IN-FORM Yorkshire rider Russell Downing (Pinarello RT) won the Girvan Three-Day in Scotland on Monday after a strong final stage, where he marshaled attacks from all his main rivals.
With a lead of just four seconds over Rapha Condor rival Rob Partridge heading into the final stage, Downing stayed near the front of the race and watched closely as his rivals tried and failed to eat into his lead.
Snow and ice meant a change of course for the final day with some of the big climbs missed out, but it still gave riders and spectators alike 72 miles of good racing.
A break of nine riders – including Downing – was joined by a further ten riders several miles later as they reached the top of the Tor Mitchell climb, but shortly after a four-rider break went clear and threatened the Pinarello rider?s yellow jersey.
Liam Holohan (NE Composite RT) attacked, and took Rapha Condor?s Kristian House with him along with Tom Southam (Halfords Bikehut) and Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles).
They established a lead of around 48 seconds, and with House just over a minute down on GC Downing drove the chase, keeping his rival?s lead within a safe bracket.
House won the sprint for the line from Holohan while Chamberlain was third, but the plaudits were mainly for Russell Downing after a masterful performance in the Girvan 2008, with two stage wins and a superb tactical display ensuring the win.
See this week?s Cycling Weekly for full coverage of the Girvan Three-Day 2008.
Girvan Three-Day (Stage four, 72 miles).-
1 Kristian House (Rapha Condor-Recycling) 3-07-44
2 Liam Holohan (NE Composite RT)
3 Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) all same time
1 Russell Downing (Pinarello RT)
2 Rob Partridge (Rapha Condor-Recycling)