Junior Tour of Ireland

Ireland, August 7 - 12, 2001

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - August 7, Howth - Howth, Prologue, 3.86km
  • Stage 2 - August 8, Lusk - Lusk, 74km
  • Stage 3 - August 9, Ballyboughal - Ballyboughal, 76km
  • Stage 4 - August 10, Clonee - Dunboyne, 82km
  • Stage 5 - August 11, Roundwood - Roundwood, 96km
  • Stage 6 - August 12 , Cookstown - Cookstown, 98km

Stage 1 - Howth Prologue, 3.86km ITT

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent
Tuesday, August 7, in the fishing village of Howth, Co. Dublin the curtain rises on yet another Junior Tour which this year has the support of Stena Line.

The race has been a feature of the Irish cycling calendar since 1978 when Martin Early was the overall winner. Since then many a fine young cyclist has gone on to greater glory.

In particular three spring to mind that of Richard Groendaal from Holland who became a double world champion at the discipline of cyclo-cross. Richard was also a good road competitor, representing the Rabobank team.

David Miller who last year was race leader in the Tour de France was part of the Great Britain team back in ’95 who made a clean sweep of the prizes.

Who could leave the exploits of Mark Scanlon the winner in ’98 who went on to win the world junior championships in Holland.

Over the next six days the Irish team led by Kanturk’s Paudi O’Brien will have their work cut to keep the trophy at home. John O’Shea, Philip Duignan and Timmy Cassidy’will aid him.

There is a strong line-up from France, Holland, Scotland, Wales and England. Interesting that Nicholas Roche is in the Cote d’Azur team. Nicholas is the son of Stephen Roche triple winner back in 1987 of the Giro d’Italia, Worlds and the Tour de France.

Nicholas when he resided in Ireland was a very good underage competitor and no doubt his progress will be noted in this six-day event that winds up Sunday August 12 with a tough final stage close to the Wicklow Mountains.

Last years winner Kieron Page has given the race a miss but his team Great Britain who took most of the prizes on offer last year are again expected to mount a strong challenge.

First after stage one was Alex Coutts from Scotland who stole all the thunder when he posted the fastest time for the test up Howth Hill. Alex beat the record time set last year by Kieron Page who went on to win the event overall. Page’s time was 7 minutes and seven seconds. As anticipated Nicholas Roche gave a gutsy performance and is now in 4th place. Best of the home contingent was Philip Duigan representing the sponsors, Stena Line, in 8th place adrift by 12 seconds. This evening the second stage is over 78km but it is doubtful if Alex can be dislodged.


Junior Men
1 Alex Coutts (Scotland)                   6.44
2 Julian Antomarcchi (Velo Club La Pom)    0.02
3 Philippe Tesson (Velo Club La Pom)       0.05
4 Nicolas Roche (Cote D'azur)              0.07
5 Michael Sarkissian (Velo Club La Pom
6 Bart Kerkdijk (Tempo Veldhoven)          0.09
7 Julian Plumier (Cote D'azur)             0.10
8 Philip Duignan (Ireland)                 0.12
9 Chris Penketh (Liverpool Centur)         0.13
10 Tim Cassidy (Ireland)                   0.14

Stage 2 - Lusk - Lusk, 74km

What looked like a relatively easy stage on paper turned into a nightmare for race leader Alex Coutts from Scotland, on the second stage of the Stena Line Junior Tour of Ireland. The race was held over 79kms in Skerries, Co. Dublin last evening.

Alex, who promised that he would resolutely defend his lead, did not reckon on a crash which saw him drop to 29th in the standings at the end of the stage.

The main beneficiary was Philip Duignan of the Irish national team. Philip rode with all the aplomb of a professional and at the end he was first across the line. The area had earlier been hit with a number of thunderstorms, which left surface water on the roads. There were several crashes including that which saw Coutts fall and never rejoin the main pack.

Up front Duignan was setting a brisk pace along with Joost van Leijen and Ben Clarke. The trio had opened up a gap approaching a minute on the bunch, who were now beginning to split, before Clarke dropped off the pace.

