Cycling

2018 Rás Tailteann bound for Kilkenny and Carlow this Friday, Saturday

Ireland's premier cycling race rolls through Kilkenny and Carlow this weekend.

The 2018 Ras Tailteann rolls through Kilkenny and Carlow this Friday and Saturday.

The race got underway on Sunday with a 136km rout from Drogheda to Athlone including two climbs and two hot sprints. A relatively flat route to start with, stage two is underway today (Monday) taking in almost 150km of roads between Athlone and Tipperary.

Tuesday goes Tipperary to Listowel (140.4km) with Wednesday providing no fewer than 8 climbs on the way to Glengariff (153kms). This Thursday includes 100km of mainly flat road fora 150.2km stretch from Glengariff to Mitchelstown, Cork before roads turn east.

A view of the passing Ras Tailteann  peleton  Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane
A view of the passing Ras Tailteann peleton Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Ras Tailteann heads to Kilkenny and Carlow

Carlow serves as a host town for this year’s event with cyclists passing through Kilkenny en route to their county neighbours.

Via, the official Rás website for Friday’s Mitchelstown to Carlow route (154.6km),

“Speeds will be high early on, not least because of the post office sprint at Urlingford (km 77.4), before things get considerably tougher after the 100 kilometre point. A total of five climbs will spice things up between there and the finish, including a category one ascent. The quintet of climbs are Byrnesgrove (category 3, km 108.7), Castlecomer (category 3, km 116.3), the first category wall of Gorteen (km 120.9), plus the second category pair of Coan West (km 124.6) and Clongrennan (km 133.5).”

Spectators cheer on the riders at the start of the 2018 Ras Tailteann. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane
Spectators cheer on the riders at the start of the 2018 Ras Tailteann. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane


“There will be a lot of main roads and there will be high speeds. I think this is going to be really tough on the energy levels, and riders will have to be tucked in tight. There is a long climb at Castlecomer and then very quickly after that there is the first category climb of Gorteen and a couple of category two climbs on the run into Carlow. This will make things very interesting, although there might be enough time after the last climb for things to come back together”, says Race director Eimear Dignam.

Riders continue in Carlow on Staurday for a 141.2km run to Naas, heading east towards Arklow and Woodenbridge, the Wicklow Gap, Slieve Cruagh, Ballymore Eustace and on towards Naas. This year’s event finishes in Skerries, Dublin on Sunday afternoon.

 

Ken McGuire

A life-long Liverpool supporter and lover of hurling and local rugby, Ken writes and shoots for KCLR Fanzone and presents KCLR Drive, weekdays 3-5.30pm. He rambles about food too at kenonfood.com
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