About Rás Tailteann

 

Rás Tailteann is an eight-day, international stage race around Ireland – commonly known as “The Rás”.  This is the official site of Rás Tailteann.

The race is Ireland’s number one cycling event and takes place each year in May.

This year the event will start on Sunday 20th May and finish in Skerries, Co Dublin on Sunday 27th May 2018.

For the past 7 years the Rás Tailteann was sponsored by the national postal service An Post, and although no title sponsor is currently in place the Race Director, Eimear Dignam recently confirmed that the race would proceed as normal.

“The epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events bringing world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide. It is a major event on the national and international calendar” said Dignam, “and it is going to happen as normal under my watch”.

The Rás has a worldwide reputation of being a gruelling challenge in the elite, International calendar. The open racing style allows amateur county and club riders to pit themselves against domestic and international professionals.

“The route is finalised and our hard working organising committee were out ironing out the last few details over the festive season.

We will be having a press release very soon to announce the route.

“Just because we don’t yet have a sponsor this won’t make the route any easier, I promise the Rás will be as tough as ever” Dignam confirmed recently.

 

The 2017 Winner interview:

Belgian and Swiss national teams to add speed and aggression to Rás Tailteann

With less than a month to go until the start of the 2018 Rás Tailteann, a further two international teams have been added to the six already announced for the race. National teams from Belgium and Switzerland will compete in the round-Ireland event, drawing their track racing background to ramp up the speed and aggression of the event.

The Belgian squad is comprised of riders who are set to represent the country in the 2020 Beijing Olympics velodrome.

Former Rás stage winner Moreno de Pauw is returning after two previous participations in the race. These yielded a stage win in 2013. On the track he is a winner of six six-day races and has taken bronze medals in the world and European track championships.

Kenny de Ketele is a past world Madison champion and has also taken silver and bronze medals at the worlds. He is a winner of 16 six-day races and has been seven times European track champion. He will ride the Rás for the second time in his career, having taken fifth in the mountains classification in 2013.

Jules Hesters is riding his second Rás and is a past European junior track champion. The team is completed by two Rás debutantes, namely 2017 under 23 European Madison track champions Lindsay De Vylder and Robbe Ghys.

“Our goal for the race is winning a stages and placing one rider in the top ten of the general classification,” says team manager Peter Pieters.

23 May 2013; Moreno De Pauw, Belgium National Team, celebrates after crossing the finish line to win Stage 5 of the 2013 An Post Rás. Glengarriff – Mitchelstown. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

The Swiss national team also has a big emphasis on track. It is building up to the Elite European track championships in August, which is the beginning of the Olympic qualification for the team pursuit and Madison events.

The line-up for the Rás Tailteann is likely to be Cyrille Thièry, Claudio Imhof, Frank Pasche, Thery Schir and Lukas Ruegg.

Thièry raced in the Rio Olympics as part of the Swiss team pursuit squad. His road results include third in the mountains classification at the 2017 Flèche du Sud and third in the points classification in the 2016 Tour de Hokkaido.

Imhof is a past medalist in the world and European track championships, netting silver with Thièry in the Madison at the 2011 Europeans. Pasche and Schir were part of the Swiss squad in the Rio 2016 Olympics and won the European under 23 Madison championship in 2015.

As for Ruegg, he was part of the victorious team sprint and team pursuit squad at the 2017 Swiss national championships. He is aiming to break into the Elite national track team for the 2018/2019 season.

We are here to ride strongly in individual stages and look for riders such as Schir,  Thièry and Imhof to be in break- aways in the hunt for a stage win,” said national track coach Ross Machejefski. “Also the main sprinter would be Thièry Schir.

“This race is the first big stage race the team is doing for the 2018 season but each rider will come in having done several races in Switzerland through the spring. We look forward to the lap around Ireland and some great racing!”

Race director Eimear Dignam also anticipates some top competition. “Having these two track teams will add much to the race; they will be aggressive, they will have a strong turn of speed and they will be accustomed to working very well as a unit,” she said. “Together with the international teams previously announced and those yet to be named, there will be a very promising overseas element in this year’s race.”

This year’s Rás Tailteann totals eight days and 1168.7 kilometres in length, and is ranked as a 2.2 event on the UCI’s international calendar. It will feature four gruelling category one climbs plus 30 other categorized climbs, as well as stage finishes in Athlone, Tipperary, Listowel, Glengarriff, Mitchelstown, Carlow, Naas and Skerries. It will run from May 20 to 27.

Previously known as the An Post Rás, the event is searching for a new title sponsor. The race recently announced an initiative with cycling clothing manufacturer Spin 11, whereby a commemorative cycling kit is being produced and will help secure the future of the race.

