Ireland's Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn Group team will start the Tour de Beauce tomorrow with an eye on honing their form for the Irish national road race championships in two weeks' time. The team will be led by Galwayman Simon Kelly who finished seventh overall and took second on the final stage of this year's FBD Insurance Rás. Kelly will be assisted by Ireland's top-ranked domestic rider, Paul Healion. Healion has won six races this year, including the Ras Mumhan and two stages of the recent Tour of Ulster, but crashed four kilometres from the finish of stage one of the Ras. He completed the race despite his injuries, but was unable to contest for wins. Healion has made a full recovery and will be aiming for stage glory in the Canadian event.
Morgan Fox will act as team captain and hopes to figure in the shake up of a stage finish or two. Stamullen Grand Prix winner Connor Murphy and under 23 star Derek Burke complete the squad.
Two other Irish riders will also take part, Navigators pros Ciaran Power and David O'Loughlin. Both riders have won stages in the Tour de Beauce event in recent years and O'Loughlin used the race in preparation for the successful defence of his national title last year.
Murphy & Gunn / Newlyn Group rider Simon Kelly has been picking up tips on the Tour de Beauce from his compatriots. "I've heard a bit about the Canadian race from David and Ciarán," he said. "They've both won stages there and it's a bit like the Rás here. The weather last year was very bad but it's like Ireland, changeable. We'll take it as it comes, I'm a small bit tired after the Rás, but I'm looking forward to it."