In the end it turned out to be a two-up sprint between Duignan and Leijen with the Irishman grabbing the victory laurels and the race leader's jersey.


Junior Men
1 Philip Duignan (Stena Ireland)                   1.53.41
2 Joost Van Leijen (Tempo Holland)
3 Philippe Tesson (VC La Pomme)                       0.27
4 Ben Clarke (Great Britain)
5 Stephen Harrison (Great Britain)                    0.51
6 Julian Plumier (Cote D.azur)
Overall after two stages
1 Philip Duignan (Stena Ireland)                   2.00.37
2 Joost Van Leijen (Tempo Holland)                    0.12
3 Philippe Tesson (VC La Pomme)                       0.20
4 Ben Clarke (Great Britain)                          0.39
5 Nicolas Roche (Cote D.azur)                         0.46
6 Michael Sarkissian (VC La Pomme)      

Stage 3 - Ballyboughal - Ballyboughal, 76km

The third stage of the Stena Line Junior Tour,held August 9, nearly ended the hopes of the Irish team. Raced out in Ballyboughal, North Co. Dublin this inconspicuous stage saw the visitors dictating the pace in the 80 kilometres of racing. On the second of four laps a group of nine made good their escape from the yellow jersey of Philip Duignan. In the twinkling of an eye they had established a commanding lead of over a minute that looked to all and sundry that it would be added to by the finish.

Realising that his lead was on the line, Duignan commandeered his team to take up the chase. In some way it has to be said that the effort of Nicholas Roche son of Stephen (centre of attention in this race) allowed the deficit to be brought back to a manageable level before the lead group flashed across the finishing line with Tim Brammeier leading the way. Tim’s club, Liverpool Century has been regulars to the tour, which was inaugurated way back in 1978. In the end the time gap was all of 20 seconds, which keeps the young Donegal cyclist a member of the Irish team in the lead.

On the evidence of last evening’s stage, the race has suddenly opened up and the notion of an Irishman wining this race looks very vulnerable.

The key may well lie in the Wicklow mountains where only a number of years ago the Tour de France traversed. Yes! Tomorrow’s stage in those hills may well decide who will be the victor.


Junior Men
1 Tim Brammeier (Liverpool Century)      1.52.07
2 Martin Quill (Team Keyne)
3 Stephen Harrison (Great Britain)          0.02
4 Bart Kerkdijk (Tempo Holland)
5 Julian Antomarrchi (VC La Pomme)          0.04
6 Chris Penketh (Liverpool Century)
General Classification after stage 3
1 Philip Duignan (Stena Ireland)         3.53.04
2 Joost Van Leijen (Tempo Holland)          0.12
3 Philippe Tesson (VC La Pomme)             0.20
4 Bart Kerkdijk (Tempo Holland)             0.30
5 Martin Quill (Team Keyne)                 0.35
6 Chris Penketh (Liverpool Century)         0.36  

Stage 4- Clonee - Dunboyne, 82km

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

The fourth stage of the Stena Line Junior Tour which started in Clonee and finished in Dunboyne (home of the mentor of the Meath team, schedluled to meet the Dublin team in a replay of the quater finals of the All-Ireland Football championships tomorrow Saturday) resulted in the Irish team captain Paudi O'Brien getting the verdict after a testing 82.66 kms.

The speed of the race was exceptional, averaging on just 47 kph. This was amazing, simply, because of the inclement conditions. Since the start on Tuesday, the competitors have had to contend with quite an amount of heavy rain.

As on the previous stage a group of nine made good their escape. It was noticeable that the race leader, Philip Duignan again missed the move. There after it was a case of catch up if you can. The lead went to over a minute before the alarm bells rang for the popular leader of the race. It was all hands on deck, because there was only approximately 20 kilometers left. It also placed Philip in a bit of quandery because his team mate was ahead.

Included in that select nine was Martin Quill from England who by virtue of being ahead of the pack now found himself centre of attention because he was race leader on the road. Paudi did not realise this and suddenly he took his feet off the pedals, but his breakaway companions were in humour to surrender their advantage.

