A total of 121 riders from 25 teams representing 16 different nations lined up at the start of Rás na mBan in Kilkenny, the premier women’s cycling event in Ireland.
Recently it was claimed that cyclists from surrounding counties come to Kilkenny because of the great road surfaces, and the peloton seems very comfortable on the county’s roads - returning for the third year in a row.
“The move to Kilkenny three years ago has been overwhelmingly positive for Rás na mBan,” said Race Director Valerie Considine. “The beautiful countryside and wonderful support from Kilkenny makes planning the route an absolute pleasure.”
The Rás has become established as one of the toughest and friendliest autumn stage races on the calendar, and attracts cyclists from across Europe.
There was a strong line-up of national teams from Ireland, Great Britain, Slovakia and the Isle of Man, along with squads from the Netherlands, Norway and team lists that included riders from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, The Czech Republic and Poland, on trade and club teams.
Local cycling fans also had a Kilkenny woman to cheer for, in this 14th edition of Rás na mBan, with Castlecomer’s Eva Brennan of Deenside Wheelers named on the Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland team.
Rás na mBan is Ireland’s only women’s international stage race. It runs for five days with a total of six stages, over 400km of racing action.