

6 Andrew Bye (Surrey League) at 1-07

7 Amir Zargari (Iran)

8 K Razaei (Iran)

9 Morten Hegreberg (Norway, Sparebanken)

10 B de Schrooder (Ireland-An Post) all same time

RELATED LINKS

Reaction: Chris Newton on his stage win

Stage two report: Dean Downing beats Evan Oliphant at the finish

Stage one report: Isle of Man’s Hanson wins Ras first stage

2008 FBD Insurance Ras preview