Thankfully, Phillip's efforts with a little help from various quarters finally cut the deficit to 25 seconds before the finish. Tomorrow's stage in the Wicklow mountains could well decide the outcome of this event. In reality, Phillip has been living on the edge with having to counteract breaks which are making him very vulnerable.

In the sprint to the line, Paudi just held off one of his team mates Barry Meade from the very successful club, Kanturk Credit Union in Co.Cork.  


Junior Men  
1 Paudi O'Brien (Irl) Ireland                         1.45.25
2 Barry Meade (Irl) Kanturk Credit Union      
3 P.J O'Halloran (Irl) Duhallow  Whls.        
4 Stephen Enright (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club 
5 Christian Varley (GBr) Great Britain        
6 Michael Sarkissian (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme 
7 Martin Quill (GBr)  Team Keyne               
8 Alex Coutts (Sco) Scotland                  
9 Steve Harrisson (GBr) Great Britain                    0.25
10 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cote D'azur 

General Classification after stage 4 

1 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ireland                        5.38.54
2 Martin Quill (GBr) Team Keyne                          0.10
3 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                 0.12
4 Philippe Tesson (Fra) Velo Club La Pom                 0.20
5 Michael Sarkissian (Fra) Velo Club La Pom              0.21
6 Bart Kerkdijk (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                    0.30 
7 Chris Penketh (GBr) Liverpool Centur                   0.36
8 Christian Varley (GBr) Great Britain                   0.38
9 Stephen Enright (Irl) Usher Irish Road                 0.39
10 Ben Clark (GBr) Great Britain               

Stage 5 - Roundwood - Roundwood, 96km  

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

The penultimate stage of the Stena Line Junior Tour in the wicklow Mountains with a start and finish in Roundwood, Co. Wicklow had all the ingredients of a classic.

Philip Duignan who has led since Wednesday has seen many of his rivals waiting for the test in the mountains. The course which was used is familiar to all the big events in Ireland and part was used in the '98 Tour de France.

Early on in the event. with conditions less than favourable, the competitors were in no mood to set a brisk pace, but on the first climb it was noticeable that the strong competitors were now beginning to show their athleticism. The pattern was set and as they crossed the first prime gaps started to show at an alarming rate in the peloton. It was noticeable that the young Frenchman Phillipe Tesson from the VC la Pommpe club in Marseilles was the one that was exerting the pressure. Phillipe was now in a position to launch a forward move at the second prime of the day. Going out on the second lap with two primes ahead, it was the Frenchman who decided that it was now or never. Literally he just went from the diminishing peloton and into the haze which lay over the mountain, never to be seen again.

By the time he crossed the finishing line in the highest village (Roundwood) in Ireland (which has also got the highest pub in the land to quench your thirst) he had gained nearly two minutes on his rivals. This stage win also put him in yellow as race leader and to fair to all and sundry nobody denied him his good fortune. The race leader Philip Duignan came in sixth place along with Timmy Cassidy who had tried to steer him home so as he would not drop off the top spot. Timmy did manage to keep in contention in second place, but todays stage which is relatively flat should offer no difficulties to the Frenchman who is on the verge of his biggest success to date.

NB-The result of the match favoured Sean Boylan's team (Meath) who will play Kerry in the semi-final of the All Ireland Football Championships in a coupe of weeks. Currently the country is in the throes of its national games in football and hurling.


