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1st Tour of Ireland - 2.1
Ireland, August 22-26, 2007
Stage 2 - August 23: Clonakilty - Killarney, 166km
A big emphasis on day two will once again be on guaranteeing a spectacle, but this time round it should be the scenery which impresses as much as the racing. Over the course of the 166-kilometre stage the riders will pass through the stunning Beara Peninsula, taking in the Healy Pass and Moll's Gap, two well-known climbs from Nissan Classic history.
Fifty kilometres after the 13.00 start in Clonakilty the field will crest the summit of the third category Glenlough climb. Very soon after the top two bonus sprints will come in quick succession, one at Bantry (60.1 km) and the second at Glengarriff (kilometre 77.6). Almost immediately the lumpy parcours will see the riders hit the third category Derreenacarrin climb (kilometre 85.7), then drop back down and speed on towards what could be a decisive point of the stage.
Ranked as first category, the rugged Healy Pass comes 63 kilometres from the end of the stage and could act as the springboard for a winning move. It tops out at kilometre 103.1 and then just 11 kilometres later the riders will hit the top of the third category Knockreagh. While neither has the length nor the altitude of Alpine climbs, a determined group could stop clear on what are sluggishly heavy roads.
After another bonus sprint in Kenmare (kilometre 133.6) the riders will begin climbing the second category Moll's Gap, another very picturesque mountain which should make for great television pictures. The Irish tourism authority Bord Fáilte are the primary backers of the event and with coverage going to countries around the world, this consideration was of importance when selecting the route. It should also make for exciting racing, as the summit comes just 23 kilometres from the finish in Killarney.