AFTER a promising run in the second stage of tour of Ireland, Andre Niyonshuti was one of 57 riders who retired in Sunday’s third and final stage.
The Rwandan cycling ace, who was riding for MTN Energade finished 80th in the 196km second stage but could not duplicate that pace in the 185km stage from Bantry to Cork.
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong (Astana) and Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) also retired in the third stage which was interrupted by torrential rain.
In fact, the race organisation took the decision to shorten the race by canceling the final lap.
Britain’s Russell Downing (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta) rode a swashbuckling final stage from Bantry to Cork to win the Tour, his biggest career victory.
Norwegian Lars Petter Nordhaug (Joker Bianchi) took the stage victory while Downing claimed the tour on his 31st birthday.
There was none of the heartache Downing felt last year when he lost the yellow jersey to Marco Pinotti (Columbia-HTC) on the final day. Downing was the convincing race winner in a display of aggressive riding and strength.