MARTIN WINS IN IRELAND

Dan Martin (Slipstream) continued his winning streak by taking the Irish national title just a week after winning the Route du Sud stage race in France.

The 21 year-old dominated the race near Cork, first getting in an early break and then attacking again with Paidi O’Brien (An Post) and Brian Kenneally (MyHome.ie).

Martin then attacked alone on a tough climb with 25km to go and soloed to victory to win by three minutes ahead of O?Brian and Kenneally.

SIMEONI GETS REVENGE IN ITALY

Filippo Simeoni paid a high price for confessing to doping while working with Dr Michele Ferrari and was ridiculed by Lance Armstrong in the 2004 Tour de France but the Ceramica Flaminia rider finally got revenge by winning the Italian national title at the age of 37.

Simeoni failed to find a team in 2007 after breaking two vertebrae but made a comeback this year after Ceramica Flaminia gave him a chance. He paid them back by attacking alone eight kilometres from the finish in Bergamo and managed to hang on as Liquigas and Quick Step argued about who should lead the chase. Simeoni crossed the line just metres ahead of 2007 champion Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) and Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas).

?This pays me back for everything that has happened,? an emotional Simeoni said on Italian television.

?I dreamed about winning the Italian title when I was a nine-year old boy and now I?ve finally got it. This win gives me confidence for the future and I want to dedicate to all the people who have supported me during the difficult times.?

ROELANDTS STUNS BIG NAMES IN BELGIUM

23 year-old first year professional Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto) surprised all the big-names in the Belgian championships, winning the title with a powerful sprint. It was his first ever win as a professional and his second title after winning as a junior in 2002.

Roelandts beat Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb) and Nico Eeckhout (Topsport) after a pile-up in the finale took out Wouter Eylandt (Quick Step) and several others favourites. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) avoided the crash but was only fifth.

VALVERDE WINS IN SPAIN

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) will wear the red and yellow Spanish national champions jersey during the Tour de France after winning the title in a two-up sprint against Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing).

The two joined up 20km from the finish, with Valverde easily winning the sprint. Caisse d?Epargne showed their Tour form, with 2006 Tour winner Oscar Pereiro third at just over a minute.

VOGONDY CELEBRATES IN FRANCE

Small French team Agritubel showed they will be a force to be reckoned with the Tour de France as Nicolas Vogondy won the French title for the second time in his career.

He attacked alone three laps out and then went again when joined by three other riders. He managed to stay clear to win by 33 seconds, six years after his first French title.

Arnaud Coyot (Caisse d’Epargne) was second and Julien Loubet (Ag2R) was third.

WEGMANN REPEATS IN GERMANY

Fabian Wegemann retained the German national title in Bochum, giving the Gerolsteiner team a boost as they finalise details with a new sponsor.

Wegmann won alone, with Erik Zabel (Milram) second and Gerald Ciolek (High Road) was third.

SORENSEN WINS IN DENMARK, ZBERG IN SWITZERLAND, BOOM IN HOLLAND

Niki Sorensen (CSC) celebrated his call-up for the Tour de France wit ha solo win in Denmark. The tough Dane attacked with 30km to go and was never seen again. CSC team mate Matti Breschel won the bunch sprint for second, a minute behind.

Veteran Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner) won the Swiss title again, beating Martin Elmiger (Ag2r) in a sprint.

In Holland Lars Boom (Rabobank) successfully switched from cyclo-cross to road racing to win the Dutch title. He beat team mate Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) and Steven De Jongh (Quick Step).

Other men?s national road race titles went to Kurt Asle Arvesen (CSC) in Norway, Jussi Veikkanen (Française des Jeux) won in Finland and Jonas Ljungblad (P3 Transfer) took the Swedish title. Christian Pfannberger (Barloworld) defended his title in Austria and Assan Bazayev (Astana) won in Kazhkstan.

Perhaps the most surprising new national champion is Jaan Kirsipuu. The former sprinter and Tour de France stage winner retired two years ago but had the form to win the Estonian national title thanks to training with the riders in his Rietumu Bank team.