Sunday August 23
Stage 3: Bantry-Cork, 185km
The stage is set for a thrilling final day. After a lumpy first 130 kilometres, the overall title is likely to be be decided on the finishing circuit in Cork, as three climbs of the wall-like St Patrick’s Hill will fragment the field.
The final ascent comes just 16 kilometres from the stage finish in Cork. However, it was on the subsequent flat run-in to the finish that time-trial star Pinotti constructed his overall victory in 2008.
Marco Pinotti (Italy, Columbia-HTC)
Defending champion can’t be discounted.
Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark, Saxo Bank)
Former mountain-biker has impressed in his first season on the road. Won the Tour of Denmark, and could be a danger here if he has kept some form.
Lance Armstrong (Usa, Astana)
Though the star can’t have had much time for training this week in between U2 concerts, a Scottish meet-and-greet and an Oslo charity crit, he may still have a card to play.
Matti Breschel (Denmark, Saxo Bank)
A better climber than he’s given credit for. If he stays in touch with the leaders, they will be hard-pushed to beat him in a sprint.
Phillip Deignan (Ireland, Cervelo Test Team)
Home rider is ultra-motivated to perform well on home soil.
Russell Downing (Gbr, CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta)
Was cruelly beaten at the last hurdle in 2008 on this circuit, finishing second overall. Premier Calendar winner should lead the British charge.
Route map and profile