Plowman Craven Racing Tour of Ireland
Story posted July 31
Team Press Release
The Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles RT are to ride the Tour of Ireland this summer. Their inclusion in the five day stage race comes after a season of solid performances on the road, circuit and track. The Team have already won three British Cycling National titles this season, including the National Criterium Championship and the National 25 mile three-up Team Time Trial Championship, as well as two rounds of the British Cycling Premier Calendar road race series; they also lead both the National Team and Individual road race rankings and the National Circuit Series.
Simon Barnes, team founder and boss of Hertfordshire based Geomatics company Plowman Craven, is delighted the team have been invited to race in Ireland. Barnes is himself a former racing cyclist who rode in the Raleigh/Dunlop Tour of Ireland in the 1970’s. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Plowman Craven Evans Cycles to really show what we can do,” said Barnes: “We've won two British Cycling Premier Calendar events with Simon Gaywood and Tony Gibb this year. Gordon McCauley has also been up there in every race and all three will be riding in Ireland. It will be an incredible experience for the guys, as it was for me riding the event back in the 1970's."
The Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles squad registered as a Professional Continental cycling team with the UCI at the start of the season, and the 2.1 ranked tours will be the first time they have competed at this level. However, the 11 man squad have plenty of strength in depth: both Simon Gaywood and Tony Gibb have won Premier Calendar road races this year.
Former world track cycling silver medallist Gibb out-sprinted a quality field that included Liquigas professional Magnus Backstedt to claim victory in the Blackpool GP road race, and Archer GP winner Gaywood also leads the National Circuit Series.
New Zealander Gordon McCauley, who leads the National Individual road rankings and has also won two top money town centre criteriums this summer, has represented New Zealand at the world road race championships and is the only overseas rider to have won the Premier Calendar.
McCauley and James Millard both rode for professional teams in Belgium; and a number of the squad have represented their Country at the Commonwealth Games, including Bronze medallist in the 20 km scratch race, and current National Criterium Champion, James McCallum.
Tony Gibb, Plowman Craven Evans Cycles’ in-form sprinter, said the riders were excited but not overawed by the prospect of riding a multi-stage event alongside some of the top pro teams: "Riding a major tour has been an aim for the Team since the start of the season, and our results clearly show that in terms of form that we’re ready. Obviously a five day race is a step up from one day events, but we have both the strength in depth and the experience in the squad to make it a success. Recent media reports have commented on our strong team tactics and presence in the peloton. While we may not be among the favourites for the GC you will certainly see the pink and blue train out at the front!”
The 850 plus km race begins in Kilkenny and works it’s way around Ireland in a clockwise manner before finishing in Dublin five days later. The route is picturesque and visits many well known locations, including Cork, Bantry, Limerick, Galway, and Sean Kelly’s home town of Carrick On Suir. The race is being televised both in Europe and America, and is being shown on ITV in the UK.
Stage 1 - Wednesday 22nd August - 160km Kilkenny Castle to Cork- via Clonmel, Carrick On Suir, Lismore and Midleton.
Stage 2 – Thursday 23rd August - 167km Clonakilty to Killarney – a fantastic scenic route via Skibereen, Bantry, Glengarriff and Kenmare.
Stage 3 – Friday 24th August – 190km Tralee to Ennis via Ballybunion, Foynes, Limerick City Centre, Killaloe and Tuamgraney
Stage 4 – Saturday 25th August – 212km – Galway to Galway, a circuit taking in Cong, Westport, Luisburgh, Leenáun before returning to Galway city.
Stage 5 – Sunday 26th August – 135km – Athlone to Dublin via Kinnegad and Enfield before finishing in Dublin for 10 laps of a circuit based on Merrion Square.
Plowman Craven Evans Cycles face a quality field with T-Mobile, Unibet, Panaria and CSC among the top continental teams competing. Premier Calendar rivals Recycling, together with a British Cycling squad, will also help form the peloton along with the Navigators team from the USA.