Tinkoff to challenge for Tour of Ireland victory

Tinkoff Credit Systems (Russia), MTN Energade (South Africa) and Team Type 1 (USA) are the latest of the teams to be announced for the Tour of Ireland professional cycle race sponsored by Fáilte Ireland which starts at Grand Canal Square in Dublin’s Docklands on 27th August.

Tinkoff Credit Systems are sending a balanced team of experienced professionals and young talent and are intent on challenging for overall victory in the five day race. Italian Alberto Loddo heads to Ireland with stage victories in the Tours of Qatar, Langkawi and Settimana Ciclista Lombardia under his belt this year. Columbian Walter Pedraza has been very successful on the South American continent before moving onto the European circuit this year. Pedraza made it onto the podium in Columbia, Chile and Venezuela last year and has shown his wide ranging physical abilities by winning the prologue of the Classica Independencia Ciudad de Flandes and finishing second on the mountainous Genting Highlands stage of the Tour of Langkawi. Sergey Klimov is a vastly experienced track and road professional. He is a former junior track cycling world champion and multiple Track World Cup medalist. He rode with the team in the Giro d’Italia this year and took the bronze medal in the Russian national road race championships. The professional continental team has big plans for next year and will want to continue their successful run this season that includes two stage victories in the Giro d’Italia.

The MTN Energade team heads to Ireland for the first time although Neil MacDonald has previously ridden in the FBD Rás and will know what to expect. The South African team has been hugely successful over recent years with major victories in the Tour of Morocco and Giro del Capo.  David George will take up the captaincy of the team when the race leaves Dublin having just returned from the Beijing Olympics riding for South Africa. George has had a long and successful cycling career and is a five time South African time trial champion. He won the Tour of Langkawi in 2006 and is a triple winner of the Giro del Capo in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Waylon Woolcock is the team climber and 2007 winner of the Tour of Egypt and the Jock Cycle Classic. Woolcock’s endurance ability may help him find the power needed to launch a stage winning move on the steep climbs on the city circuit on the last tough stage into Cork.  19-year-old Bradley Potgieter looks like he will have a bright future in cycling following a successful 2007 season where he won the South Africa junior road race and time trial titles. Mountain biker Kevin Evans will be switching his talents to road racing following his recent appearance in the World MTB Marathon Championships where he finished 14th. The current South African mountain bike champion will enjoy the tough hilly stages in the counties of Kerry, Galway and Mayo.

The newly formed Team Type 1 squad from America has a number of notable riders travelling across to Ireland. Glen Chadwick is a former New Zealand time trial champion who powered his way to two stage victories in the Tour de Beauce in Canada last year. Fabio Calabria is one for the four squad riders with Type 1 Diabetes. The 21-year-old is a at home on the slopes and won the mountains competition in the Tour de Bortoli last year, finishing third overall. Ukrainian Valeriy Kobzarenko will hope to improve on his 8th place in Ireland last year when he rode with the Navigators team. He won the prestigious Tour de Beauce in 2006 and is a former winner of the Ukrainian road race championships. Emile Abraham is the team sprinter who first took the headlines when he won the bronze medal in the ‘B’ World Championships road race in 2003. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Abraham has won the national road race championships on nine occasions but will face tougher competition in Ireland with quadruple Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish already named in the Team Columbia roster. There are two notable opportunities for the sprinters to fill the podium on stages one from Dublin to Waterford and stage two from Thurles to Loughrea.

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

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

Stage 3: Ballinrobe – Galway, 201km – Friday 29th August

Stage 4: Limerick to Dingle, 186km – Saturday 30th August

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

Tinkoff Credit Systems Team Type 1 MTN Energade
LODDO Alberto BROOKS Ben George David
GOTTFREID Alexander CALABRIA Fabio Woolcock Waylon
CONTRINI Daniel CHADWICK Glen Thomson Jay
MAZZANTI Luca KOBZARENKO Valeriy Potgieter Bradley
PEDRAZA Walter WILSON Matt Evans Kevin
KLIMOV Sergey ABRAHAM Emile van Heerden Juan

Gerry McManus

Press Officer
Tour of Ireland

27th to 31st August 2008

+353 (0) 87 323 7508



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