Rio contender takes out tour

 A CONTENDER for the Rio Paralympics cycling team, Alistair Donohoe has won the Merv Dean Memorial three-day tour across central Victoria.

EXCITING TUSSLE: Wade Edwards wins the sprint on Emu Creek Road in the fifth and final stage for A-grade. Edwards was third overall in the Merv Dean Memorial Tour. Pictures: BRENDAN McCARTHY

EXCITING TUSSLE: Wade Edwards wins the sprint on Emu Creek Road in the fifth and final stage for A-grade. Edwards was third overall in the Merv Dean Memorial Tour. Pictures: BRENDAN McCARTHY

VICTORIOUS: Alistair Donohoe starred across the three-day cycling tour to win A-grade.

VICTORIOUS: Alistair Donohoe starred across the three-day cycling tour to win A-grade.

CLOSE FINISH: The B-grade field sprints to the line.

CLOSE FINISH: The B-grade field sprints to the line.

The 19-year-old triumphed in a dramatic finish to the Bendigo and District Cycling Club's classic.

After starting Monday's finale 12 seconds adrift of overnight leader Trent Stevenson, Donohoe surged into contention after second placing and a sprint bonus in the 52km leg around Emu Creek.

The Blackburn cyclist was a second behind Stevenson as the A-grade field began the 65km trek from Emu Creek and through Sutton Grange and Harcourt.

Donohoe was a placegetter in the only intermediate sprint and then finished third in the sprint to decide the fifth and final stage of the Precision Formworking-backed tour.

It was Donohoe's first start in the Bendigo DCC event.

"To have won this tour is a confidence-booster," Donohoe said of the lead-up to next month's World Cup for paracyclist in Spain.

An accident while swimming at a river led to Donohoe's upper right arm being seriously damaged after being caught in the twisting rope.

"There was a lot of nerve damage."

.After taking up competitive cycling just on five years ago, Donohoe has already raced at world titles and world cup level.

He has won medals on the road and track at the past two world paracycling titles in Mexico and Canada.

The upcoming campaign in Spain will include the 90km road race and 30km time trial.

"The long-term goal is the Rio Paralympics. It's going to take a lot of work to be selected."

Donohoe's road season included the Battle of the Border, and the Tour of Toowoomba.

Both events are on the national road series program.

A highlight for Donohoe was third and second placings in two of the Tour of Toowoomba stages.

"I had some reasonably good form going into this weekend's racing."

Donohoe's pursuit for glory in the Merv Dean Memorial Tour began by winning Saturday afternoon's 101km stage at Woodstock.

Born in Gove and raised in Darwin, Donohoe moved to Melbourne four years ago.

A-grade standings, top 10: Alistair Donohoe 7 hours 32.50 minutes, Trent Stevenson -4 secs, Wade Edwards -1.07, Sam Fuhrmeister -1.21, Liam White -2.34, Sam Lane -2.35, Sam Crome -2.37, Jason Lowndes -2.52, Lucas Hamilton -2.55, Steve Fairless -2.57.

Top three in B-grade were Liam Harland ahedd of Tim Fitzpatrick -27, and Nicholas White -34.

Bendigo's Syd Anstee won C-grade by 13 seconds from Brendan Cahill, with Bendigo's Daniel Poole next best at -49. 

First unplaced women were Tayla Evans, B-grade, and Minda Murray, C-grade. 

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