This weekend sees the 2012 edition of the Sleepwell Isle of Man Youth and Junior Tour. The tour has been the birth of many pro-tour and top domestic riders including Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), Andy Fenn (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Jonny Mc Evoy (Endura) and many others.
The weekend starts on Friday evening with a 1km time trial along Douglas Promenade. The youngest youth riders kick of the event with the Grand Depart at 6.30. Riders are off at 30s intervals. The out and back course will be a hard test for the riders, with a stiff wind blowing along the promenade. The riders also won’t want to overdo it with two hard road stages to follow.
stage 2 on Saturday is centred around a 9.33km road circuit on the outskirts of Peel. A testing little circuit with some climbing, the length of the race will test many of the riders. As with many races this season, the weather is likely to play a key role in deciding the race.
Stage 3 on Sunday moves the race to Ellerslie for a 6 lap race around a 7.25km circuit. The circuit has a stiff climb and this will probably decide the race and weed out those riders who haven’t conserved enough. A break could well go away over this climb.
Team Wallis-CHH have a strong junior team at this year’s event and have high hopes for gaining a result. I’ll have more updates and pictures from all three stages of the event as they unfold.