All posts in Tour of Ireland

Russell Downing celebrated his 31st birthday today by winning the Tour of Ireland today amid high winds and torrential rain which forced the organisers to cancel the final lap of the finishing circuit in Cork.

Downing who lead the general classification from start to finish after winning Friday’s first stage and being well placed yesterday too, came second on today’s shortened third stage behind Norwegian rider Lars Petter Nordhaug (Joker Bianchi) – who finished third in the general classification.

2009 Tour of Ireland Stage 2

Team Columbia HTC’s Mark Cavendish takes victory in the bunch sprint, Downing remains in Yellow. Rabobank’s Dennis Van Winden & AN Post’s Mark Cassidy make a bold 150 km break…

Mark Cavendish showed he has no intention of slowing down after his fantastic performance at this year’s Tour de France where he took six stage wins, by taking the stage victory in the second stage of the 2009 Tour of Ireland.

Tomorrow awaits the crucial stage.The stage ends with three laps on a circular route where the riders are to climb the same steep hill three times before hitting the finish line.

Stage 2 Result – Top Ten

Clonmel – Killarney 196 km

1. Cavendish, Mark (THR): 5h07’33″

2. Van Staeyen, Michael (RBB) @ 00″
3. O’Grady, Stuart (SAX) @ 00″

4. Kristoff, Alexander (TMB) @ 00″
5. Van Vooren, Steven (SKT) @ 00″
6. Reimer, Martin (CTT) @ 00″
7. Wilkinson, Ian (HAF) @ 00″
8. Van Heerden, Christoff (MTN) @ 00″
9. De Negri, Pierpaolo (ISD) @ 00″
10. Van Heerden, Juan (MTN) @ 00″

General Classification Top Five

1. Downing, Russell (CTV): 10h18’00″

2. Kolobnev, Alexander (SAX) @ 05″
3. Breschel, Matti (SAX) @ 07″

4. Deignan, Philip (CTT) @ 10″
5. Pinotti, Marco (THR) @ 11″

A tough, rolling and picturesque stage that could produce a stage winning break or end in a mass bunch sprint as it did for Mark Cavendish on a similar route last year.From The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, the riders will have to get into race mode quickly with the first King of the Mountains points available just 2km after the start.The sprinters get to stretch their legs at the first An Post Sprint of the day in Roundwood, as the race makes its way further into the pretty ‘Garden County’ of Wicklow and another An Post Sprint at Rathdrum. The biggest test of the day comes at 105km when the stage reaches its highest point at Mount Leinster in the Blackstairs Mountains, County Carlow.

The race then travels into Graiguenamanagh and out towards Thomastown via the 6km category 3 climb of Coppanagh. The sporting battle will intensify as the peloton sweeps down into the pretty village of Inistioge and turns sharp right up the steep category 2 climb which will ask questions of tired legs, as the field races towards Listerlin and eventually to Mullinavat, ready for the speedy run into Waterford City.

The final kilometre sign comes into view as they begin to cross the river bridge, from where they jostle for position before the sprint starts along Merchants Quay.


iPhone has an App for the Tour of Ireland!


The three-day Tour of Ireland

August 21-23

will be televised on as follows:

  • Stage 1: Friday, August 21st @ 5PM (local time)
  • – Enniskerry to Waterford – 196km
  • Stage 2: Saturday, August 22nd @ 4PM (local time)
  • - Clonmel to Killarney – 196km
  • Stage 3: Sunday, August 23rd @ 3PM (local time)
  • - Bantry to Cork City – 184km

Lance Armstrong will be among those starting, and he’ll be fresh off the dirt after racing Dave Wiens in the Leadville 100 on August 15. Columbia’s Mark Cavendish will be there, too, adding to the finish line fireworks. Last year’s Italian winner, Marco Pinotti (Team Columbia – HTC), returns to defend the overall title he won on the spectacular stage in Cork, and everyone will be racing the Irish National Team on their home turf.