Kerry Youth Tour preview

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

Alice Sherratt has wrapped up the M. Donnelly Junior Tour, and now the Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club is following in her footsteps and preparing the underage cyclists for future JT's. The 2005 Kerry Youth Tour will take place in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, over the August bank holiday weekend (July 30-August 1). The race, now in its seventh year, is the largest of its kind in Ireland or Great Britain and continues to grow. Kerry Group will be the title sponsor of the race again in 2005.

The tour is a three day, four stage international event for young cyclists aged between 10 and 16 years of age. The first stage will take place in Beaufort on Saturday on a 6.5 mile circuit around the village commencing at 2.30 pm. The second is a 2 mile time trial in Beaufort on Sunday morning. The third stage on Sunday evening will take place on a 6 mile circuit around Killorglin and Caragh Lake on a circuit known as Freddie's Walk. The fourth stage will take place on Monday morning on the traditional Donal McKenna circuit beginning at 10 am.

This year there are over 200 competitors entered for the race. Race secretary Míceal Concannon is expecting an Irish national team and a British national team as well as numerous regional and club teams from all over Ireland and Britain. He also expects to welcome back teams from Belgium and Holland. There is also a large contingent coming from South Africa, this group of 24 is currently in Ireland for a five week period. Their junior riders competed in last week's junior tour in Mayo.

The sight of 100 riders racing on narrow country roads, the whirr of lovingly cared for machinery, the wind from the wheels and the flash of colour that is a racing peloton in full flight is truly a spectacular experience. Come out and see the new Sean Kellys in Killorglin and Beaufort on Saturday, July 30, Sunday, July 31, and Monday, August 1.

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