VICTORY in Sunday?s third stage was enough to give Ian Wilkinson (Science in Sport.com) the overall lead heading into the final day of the Girvan, third round of the Premier Calendar series.

Wilkinson sprinted in ahead of Plowman Craven RT?s Gordon McCauley, while former leader Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk) was third at the end of Sunday?s 108-mile stage from Newton Stewart to Girvan.

Third and second respectively in the opening two stages, Wilkinson now leads by just three seconds from Newton, with McCauley third, another 12 seconds off the pace.

That trio had been part of a 19-rider break which went at around third distance, and they held off the bunch without establishing a big lead. With around 20 miles to go McCauley jumped away, taking Newton and Wilkinson with him, and the three stayed clear to contest the sprint.

McCauley?s team-mate Tony Gibb had won the 16.5-mile second stage from Wilkinson on Saturday evening, while Newton took the opening stage from John Tanner (Sportscover) with consistent Wilkinson third.

Monday?s crucial final stage is a 72-mile trek starting in Girvan at 11am and finishing back there at around 2pm. Log on to www.cyclingweekly.co.uk for the result tomorrow.