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Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Sunday, 23 August 2009 16:33 UK

Downing takes Tour of Ireland win

Russell Downing
Downing broke away from the chasing group on the final stage

Yorkshire rider Russell Downing won the Tour of Ireland after a scintillating display of classic cycling in the near monsoon conditions of Cork city.

Downing was second to Norwegian Lars Petter Nordhaug at the finish on St Patrick's Hill, but took victory overall in the general classification.

Nordhaug won the third and final stage in a time of 4 hours and 10 seconds.

Lance Armstrong abandoned his attempt in the final stages, pulling out in heavy rain with no chance of winning.

Nordhaug and Downing broke away from the chasing group on the final stage but the Norwegian crossed the line ahead of the English rider, who had won stage one on Friday.

606: DEBATE

Armstrong abandoned the race during the finishing circuit in heavy rain which also forced the organiers to cancel the final lap.

The field had reached the finishing circuit in Cork when the seven-time Tour de France winner withdrew.

Armstrong had finished 20th overall on Saturday in the three-day race, 26 seconds behind Downing.

Dane Matt Breschel was third in stage three and also finished third overall in the general classification.

The wet, windy and dangerous conditions contributed to 56 riders retiring from the race, leaving only 47 men standing come the end of racing.



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see also
Armstrong finds Irish going tough
21 Aug 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong in Tour of Ireland return
21 Aug 09 |  Northern Ireland
Hundreds on Armstrong Tweet ride
18 Aug 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Armstrong to launch new US team
23 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong hints at 2010 Tour race
12 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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