The jersey and gillet feature the names of the Rás champions dating back to the first event in 1953. Proceeds will contribute to the running of the event.

For more details and to order, go to the www.rasireland.ie

 

Addition of British and American squads expands international line-up for Rás Tailteann

As the weeks tick down towards the May 20 start of the Rás Tailteann, a further two overseas squads have been confirmed for the world-ranked event.

Ras Taiteann 2018 Damien Shaw

2017 An Post Ras Stage 3, Newport to Bundoran – Damien Shaw oof An Post CRC with eventual stage winner, Matthew Teggart of An Post CRC

Former Irish national road race champion Damien Shaw and talented young rider Sean McKenna are the first two to be named for the Britain Holdsworth Pro Racing Team. The rest of the squad is yet to be decided, but the two Irish riders have amassed plenty of experience in the race and will share that with their teammates.

Shaw won the national championships in 2015 and finished second, second and third on stages in that year’s Rás. He was also fifth overall in 2016 and again last year. As for McKenna, he was fourth in the mountains classification in 2017 and took 15th overall. He went on to place fifth in the national road race championships.

Sean has had a good start to the 2018 season, winning races in Ireland, while Damien always has great form in May,” said sports director Dean Downing. “Perhaps one of our Italian sprinters will be on the team, along with one of the young Irish under 23 riders. It’s a tough decision to choose just five riders. But hopefully we will have a few surprises up our sleeves with our international riders.

The team will do a series of big races as part of its build-up, including the Tour de Yorkshire. Downing believes the squad will be exactly where it needs to be as it starts the event.

The Rás is such a hard race to control as it’s a small team of five riders,” he said. “But we will go in with stage win ambitions and to place riders in the big breaks on the queen stages in this year’s race. We will have no leaders, just five lads working hard together each stage.

Meanwhile the USA CCB Velotooler Cycling Team will return for the third year running, building on participations in 2017 and 2018. The squad has raced aggressively in the past, and yielded results such as Jacob Sitler’s second place into Buncrana last year.

This year’s squad includes multiple road and cyclo-cross national team member Spencer Petrov, Jefferson Cup road race winner Thomas Humpreys, Healthy Newtown road race winner Gabe Mendez, Purgatory road race winner John Harris and former American masters world champion Tim Mitchel.

Most of our riders are in university in the USA, so they have been doing some collegiate racing, as well as the Clif Bar Velotooler Cup spring series in New England,” said team sports director Arnie Mostowy. “In the weeks leading up to the Rás, we will do a number of pro kermess races in Belgium, and several one-day UCI races including the Ronde van Overijssel and Profronde van Noord-Holland in the Netherlands.

As regards the team’s goals for the race, Mostowy said that a step-by-step approach would be taken. “The Rás is very difficult to predict/control for a targeted GC ride with the parcours, small team size, and unpredictable racing dynamic,” he explained.

We will be focusing more on stage results with the goal of placing one of our three U23 riders high on the U23 GC. Look for Gabe Mendez to be contesting the stages with steeper/longer climbs, while Spencer Petrov will be looking at the stages that tend to be ‘attrition stages’ and – because of his cyclocross experience – anything with foul weather. Thomas Humphreys and John Harris are likely be on the hunt for breakaways on most days and could also mix it up in a reduced-bunch sprint.

Race director Eimear Dignam anticipates great racing from both squads. “Damien Shaw and Sean McKenna have done plenty of strong riding in the past and will help write the story of this year’s race,” she said. “We are looking forward to seeing the Holdsworth Pro Racing team line out and chasing results over the eight days.The same for the USA CCB Velotooler Cycling Team. It has learned a lot about the event over the past two years, and will line out this time ready to challenge for stage wins and more.

About Rás Tailteann 2018

This year’s Rás Tailteann totals eight days and 1168.7 kilometres in length, and is ranked as a 2.2 event on the UCI’s international calendar. It will feature four gruelling category one climbs plus 30 other categorized climbs, as well as stage finishes in Athlone, Tipperary, Listowel, Glengariff, Mitchelstown, Carlow, Naas and Skerries. It will run from May 20 to 27.

Previously known as the An Post Rás, the event is searching for a new title sponsor. The race recently announced an initiative with cycling clothing manufacturer Spin 11, whereby a commemorative cycling kit is being produced and will help secure the future of the race.

The jersey and gillet feature the names of the Rás champions dating back to the first event in 1953. Proceeds will contribute to the running of the event.

