Dave McGowan the leader going into final stage

Dave McGowan of the UK-based Champions Systems/VCUK Racing team holds a four second advantage over Ed Laverack (Condor JLT/Mavic) going into today’s final stage of the Suir Valley 3-Day in Clonmel.

After a cracking weekend of cycling the scene is set for a thrilling finale this afternoon as there’s just a minute separating the top 10, six Irish in contention.

National champion Damien Shaw (Team ASEA) ignored medical advice to rest his broken shoulder and he’s lurking in fourth at 19 seconds while teammates Ali Macaulay and Chris Reilly are only 16 and 37 secs, respectively, off the yellow jersey.

McGowan won yesterday morning’s second stage from Laverack after breaking away from the lead group but the aforementioned Macaulay and Shaw were just a handful of seconds further back.

Saturday’s stage winner, Colm Cassidy of Aquablue, slipped back to 10th overall after missing a key split but he’s still very much in the hunt for the overall, as is his teammate Marcus Christie .

Cassidy looked awesome on that opening leg, going clear before the first climb at the 29km marker, and extending a lead of 30 seconds over the main bunch to more than three minutes by the third and final climb.

Cassidy won that, beating Strata3/VeloRevolution’s Stephen Murray and Robin Garry from Team Isle Of Man, and powered away to win the sprint into town.

Teammate Sean Lacey, the 2007 Suir Valley winner, finished a close second, ahead of Murray, Team iTap’s Daire Feeley, Garry and UCD CC’s Eoin Morton.

Last night’s third stage was a complete washout.


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