The 6 stages of Rás na mBan in Kilkenny this September

Ireland’s top international women’s bike race is coming to Kilkenny this September.

A record 125 riders from 15 countries representing 25 different teams will compete for honours in the 11th outing of Ireland’s flagship womens race, the An Post Rás na mBan.

Countries being represented on the roads around Kilkenny include the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, mainland Europe, Britain and the cream of Irish road racing talent.

Race Director Valerie Considine says that it’s an exciting time.

“The overwhelming response from teams coming from abroad suggests that the ingredients are right for a great week of racing Kilkenny.

“The welcome we’ve received from the local community has been heartwarming and we can’t wait to bring the race to Kilkenny in three weeks time.

“We hope everyone will come out to cheer on the riders and throughout the week and if you can only make one stage then the city centre race on Saturday evening will be a great free extravaganza of racing action on the streets of Kilkenny City Centre.”

We’ll be broadccasting live from The Parade on Saturday 10 September with music, food and fun planned from 3pm before a city centre race at 6.30pm.

Stage 1 – Wednesday 7 September

  • Start: 5.45pm, Springhill Court Hotel, Waterford Road
  • Finish: 7.30pm, Lyrath Estate Hotel, Dublin Road
  • Kilkenny (SHC) – Bennettsbridge –Thomastown – Graiguenamanagh Goresbridge – Gowran – Kilkenny (R712) – 60km

Stage 2 – Thursday 8 September

  • Start: 12pm, Castlecomer
  • Finish: 1.50pm, Castlecomer
  • Castlecomer (Discovery Park) Ballyraggett – Firoda – Castlecomer – Coolcullen – Rossmore – Castlecomer – 75km

Stage 3 – Friday 9 September

  • Start: 12pm, Springhill Court Hotel, Waterford Road
  • Finish: 2.45pm, Mount Leinster
  • Kilkenny (SHC) – Paulstown – Leighlinbridge – Muine Bheag – Borris – Ballyurphy – Kiltealy – Bunclody – Kildavin – Myshall – Fenagh – Mount Leinster – 112km

Stage 4 – Saturday 10 September

  • Start: 10am, Kilkenny Rugby Club, Waterford Road
  • Finish: 12pm, Kilkenny Rugby Club, Waterford Road
  • Start – Waterford Road N10 (Rugby Club) – Out and back, individual time trial for 11km

Stage 5 – Saturday 10 September

  • Start: 6.30pm, Kilkenny Castle
  • Finish: 7.30pm, Kilkenny Castle
  • The Parade – Nuncio Road – Waterford Road – Upper Patrick Street, Criterium circuit race 40km

Stage 6 – Sunday 11 September

  • Start: 10am, Kilkenny Rugby Club, Waterford Road
  • Finish: 12pm, Kilkenny Rugby Club, Waterford Road
  • Kilkenny – Kells – Dunamaggin – Knocktopher – Thomastown – Inistioge – Woodstock – Thomastown – Bennettsbridge – Kilkenny – 85km

This year’s event will cover a total of 383km with six classified climbs – 2 Cat 1, 2 Cat 2 and 2 Cat 3.