Junior Men 
1 Philippe Tesson (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme            2.41.36
2 Michel Van Diessen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven              01.56
3 Ben Clark (GBr) Great Britain              
4 Alex Coutts (Sco) Scotland                   
5 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cote D.azur                
6 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ireland                          02.02
7 Tim Cassidy (Irl) Ireland                    
8 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                03.24
9 Joost Leijen Van (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven           
10 Kerkdijk Bart (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                  04.39 
General Classification after stage 5

1 Philippe Tesson (Fra) Velo Club La Pom              8.20.50
2 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ireland                           1.42
3 Ben Clark (GBr) Great Britain                          2.15
4 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cote D.azur                        2.22
5 Tim Cassidy (Irl) Ireland                              2.35
6 Joost Leijen Van) (Ned Tempo Veldhoven                 3.16
7 Bellemakers Dirk) (Ned Tempo Veldhoven                 4.08
8 Alex Coutts (Sco) Scotland                             4.25
9 Bart Kerkdijk (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                    4.49
10 Stephen Enright (Irl) Usher Irish Road                5.12

Stage 6 Cookstown - Cookstown, 98km  

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent

Philippe Tesson from the French club VC La Pomme came up trumps after six days of competitive cycling in the Stena Line Junior Tour, which concluded yesterday in the heartlands of the Irish Road Club who have been instrumental in developing the sport in that area.

From day one of the event in Howth, Phillipe laid the foundations that would ultimately give him one of his biggest prizes in the junior ranks anywhere in the world.

On the penultimate stage in the Wicklow Mountains, he demonstrated that he had in a short space of time acquired skills equal to his senior contemporaries. When he left his rivals for dead with more than a lap plus, he showed maturity well beyond his 18 years.

From then on his name was on the trophy and as the clocked ticked down on the finishing line in Roundwood it was all over bar the shouting as he had eclipsed the race leader Philip Duignan who had led the race since Wednesday. To be totally fair Philip had been living on borrowed time, as he had to call on his reserves to retain the lead throughout stages three and four.

Sunday's stage over comparatively flat roads, but the sting in the tail was the distance of nearly 100km. There were times that Phillipe looked vulnerable, but the support of a strong team got him through.

In the end the stage went to the Dutchman Bart Kerkdijk with Tesson back in sixth place and assured of the top prize for export, as was the FBD Milk Ras back in May, which also went overseas.


Junior Men 

1 Bart Kerkdijk (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                 2.03.17
2 Stephen Enright (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club
3 Paudi O'Brien (Irl) Ireland
4 Steve Harrisson (GBr) Great Britain
5 Adam Craig  (GBr) Great Britain
6 Philippe Tesson (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme
7 Tim Cassidy (Irl) Ireland
8 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven
9 Barry Meade (Irl) Kanturk Credit Union
10 Christian Varley (GBr) Great Britain
11 Philip Roche (Irl) Cycleways
12 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ireland
13 Wannes Maris (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven
14 Ben Clark  (GBr) Great Britain
15 Rudy Houts Van (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven
16 Harm Rombouts (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven
17 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cote D'azur
18 Julian Plumer (Fra) Cote D'azur
19 Gregory Elliott (Irl) Ulster Cycling Federa
20 Romain Hinault (Fra) CC Moncontour
21 Jean Baptiste Combe (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme
22 Nick Vermeulen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven
23 P.J O'Halloran . (Irl) Duhallow Whls.
24 Tim Brammeier (GBr) Liverpool Century
25 John O'Shea (Irl) Ireland
26 Andrew McQuaid (Irl) Kanturk Credit Union
27 Martin Quill (GBr) Team Keyne
28 Chris Penketh (GBr) Liverpool Century
29 Niall 'OShea (Irl) Cycleways
30 Alex Coutts (Sco) Scotland
31 Edward Smyth (Irl) Ulster Cycling Federa
32 Michael Concannon (Irl) Killorglin Credit Uni
33 Conor Coffey (Irl) Cycleways
34 Michael Sarkissian (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme
35 Joe Marrey  (Irl) Kanturk Credit Union
36 Eoin Stephens (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club
37 BrianO'Connor (Irl) Duhallow Whls.
38 Anthony O'Connor (Irl) Killorglin Credit Uni
39 Edward Kelly (Irl) Kanturk Credit Union
40 James Fish  (Sco) Scotland
41 Michel Van Diessen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven
42 Mat Brammeier (GBr) Liverpool Century
43 Robert Reidy (Irl) Newbridge Cutlery                  0.53
44 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                2.07
45 Adam Mansfield (GBr) Team Keyne                       5.05
46 Jonathan Green (GBr) York Cycleways                   5.55
47 Nick Gough  (GBr) York Cycleways
48 Michael McClucheon (Irl) Cycleways                    8.04
49 Graeme Hyett (Sco) Scotland
50 Noor Hassan (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club               8.10
51 James Lattimore (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club          18.30
52 Trevor Wright (Irl) Ulster Cycling Federa            23.50 

