By Shane Stokes
Professional Continental team LPR has been confirmed for the Tour of Ireland, joining those who have already been announced for the 2.1 ranked event.
The team will line out alongside ProTour squads T-Mobile, CSC, Unibet.com, Pro Continental setups Slipstream Chipotle, Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, Navigators Insurance and the Continental teams Murphy and Gunn/Newlyn Group/M. Donnelly/ Sean Kelly, Colavita Sutter Light, South Australia.com and Recycling.co.uk.
LPR has selected Roger Beuchat, Borut Bozic, Marco Marcato, Samuele Marzoli, Allesandro Maserati, Narenzo Rossi and Roberto Traficanti for their provisional lineup, with 35 year old Swiss pro Beuchat guiding what is otherwise a young team.
Beuchat has represented his country in four world championships and has raced for Phonak, Swiss Post and Barloworld. He has competed in the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de Romandie, the Tour de Langkawi and the Tour de Suisse. Bozic and Marzoli showed good form earlier this year when they finished second and third respectively in the final stage of the 2.1 ranked Tour of Slovenia.
Also confirmed for the five day Irish race is the Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles team. The British Continental outfit has taken three national titles including the men’s national criterium championship, and its riders have performed well in other events of late.
New Zealander Gordon McCauley won two big town centre criteriums in July while Tony Gibb took victory in the Premier Series Blackpool GP road race. He outsprinted a quality field that included Liquigas professional Magnus Backstedt.
McCauley has ridden the world championships and Commonwealth Games for his country and his experience will be a plus for the team.
Simon Barnes, team founder and boss of Hertfordshire based Geomatics company Plowman Craven, is delighted the team have been given the opportunity 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 the team founder Simon Barnes. He competed in the Raleigh/Dunlop Tour of Ireland three decades ago. “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 in Ireland back in the 1970's."
The Tour of Ireland is organised by The Events Groups in association with Shadetree Sports and is backed by the Irish tourist board Fáilte Ireland. It will begin in Kilkenny on August 22nd and concludes in Dublin on August 26th. The race will be screened in many countries worldwide.
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