by Tommy Campbell
The rivalry between two of the top teams in the Scott Cycles Junior Tour! Looks as though it will go right down to the wire when the fortieth edition of this unique event reaches a conclusion on Sunday! Team Ireland and the American Hot Tubes. Both have locked horns over the five stages to date.
Lane Maher of the American based Hot Tubes club, claimed victory on the Queen Stage (Mountain) on the infamous Gallows Hill on the borders of Clare and Limerick. Thus adding spice to the rivalry. Ben Walsh of Irish team has led from the front from the start of the ‘tour’ last Tuesday. He retained his race lead with a spirituous display on the penultimate day when he came a cropper and ended on the deck with thirty four kilometres to the finish at the summit at one of the steepest climbs. But, the young man from Westport dusted himself down and similar to threading a needle was back in the action, none the worse! He can also add a first by leading from pillar to post.
The final stage in Ennis is over eight circuit of a local circuit, 78 kilometres in total distance. It looks on paper to go right down to the wire as the top six are separated by a margin 23 seconds. Realistically, Ben Walsh has the bonus of two of his Irish team, Aaron Doherty and Dillon Corkery at third and fourth in the standings to copper fasten a memorable win for junior cycling, not alone in Co. Mayo, but all over Ireland.