Final general classification 

1 Philippe Tesson (Fra) Velo Club La Pom             10.24.07
2 Philip Deignan (Irl) Ireland                           1.42
3 Ben Clark (GBr) Great Britain                          2.15
4 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Cote D'azur                        2.22
5 Tim Cassidy (Irl) Ireland                              2.35
6 Joost Leijen Van (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                 3.16
7 Alex Coutts (Sco) Scotland                             4.25
8 Bart Kerkdijk (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                    4.49
9 Stephen Enright (Irl) Usher Irish Road                 5.12
10 Chris Penketh (GBr) Liverpool Centur                  5.27
11 Christian Varley (GBr) Great Britain                  5.29
12 Julian Plumer (Fra) Cote D'azur                       5.40
13 Rudy Houts Van (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                  5.57
14 'OShea John (Irl) Ireland                             6.00
15 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                6.15
16 Martin Quill (GBr)) Team Keyne                        6.33
17 Michael Sarkissian (Fra) Velo Club La Pom             6.55
18 Mat Brammeier (GBr) Liverpool Centur                  7.05
19 Steve Harrisson (GBr) Great Britain                   7.31
20 Niall 'OShea (Irl) Cycleways                          7.35
21 P.J. 'OHalloran (Irl) Duhallow Whls.                  7.43
22 Michael Concannon (Irl) Killorglin Credi              7.45
23 Adam Craig (GBr) Great Britain                        8.33
24 Jean Combes Baptist(Fra) Velo Club La Pom             9.39
25 Paudi 'OBrien (Irl) Ireland                          14.03
26 Tim Brammeier (GBr) Liverpool Centur                 14.11
27 Edward Kelly (Irl) Kanturk Credit U                  14.59
28 Harm Rombouts (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                  16.24
29 James Fish (Sco) Scotland                            16.44
30 Gregory Elliott (Irl) Ulster Cycling F               17.19
31 Wannes Maris (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                   19.57
32 Conor Coffey (Irl) Cycleways                         23.32
33 Brian O'Connor (Irl) Duhallow Whls.                  25.15
34 Andrew McQuaid (Irl) Kanturk Credit U                27.26
35 Philip Roche (Irl) Cycleways                         30.43
36 Romain Hinault (Fra) CC Moncontour                   34.52
37 Joe Marrey (Irl) Kanturk Credit U                    35.43
38 Edward Smyth (Irl) Ulster Cycling F                  36.49
39 Michel Van Diessen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven             43.35
40 Nick Vermeulen (Ned) Tempo Veldhoven                 45.07
41 Robert Reidy (NEW) Newbridge Cutler                  47.24
42 Anthony O'Connor (Irl) Killorglin Credi              53.27
43 Barry Meade (Irl) Kanturk Credit U                   54.23
44 Eoin Stephens (Irl) Usher Irish Road                 56.49
45 Adam Mansfield (GBr)) Team Keyne                   1.01.07
46 Jonathan Green (GBr) York Cycleways                1.07.47
47 Graeme Hyett (Sco) Scotland                        1.13.19
48 Nick Gough (GBr) York Cycleways                    1.21.32
49 Noor Hassan (Irl) Usher Irish Road                 1.24.09
50 James Lattimore (Irl) Usher Irish Road             1.30.50
51 Michael McClucheon (Irl) Cycleways                 1.42.08
52 Trevor Wright (Irl) Ulster Cycling F               2.35.53

1st Year Junior Overall (Sponsored by Terry Dolan)