For more details and to order, go to www.rasireland.ie

 

Multiple stage-winning team amongst squads announced for 2018 Rás Tailteann

A week after the announcement of the first two international squads for this year’s Rás Tailteann, two more teams have been revealed for the race. The Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam team has shone in the past two editions, winning two stages under the Cycling team Join’s – De Rijke name in 2016 and then repeating that tally last year via Jan Willem Van Schip and Daan Meijers. In addition to that, Ike Groen was a superb second overall, while Meijers won the points classification.

Ras Tailteann 2018 Jan Willem

2017 An Post Ras Stage 7, Donegal to Ardee –
Jan Willem Van Schip, The Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam Team

Our first goal is to win a stage,” states team manager Jim van den Berg. “We strongly believe in by riding for day wins, the classification will follow automatically. We will not start with protected riders who will try to save energy. That might be a tactic later on, when the general classification comes within reach.

Van den Berg has named  Jason van Dalen, Adriaan Janssen, Gijs Meijer, Sjoerd Bax and Rens Tulner as the five riders most likely to take part. Van Dalen won a stage in last year’s Okolo Jiznich Cech/Tour of South Bohemia and was sixth in the recent Tour de Normandie. Janssen was a stagiaire last year with the WorldTour Lotto-JumboNL squad and won the Omloop van Braakman. Meijer was second in the 2017 Ronde van Zuid-Oost Friesland, while Bax won the Eurode Omloop top competitive event. Tulner was 12th in the under 23 Dutch national time trial championships.

The team will do a series of 1.2 ranked races in the Netherlands and Belgium to ensure it is in the best possible shape for the Rás Tailteann.

The Britain Team KTM squad is the second confirmed today, and it is making its Rás debut. The listed riders are Will Fox, Andy Turner, Callum Ferguson and Fraser Rounds. Either Peter Barusevicus or Kieran Brady will complete the line-up.

Fox was fourth on a stage of last year’s Tour of Bulgaria, while Turner was third in the Severn Bridge road race. Ferguson was second on the queen stage of last year’s Tour of Bulgaria and third in the best young rider competition. Rounds was originally an elite triathlete, but began focussing on cycling. He was fourth in the Mark Bell Memorial Road Race earlier this month.

At the outset we are planning to have three to four riders as high on GC as possible and aim for the team prize,” said team manager Paul Lamb. “We have a team of good all-rounders and a rider in Will Fox who we will target selectively for stage wins. Depending on how the race pans out we may then select a protected rider if we have someone in the top 10 on GC.

Both teams will travel to Ireland in the build-up to the race start in Drogheda on May 20th. “We are looking forward to seeing both squads performing in the Rás Tailteann,” states race director Eimear Dignam. “The Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam team has been one of the strongest in recent editions and, in addition to the stage wins achieved, did much to animate the racing. As for Britain Team KTM, we are confident that they will race hard and aim for a big debut in the Rás.

About the Rás

This year’s Rás Tailteann totals eight days and 1168.7 kilometres in length, and is ranked as a 2.2 event on the UCI’s international calendar. It will feature four gruelling category one climbs plus 30 other categorized climbs, as well as stage finishes in Athlone, Tipperary, Listowel, Glengarriff, Mitchelstown, Carlow, Naas and Skerries.

Previously known as the An Post Rás, the event is searching for a new title sponsor. The race recently announced an initiative with cycling clothing manufacturer Spin 11, whereby a commemorative cycling kit is being produced and will help secure the future of the race.

The jersey and gillet feature the names of the Rás champions dating back to the first event in 1953. Proceeds will contribute to the running of the event.

For more details and to order, go to the www.rasireland.ie/ras-kit/

Image caption: Repro free: **PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE**

2017 An Post Ras Stage 7, Donegal to Ardee 27/05/2017

Jan Willem Van Schip, The Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam team. Mandatory Credit @INPHO/Morgan Treacy

 

 

First two International teams announced for Rás Tailteann

Rás Tailteann 2018 – Race Technical Guide

 

Rás Tailteann Cycling Kit

To celebrate the legacy of Rás Tailteann and to contribute to its future, we are producing this stunning commemorative cycling kit. Wear the official Rás Tailteann cycling kit as a badge of honour knowing you have helped contribute to the races future, while celebrating its past. All support is greatly appreciated, proceeds will contribute to the running of the event.

To acknowledge the legacy of this great race the jersey and gilet feature the names of the winning “Men of The Rás” since the very beginning, way back in 1953. The names reflect the “who is who” of Irish cyclists that have proudly added to the Rás to their “palmares” through the years. It also shines a light brightly on the events international status.

