The Tour of Ireland has announced three more teams which will contest this year's edition on August 27-31 - CSF Group Navigare, SouthAustralia.com-AIS and Joker-Bianchi. Giro d'Italia stage winer Matteo Priamo will lead the CSF Group Navigare squad which will also feature Argentinean sprinter Ruben Bongiorno
SouthAustralia.com/AIS has listed a strong team for the event which starts in Dublin. The Australian team dominated the Tour of Japan in May where Simon Clarke, Zakkari Dempster and Wesley Sulzberger each won stages and helped Cameron Meyer to win the overall classification. Meyers brother Travis will represent the family in Ireland and has already shown that he is just as capable of winning events. The 19 year-old from Perth won the Tours of Berlin and New Zealand this year and is a former junior triple world track cycling champion.
Joker-Bianchi will fly in from Norway hoping to repeat their 2007 success when Edvald Boasson-Hagen won stage four into Galway as part of Team Maxbo-Bianchi. Boasson Hagen was snapped up by Team Columbia this year but Joker-Bianchi is very excited about their new young prospects Ole Haavardsholm and Ingar Stokstad. Alexander Kristoff, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Joachim Bohler and Frederik Willman will return with the squad, having featured in its roster for last year's race.
With Team Columbia and Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 already confirmed for the five-day race, race organiser Alan Rushton believes that race will be very exciting this year. We have chosen a course that we believe provides a platform where victory could come from the climbers, roulers or even the sprinters, said Rushton. Everyday will be different right from the start when the race leaves Dublin and heads into Wicklow on the way to Waterford. We might even see a race where the overall winner only emerges from the dramatic last stage when the peloton arrives in Cork on Sunday.
"There will be plenty of daily action with special competitions for the King of the Mountains and in the An Post green jersey competition for sprinters, he added.