1 N Roche (Fra)                                      10.26.29 
2 J Leijen (Ned)                                         0.54 
3 S Enright(Irl)                                         2.50 
4 C Penketh(GBr)                                         3.05 
5 C Varley (GBr)                                         3.07 
6 R Houts (Ned)                                          3.35 
7 D Bellemakers (Ned)                                    3.53 
8 M Quill (GBr)                                          4.11 
9 M Brammeier (GBr)                                      4.43 
10 M Concannon( Irl)                                     5.23 
11 J Combes (Fra)                                        7.17 
12 P O'Brien (Irl)                                      11.41 
13 T Brammeier (GBr)                                    11.49 
14 G Elliott (Irl)                                      14.57 
15 B O'Connor (Irl)                                     22.53 
16 A McQuaid (Irl)                                      25.04 
17 P Roche (Irl)                                        28.21 
18 R Hinault (Fra)                                      32.30 
19 E Smyth( Irl)                                        34.27 
20 N Vermeulen (Ned)                                    42.45 
21 A O'Connor (Irl)                                     51.05 
22 E Stephens (Irl)                                     54.27 
23 J Green (GBr)                                      1.05.25 
24 N Gough (GBr)                                      1.19.10 
25 J Lattimore (Irl)                                  1.28.28 
26 M McClucheon (Irl)                                 1.39.46 
27 T Wright (Irl)                                     2.33.31 

Team General Classification

1 Tempo Vel                                          31.21.50 
2 Ireland                                                0.14 
3 Great Bri                                             03.55 
4 Velo Club                                             04.13 
5 Liverpool                                             17.14 
6 Cycleways                                             52.21 
7 Kanturk C                                           1.03.59 
8 Scotland                                            1.24.59 
9 Usher Iri                                           2.08.26 
10 Ulster Cy                                          3.20.32  

Points Competition  (Sponsored by O'Donavan Solicitors)

P Tesson (Fra)                                           59 points
B Kerkdijk (Ned)                                         55 
S Harrisson (GBr)                                        43 
S Enright (Irl)                                          41 
P Deignan (Irl)                                          37 
P O'Brien (Irl)                                          35 
A Coutts (Sco)                                           35 
J Leijen (Ned)                                           35 
J Plumer (Fra)                                           33 
N Roche (Fra)                                            29 
T Cassidy (Irl)                                          29 
M Quill (GBr))                                           28 
B Clark (GBr)                                            27 
M Sarkissian (Fra)                                       25 
T Brammeier (GBr)                                        24 
B Meade (Irl)                                            21 
C Varley (GBr)                                           19 
C Penketh (GBr)                                          19 
M Diessen (Ned)                                          16 
S Bellemaker (Ned)                                       15 
P O'Halloran (Irl)                                       13 
M Brammeier (GBr)                                        13 
A Craig (GBr)                                            12 
J Combes (Fra)                                            8 
J O'Shea (Irl)                                            6 
N O'Shea (Irl)                                            6 
P Roche (Irl)                                             5 
W Maris (Ned)                                             3 
R Houts (Ned)                                             1
Mountains Competition (Sponsored by Grant Thornton)

1 J Leijen (Ned)                                         67
2 B Clark (GBr)                                          67
3 T Cassidy (Irl)                                        63
4 A Coutts (Sco)                                         45
5 M Quill (GBr))                                         38
6 P Tesson (Fra)                                         33
7 P Deignan (Irl)                                        25
8 M Sarkissian (Fra)                                     24
9 P O'Brien (Irl)                                        21
10 M Diessen (Ned)                                       20
11 B Kerkdijk (Ned)                                      14
12 N Roche (Fra)                                         10
13 C Varley (GBr)                                         8
14 M Concannon (Irl)                                      3
15 J Combes (Fra)                                         3
16 N O'Shea (Irl)                                         3
17 S Harrisson (GBr)                                      2
18 S Bellemakers (Ned)                                    1
19 A Craig (GBr)                                          1
20 G Elliott (Irl)                                        1
21 A McQuaid (Irl)                                        1