2013-03-19 19:10:46 - Former world number 1 cyclist Sean Kelly this evening participated in the launch of the Stage Routes for 2013 International Junior Tour of Ireland cycling race in County Clare from July 2-7.
The world’s longest junior (U18) stage event at 500 kilometres will once again attract strong international competition with some of the best junior cyclists in the world competing against Ireland’s most promising young cyclists.
Last year’s six-stage event, which was held in County Mayo, was won by 17-year-old Colin Joyce of U.S. team Hot Tubes who finished ahead of U.S. teammate Curtis White. Stena Line Ireland team member and Newry-native Cormac Clarke, also 17, finished in third.
Three of the Stages will start and finish in Ennis with the remaining three finishing in Barefield, Cooraclare and Gallows Hill. The race will feature 21 categorised hills consisting of 2 Category 1 Climbs (Castle Hill in Doolin and Gallows Hill in Cratloe), 4 Category
2 Climbs and 15 Category 3 climbs.
Comparing the 2013 Stages to previous years, Tour Secretary Gary McIlroy stated: “The climbs may not be as hard as we have had before but the volume of climbs makes this one of toughest routes in recent years. The Stages incorporate all parts of the County including the Burren, the Lough Derg area, along the Shannon Estuary and some of the county’s main population areas, including Ennis, Kilrush, Ennistymon, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Sixmilebridge, Scarriff and Killaloe.”
Stage 1 of the Tour on Tuesday 2nd July involves an 11km Individual Time Trial take place in Clarecastle. The 118km Stage 2 on Wednesday 3rd July will begin in Ennis and finish in Barefield, passing through Newmarket on Fergus, Sixmilebridge, Truagh, Killaloe, Ogonnolloe, Tuamgraney, Scarriff, Killanena and Crusheen.
Stage 3 on Thursday 4th July will take place over 103km and will start and finish in Ennis passing through Inch, Connolly, The Hand, Miltown Malbay, Spanish Point, Lahinch, Liscannor, Cliffs of Moher, Kilfenora and Corofin. The 109km Stage 4 on Friday 5th July will once again start and finish in the Clare County Capital and will take cyclists through Corofin, Kilnaboy, the Burren National Park, Ballyvaughan, Black Head, Fanore, Doolin, Castle Hill, Kilshanny and Ennistymon.
Stage 5 on Saturday 6th July will see cyclists compete over an 80km route through West Clare. The Stage will start in Ennis and finish in Cooraclare and will pass through Kildysart, Labasheeda, Kilmurry McMahon, Kilrush and Kilmihil. The final stage (Stage 6) on Sunday 7th July and will see competitors begin in Ennis and finish on a climb at Gallows Hill in southeast Clare. En route, cyclists will pass through Barefield, Crusheen, Maghera, Tulla, O'Callaghan's Mills, Broadford, Truagh, Sixmilebridge and Cratloe.
The main sponsor of the 2013 Junior Tour of Ireland is www.thewarehouse.ie, owned by Clare man and renowned sports patron Martin Donnelly. Other sponsors include the I.V.C.A (Irish Veterans Cycling Association), Cycling Ireland and Stena Line Ireland.
For more visit www.juniortourofireland.com.