Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti (Columbia) has won the 2008 Tour of Ireland.
Pinotti’s team-mate Frantisek Rabon won the final stage in Cork, giving the squad a total of four out of five stage wins plus the overall. Frederik Ericsson (Pezula) crossed the line in second, some ten seconds adrift of Rabon.
Behind the two leaders, Pinotti attacked the chase group, which also contained race leader Russell Downing (Pinarello Canditv), in the dying kilometres. He used his superior time trialling skills – Pinotti won the final Giro d’Italia time trial in May – to keep the chasers at bay and put enough seconds into Downing to snatch the lead on the line – just.
Downing finished second overall, just 19 seconds behind Pinotti. Julian Dean (Garmin-Chipotle) rounds off the podium positions in third.
Mark Cavendish (Columbia) – the rider who had given Columbia wins in the first three stages of the race – did not finish the stage. The Manx sprinter now heads over to the Tour of Missouri.
TOUR OF IRELAND 2008: STAGE FIVE RESULTS
1. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Columbia 144km in 3h 27min 4secs
2. Fredrik Ericsson (Swe) Pezula at 15secs
3. Marco Pinotti (Ita) Columbia at 1m 4secs
4. Russell Downing (GB) Pinarello Canditv at 1m 37secs
5. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Joker-Bianchi
6. Julian Dean (NZ) Garmin-Chipotle
7. Michael Barry (Can) Columbia at same time
8. Simon Clarke (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS at 1m 40secs
9. Massimo Graziato (Ita) Tinkoff
10. Matt Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1 at same time.
FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
1. Marco Pinotti (Ita) Columbia in 21h 43min 16secs
2. Russell Downing (GB) Pinarello Canditv at 19secs
3. Julian Dean (NZ) Garmin-Chipotle at 21secs
4. Matt Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1 at 33secs
5. Michael Barry (Can) Columbia at 36secs
6. Simon Clarke (Aus) SouthAustralia.com at 37secs
7. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Joker-Bianchi at same time
8. Gonzalo Rabunal (Spa) Karpin Galicia at 38secs
9. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen at 44secs
10. Kevin Evans (RSA) MTN Energade at same time.
Marco Pinotti on St Patrick’s Hill, Cork
Frantisek Rabon wins the final stage in Cork
Marco Pinotti pulls on the final leader’s jersey
Photos by Andy Jones
TOUR OF IRELAND
Stage four report: Downing takes lead in Tour of Ireland
Stage three report: Three in a row for Cavendish in Ireland
Stage two report: Cav does the double
Stage one report: Cavendish wins
Stage four photo gallery
Tour of Ireland stage one photo gallery
Tour of Ireland preview
Tour of Ireland start list