STAGE 1, SUNDAY 18TH MAY
NAVAN - BALLINAMORE 142 KMS.
NAVAN, Kells, Kells Category 3 KOM, Ballinlough, Slieve an Callaigh Category 3 KOM & Hot Spot Sprint, Oldcastle, (Virginia), Ballyjamesduff, Granard Hot Spot Prime, Ballinalee, Longford, Newtownforbes Hot Spot Prime, Rooskey, Dromod, Mohill, Fenagh, BALLINAMORE
Stage One begins with a ceremonial start in Navan at noon on Sunday May 18th, and takes the riders 142 kilometres to Ballinamore. The route passes through Kells and crosses a category three climb there after just 14.2 kilometres. The prime line is also the location of the first of three hot spot sprints, which will award bonus seconds and could well influence who takes the first yellow jersey of the race.
The second combined climb/hot spot sprint location comes 15.1 kilometres later at Slieve an gCallaigh, another category three ascent. From there the riders pass through Oldcastle, Ballyjamesduff (51.3km) and on to Granard (74.8km), Ballinalee, Longford (99.5km) and then travel via the N4 to the day’s final Hot Spot Sprint in Newtownforbes, which comes 38.6km from the finish line.
The speeds will be ramping up from here all the way to the finish, and there should be plenty of attacking heading along the roads which connect Rooskey, Dromod, Mohill, Fenagh and Ballinamore itself, the finish on this opening stage of the race.