Pre order until the April 6th for delivery by the May 20th, Shop now; https://goo.gl/o18fYU

Rás Pictures

 

Click here…

Past Winners

 

Past Rás Winners 1953 – 2015

Year Winner From
1953 Colm Christle Gate C.C.
1954 Joe O’Brien National C.C.
1955 Gene Mangan Kerry
1956 Paudie Fitzgerald Kerry
1957 Frank Ward Dublin
1958 Mick Murphy Kerry
1959 Ben McKenna Meath
1960 Paddy Flanagan Kildare
1961 Tom Finn Dublin
1962 Sé O Hanlon Dublin
1963 Zbigniew Glowaty Poland
1964 Paddy Flanagan Kildare
1965 Sé O Hanlon Dublin
1966 Sé O Hanlon Dublin
1967 Sé O Hanlon Dublin
1968 Milan Hrezdira Czech.
1969 Brian Connaughton Meath
1970 Alexander Gysiantnikov USSR
1971 Colm Nulty Meath
1972 John Mangan Setanta C.C.
1973 Mike O’Donaghue Carlow
1974 Peter Doyle I.C.F.
1975 Paddy Flanagan Kildare
1976 Fons Steuten Netherlands
1977 Yuri Lavrushkin USSR
1978 Seamus Kennedy Kerry
1979 Stephen Roche Ireland
1980 Billy Kerr Ireland
1981 Jamie McGahan Scotland
1982 Dermot Gilleran Ireland
1983 Philip Cassidy Ireland
1984 Stephen Delaney Dublin
1985 Nicola Kosiakov USSR
1986 Stephen Spratt Tipperary
1987 Paul McCormack Longford
1988 Paul McCormack Ireland
1989 Dainis Ozoles USSR
1990 Ian Chivers Ireland
1991 Kevin Kimmage Meath
1992 Stephen Spratt Dublin
1993 Eamonn Byrne Ireland
1994 Declan Lonergan Ireland
1995 Paul McQuaid Ireland
1996 Tommy Evans Derry
1997 Andrew Roche Kerry
1998 Ciarán Power Ireland
1999 Philip Cassidy Ireland
2000 Julian Winn Wales
2001 Paul Manning Britain
2002 Ciarán Power Ireland
2003 Chris Newton Britain
2004 David McCann Ireland
2005 Chris Newton Britain
2006 Christian House Britain
2007 Tony Martin Germany
2008 Stephen Gallagher Ireland
2009 Simon Richardson Britain
2010 Alex Wetterhall Sweden
2011 Gediminas Bagdonas Lithuania
2012 Nicolas Baldo France
2013 Marcin Bialoblocki Poland
2014 Clemens Fankhauser Austria
2015 Lukas Postlberger Austria
2016 Clemens Fankhauser Austria
2017 James Gullen Britain

 

Rás Stories

 

Every rider, stage and year has its own story to tell… read through some special stories from the Rás in years gone by.

Find out about the ‘iron man’ of Irish cycling, Jimmy Curran, read how 4 times Rás winner Shay O’Hanlon ‘rode alone’ and find out some tips on how to become a road champion from Gene Mangan, all in this section of great Rás tales.

The Gene Mangan Story

Some Tips On How To Become A Road Champion By Gene Mangan

Shay O’Hanlon Four Times Rás Winner

Paddy Flanagan Three Times Rás Winner

Meeting The Iron Man Of Irish Cycling

The Case Of The National Cycling Association

Tales From The Gutter By Greg Roche Rás 2003

J. P. Partland – How I Got Here 2001

The ‘Men Of The Ras’ 1992

Belgian and Swiss national teams to add speed and aggression to Rás Tailteann..Click for more.. .https://t.co/xw0cwcMzbL

24 days to @rastailteann new finale town this year.swords the final stage end.after multiple stage wins in previous yrs lonergan final lifts title despite untimely mechanical does enough on the hot spots in swords.and a debut ras for eugene moriarty.thats a tale thats still going

25 days to @rastailteann 1993 early stages dominated by british riders and a stage 7 win for former world pursuit champ tony doyle but new kid eamon byrne claims victory in what would be the first of 3 in a row for irish team under @alasdaircycling donegal and kerry in same ras.

Belgian and Swiss national teams to add speed and aggression to Rás Tailteann

With less than a month to go until the start of the 2018 Rás Tailteann, a further two international teams have been added to the six already announced for the race. National teams from Belgium and Switzerland will compete in the round-Ireland event, drawing on their track racing background to ramp up the speed and aggression of the event. Click for more.. .http://rasireland.ie/#LlASuZCs
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Delighted to announce the addition of British Holdsworth Bikes Pro Racing Team and American CCB Racing Velotooler Cycling Team squads to the international line-up for Rás Tailteann 2018.
rasireland.ie/#NdYkRTHB
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