Ras na mBan in Kilkenny
A date has been confirmed and route selection is at an advanced stage for this year's Rás na mBan.
At the beginning of 2020 the committee of Rás na mBan were confidently planning the 15th edition of Ireland’s top international stage race and looking forward to welcoming teams from all over the world to Kilkenny for a fifth year.
Scroll forward a year and making plans might seem like a folly given the events which have gripped the globe of late. However, the organisers of have continued to meet regularly – if ‘virtually’ - in the last year and have forged ahead with plans to present another five-day feast of top quality bike racing action this September. Rás na mBan 2021 is scheduled to run from September 8 to 12.
The pandemic may have had a cataclysmic effect on many aspects of society and world trade but one positive side effect is the upsurge in interest in cycling throughout Europe and beyond. This effect has been just as keenly felt in Ireland and it is with this in mind that the organisers of Rás na mBan are redoubling their efforts in advance of a resumption of racing hostilities in time for this year’s event.
Having completed almost all of the route planning ahead of last year’s cancelled event, the organisers have used the hiatus to focus on structures and systems around working with covid and ensuring that our competitors, officials and all interested parties have the safest and best possible experience of the 2021 event.
In the coming months, news will be rolled out of the various stage routes facing the riders in this year’s event and of the teams looking forward to the challenge of over 400km of tough racing on the inspiring roads of South Leinster this year.
Expect to see some new faces taking on riders on new and familiar roads in and around County Kilkenny.
“The last year has certainly been challenging for everyone and has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate where the race sits in ours and cycling’s priorities. We’ve never been more committed to the successful presentation of an event which will, we hope and trust, serve to be part of the regeneration of the sport this year," said race director Valerie Considine.
“Among others, our national Junior Road Race Champion Ella Doherty has spoken enthusiastically of her plans to ride the race as a first year senior this year and we are honoured to be able to present a top class international sports event for our visiting riders and our homegrown talent alike.
“We’re grateful to all our stakeholders for their continuing and vital support as we fine tune our systems for the next edition of the race. We’ve got some exciting new plans for the event and some popular elements which we have retained, all of which will be revealed in due course. In the meantime, it’s roll on September and the resumption of hostilities.”
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