Friday 04 June 2010 at 00h07

On June 1st, the organisor of the Tour of Ireland announced on its website that due to the current economic conditions the race will not be organised this year. Looking at the race calendar, it seems like this decision might be positive for the Tour du Limousin in France and the Eneco Tour in The Netherlands and Belgium.


The Tour of Ireland

The Tour of Ireland was organised for the first time in 1953 during 5 years. 8 years later, in 1965, the new life was blown into the race and the adventure than lasted 21 years under the name Tour of Ireland before being renamed to the Nissan International Classic.

8 year later, in 1992, this race has been organised for the last time. In 2007, the good news was that the Tour of Ireland was making its come-back in the UCI Europe Tour calendar. Unfortunately, we now know that the adventure has lasted for 3 years only this time. Russell DowningThese 3 editions were won by Stijn Vandenbergh in 2007 (at that time with, after one year with AG2R La Mondiale currently with Team Katusha), Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia) in 2008 and Russell Downing (than with Candi TV, currently with Team Sky) last year.

The reason given for not organising the race this year (it should have taken place from 18 till 22 August) are the current economic conditions (despite significant commercial and public sector funding). In 2009 the race already saw the number of stages reduced to 3 (from 5 before) for similar reasons.

Knowing that the Tour of Ireland had quite an interesting TV coverage in Europe and in the United States and that it has been able to get for example Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) and Lance Armstrong (with Astana, now with Team Radioshack) to participate, there are reasons to be surprised that the current economic situation would no longer allow the organisation of such a race.
Anyway, the organisor Alan Rushton already announced a future come-back by saying: We fully intend to bring it back for 2011 when the private sector environment is stronger.

A positive effect on the Tour du Limousin and the Eneco Tour?

The poster of the Tour du Limousin 2010The Tour of Ireland, a UCI Europe Tour 2.1 race, was planned from 18 till 22 August, as usual almost at the same time as the Tour du Limousin (see the poster on the left), also a UCI Europe Tour 2.1 race, which will take place from 17 till 20 August and the Eneco Tour, a UCI ProTour race, which is planned from 17 till 24 August 2010.

English and American teams might thus have privileged a participation in the Tour of Ireland, important for their sponsors, and with the temporary cancellation of this race, the Eneco Tour and the Tour du Limousin can thus hope:
- for the Tour du Limousin to maybe receive an additional UCI ProTour team: a team which had planned to participate in te Tour of Ireland (and maybe the Eneco Tour) and which now sees a hole in its race agenda; we could think about teams like Team Sky or HTC-Columbia
- for both of them to see the level of participation improve for the teams which had planned to participate in the Tour of Ireland and to one of the two other races (or both of them) and thus for the two races to get the best riders of the profesional peloton

We'll soon see the possible impact when the teams will be announced for the Tour du Limousin and in the middle of August when the lists of participants for the Eneco Tour and the Tour du Limousin will be known!

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Tour du Limousin | UCI ProTour | Cycling general (except Tour de France)


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    | Roland TISSIER | Sunday 06 June 2010 om 08h22

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