Race Director, Alice Sherratt has announced the route for the 2018 Eurocycles Eurobaby Junior Tour of Ireland. The 6-Day international cycling race for under 18s will once again return to their now traditional base at Ennis, County Clare for the fifth consecutive year.
“We love to return to County Clare for many reasons namely the great testing racing roads, the scenery and the wonderful reception we receive from the local community in County Clare, the Gardaí and Clare County Council. That kind of support assists us greatly in guaranteeing another successful edition for 2018” explained Sherratt.
The race, which is in excess of 530 kilometres in length over six days consists of its now traditional opening Time Trial on the Kildysert Road to Drumquin on Tuesday 10th July. In 2017, it was the first rider to depart, Ben Walsh who took the stage and the jersey never left his shouldersfor the remainder of the race.
Stage 2 brings a new stage with a 94km trek down the Shannon Estuary and onto the exposed Loop Head where the riders will traverse the Kilkee Cliffs before descending to the finish in Kilkee. Alice Sherratt describes the stage as “testing” as the roads vary in quality and width throughout the stage which means the fresh riders will be put to the test right from the first stage.
Stage 3 is a familiar stage for the race at just over 100km from Ennis to the West Coast before climbing the Cliffs of Moher and returning back to Ennis. This stage has quite often ended in a bunch sprint on the wide long straight of the Ennis By-Pass.
Stage 4 has changed from the 2017 where the race will now depart Ennis and finish in Ballyvaughan. At 127km, this is the longest stage of the race which takes the race to Gort into Kinvara, Ballyvaughan and up Corkscrew Hill. The riders will then continue via Kilfenora before moving onto the exposed West Coast through Fanore and finish in Ballyvaughan. The stage can be regarded as quite decisive, particularly with the distance but can suit the strongman on the approach to the finish around Black Head.
Stage 5 to Gallows Hill has changed on previous editions. At 124km in length, the riders will have to earn to keep their powder dry as as the majority of climbs come in the second half of the stage. The race now takes in a larger loop through Killaloe before coming back to Broadford and continuing on the same approach to the finish on Gallows Hill via the climbs of Windy Gap and Sallybank.
Stage 6 remains unchanged as the riders wind up the 2018 edition with a 77.5km stage around the Ennis Circuit.
Entries are now open with forms and details for entry to the 2018 edition available on www.juniortourofireland.com
Full route details with expected timings are available on the “Route” section of www.juniortourofireland.com