The highways, byways and streets of Kilkenny will be broadcast around the world as the An Post Ras na mBan begins today.
Twenty five womens cycling teams are getting set for stage one in Kilkenny which will be followed by five further stages over the next five days of racing in the county.
The racing concludes on Sunday, but on Saturday the record entry of cyclists will race from the Castle, down the Parade and up Patrick Street for one hour of exciting cycling.
This is the 11th staging of this successful event which has attracted hundreds of fans.
Apart from Irish cyclists, the event has riders from The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Britain and the Scandanavian countries.
As part of the Kilkenny routes, on Friday the race will cross in to Carlow and climb Mount Leinster
Eurosport will broadcast the cycling event to up to 14 million cycling fans and the race concludes at the Castle on Sunday, coming in the Kells Road.
The route details are below -
STAGE 1 - Wednesday 7th September
Road Race Kilkenny 60KM
Kilkenny (SHC) – Bennettsbridge –Thomastown - Graiguenamanagh Goresbridge – Gowran – Kilkenny (R712)
STAGE 2 - Thursday 8th September
Road Race Castlecomer 75KM
Castlecomer (Discovery Park) Ballyraggett – Firoda – Castlecomer – Coolcullen – Rossmore – Castlecomer
STAGE 3 - Friday 9th September
Road Race Mount Leinster 112KM
Kilkenny (SHC) – Paulstown - Leighlinbridge – Muine Bheag - Borris – Ballyurphy – Kiltealy – Bunclody – Kildavin – Myshall – Fenagh - Mount Leinster
STAGE 4 - Saturday 10th September
Individual Time Trial 11KM
Start - Waterford Road N10 (Rugby Club) - Out and back
STAGE 5 - Saturday 10th September
'Criterium' Circuit Race 40km
Race Length: One hour
The Parade – Nuncio Road – Waterford Road – Upper Patrick Street
STAGE 6 - Sunday 11th September
Road Race Kilkenny 85KM
Kilkenny – Kells – Dunamaggin – Knocktopher – Thomastown – Inistioge – Woodstock – Thomastown – Bennettsbridge - Kilkenny
Total Stage Mileage - 383km
Six classified climbs - Two Cat 1, two Cat 2 and two Cat 3