The forthcoming Tour of Ireland has received its first Pro Tour cycling team entry in the shape of Unibet.
The Sweden based outfit’s entry is the first of the top division teams expected to ride the inaugural event, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, from 22 to 26 August 2007.
The current Unibet roster includes Jimmy Casper, Baden Cooke and Jeremy Hunt.
All three sprinters have had great success in major events with Frenchman Casper winning the second stage of the Tour de France last year when he beat Robbie McEwen in Strasbourg. Team mate Cooke won a stage and the green points jersey in the Tour de France in 2003.
Cooke was unlucky to break his collar bone recently in the Tour of Catalunya where he had shown good form to narrowly miss out on an earlier stage win. The Australian should be fully recovered in time to ride the Irish tour if he is selected.
Double British road race champion Hunt is in good form riding in the Tour of Belgium which started on 30 May where he finished second in the first stage.
The Tour of Ireland will take place from Wednesday 22 to Sunday 26 August and the route will take in much of the South and West of Ireland. The race starts at Kilkenny Castle as the riders begin their 864km quest for victory in Dublin five days later.