2008 Tour of Ireland Route Overview

Stage 1 : Dublin to Waterford, 192km – Wednesday 27th August

112 riders from 16 teams start from Grand Canal Square in Dublin Docklands heading to Waterford on terrain best described as ‘undulating’. The peloton will wind its way through the south of the capital city on a 10km neutralised route until the flag finally drops at the National Mint at Dundrum. The race heads south to County Wicklow, well known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’, through Enniskerry and into Roundwood where the first of the sprints in the An Post Green Jersey competition will be contested. Proceeding through Rathdrum, the race crosses into County Carlow and the town of Bunclody before reaching the major climb of the day, the 6km first category climb of Mount Leinster. Two further climbs, including Inistioge will be encountered on the way to the finish in the historic port city of Waterford, finishing on the Quays just several yards from where the Tour de France sprint line was located when that famous race visited Ireland in 1998.

Stage route:

Dublin, Enniskerry, Roundwood, Laragh, Rathdrum, Avoca, Woodenbridge, Aughrim, Tinahely, Shillelagh, Bunclody, Borris, Inistioge, Waterford.

Stage 2 : Thurles to Loughrea, 158km – Thursday 28th August

A rolling stage start from Liberty Square in the busy Tipperary town of Thurles. This stage is a big opportunity for the top sprinters and their teams to show their prowess in a possible high speed bunch sprint finish. However there will be others aiming to get into a race winning breakaway group to spoil the sprinters’ chances if they can stay clear on narrow Shannonside roads. The route goes westward to Silvermines and Portroe before swinging northward running parallel with the edge of Lough Derg and into Portumna for the second An Post sprint of the day. The riders head west again through the town of Puckaun turning north west towards Loughrea. The riders pass through the finish line and the town centre for the first time and head out to complete a 13km circuit of Lough Rea and returning to the town for the sprint finish near the court house.

Stage route:

Thurles, Ballycahill, Milestone, Dolla, Silvermines, Portroe, Puckaun, Coolbaun, Ballinderry, Terryglass, Portumna, Loughrea.
Stage 3 : Ballinrobe – Galway, 201km – Friday 29th August

This stage has three categorised climbs giving the strong riders the chance to break clear from the main field on severely hilly terrain. Starting from Ballinrobe, the riders race through to Cong and follow a similar route to last year crossing in and out of the Galway border with Mayo. The race ascends the 2nd category climb of Finny and then onto the pretty town of Westport via Killavally. The sprinters get their first opportunity of the day to score points for the An Post Green Jersey in Westport before the race winds its way out to Louisburgh and along the bottom of the historic mountain of Croagh Patrick. The field heads alongside Killary Harbour to Leenáun and brushes the banks of Lough Corrib and a final climb before reaching the finish line in Salthill on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the outskirts of Galway city centre.

Stage route:

Ballinrobe, Cong, Finny, Tourmakeady, Killavally, Westport, Louisburgh, Leenáun, Maam Cross,  Oughterard, Moycullen, An Spideal, Barna, Salthill (Galway).
Stage 4 : Limerick to Dingle, 186km – Saturday 30th August

The tough penultimate stage starts at Clancy Strand on the banks of the River Shannon,  overlooking King John’s Castle.  It is neutralised through the city and passes the O’Connell statue before heading South West. Racing action will begin quickly with the first sprint after only 3.6km in Patrickswell. The first 100km is reasonably flat as the race travels through the Limerick towns of Adare and Newcastle West. The riders pass through the Kerry towns of Listowel and Tralee before reaching the bottom of the spectacular 8km Category One climb of the Connor Pass. The riders will reach speeds of up to 70 k.p.h on the fast descent into the picturesque town of Dingle for the first time. The race storms through the main street and heads out to Dunquin for a 36km loop of Slea Head and its dramatic scenery. The Connor Pass will split the field and there are two smaller opportunities to escape on the 185m steep climb of Mam Clasach and the tough narrow roads that follow on to the finish line as Dingle is reached again.

Stage route:

Limerick, Patrickswell, Adare, Newcastle West, Ardagh, Athea, Listowel, Abbeydorney, Tralee,  Stradbally, Connor Pass, Dingle, Ventry, Slea Head, Dunquin, Mam Clasach, Ventry, Dingle.

Stage 5 : Killarney to Cork, 155km –  Sunday 31st August

The final stage of the 2008 Tour of Ireland in association with Fáilte Ireland is a fast predominantly flat ride between Killarney in County Kerry and the City of Cork. The riders reach Ireland’s second largest city after 80km coming in from Blarney in the West. They then face the prospect of climbing the infamous St Patrick’s Hill on each of four laps of a very tough 17km finishing circuit. The 25% climb of St Patrick’s Hill will be lined with spectators as the riders gasp for air on one of the toughest city climbs on the professional circuit. The finish line is on McCurtain Street near the River Lee where the final Fáilte Ireland Yellow Jersey will be awarded to the overall race winner.

Stage route:

Killarney, Ballyvorney, Macroom, Coachford, Dripsey, Blarney, Cork.

For further information:

Tour of Ireland Cycling Events Limited

Gerry McManus, Press Officer Tel: +353  (0) 87 323 7508 / e: gerry@tourofireland.ie



  1. Hello,
    Check out some photos from the first stage in waterford city


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