Gardaí have issued information about traffic restrictions that will be in place for the Rás Tailteann 2023 when it arrives in Clare today.
County Clare will host a Stage Finish and Stage Start for Rás Tailteann 2023, Irelands premier International Cycle Race.
This year, the race will assemble and depart from Navan, Co. Meath on May 17 and celebrate 70 years of the race. After a ceremonial start in the town, the race will travel to Birr, Co Offaly.
Thursday 18 May – Stage 2 Birr to Barefield
The 154.5km Stage 2 on May 18 features a tough day in the saddle as the race departs from Birr, Co Offaly and makes its way along the rolling roads of North Tipperary, along Lough Derg and taking in the cat 3 climb in Portroe before crossing the River Shannon into Killaloe.
The race will pass through Killaloe at approx. 12:50 and travel to Ogonnelloe, Tuamgraney, Scariff. The final 50km of the stage could be very telling with 3 back-to-back cat 3 climbs and the cat 2 Maghera Mast climb all featuring. A relatively flat final 20km passing Crusheen into the finish line at the Barefield National School at approx. 2.30pm
Friday 19 May – Stage 3 Ennis to Castlebar
The Rás will start from Glór, Ennis at 10:45am with a neutral start through the town before heading to Castlebar.
The neutral start will take the cyclists along Francis Street, passing the Abbey and over the Club Bridge, before heading out past the Courthouse and out the Gort Road. The race will officially start from Ballymaley.
The Rás HQ will be in the Treacy’s West County Hotel.
The third stage, on May 19, goes from Ennis to Castlebar, with the fourth stage, on May 20, from Charlestown to Monaghan. The final day, May 21, begins with a ceremonial start in the centre of Monaghan town, before finishing up in the seaside town of Blackrock, Co Louth.
There has only been one Irish winner in the last 14 years and last year’s winner, Daire Feeley, All Human Velo Revolution Team will be hoping he can repeat his performance in this year’s event. There are 175 riders with teams from the USA, UK, Europe as well as the Cycling Ireland national team and club teams.
Rás Tailteann Ennis stage organiser Alan Murphy said: “The Rás brings the worlds elite riders to town and some of these riders will go on to ride the Tour de France in the coming years. The legend cyclist Stephen Roche was a previous winner of the Rás, while former Rás stage winners Sam Bennett, Ryan Mullen, Jai Hindley, Shane Archibald and John Degenkolb will all ride in this year’s Tour de France. Everyone is encouraged to come out and watch the Rás Tailteann.”
“We are very thankful for the support of the Clare County Council, an Garda Síochána and the local representatives to help us bring this iconic race to Clare,” Mr Murphy added.