On Sunday 10th of March, Limerick Cycling Club will host its annual Rás Luimní cycle race, sponsored by The Bike Shop of O’Connell Avenue. This race is one of the longest running and most significant races on the national calendar. The club is delighted that once again The Bike Shop of O’Connell Avenue are event sponsors. This event attracts the top amateur cyclists from all over the country which sets the scene for a great spectacle on the roads around the Caherconlish, Ballyneety, and Herberstown area. As host club, Limerick CC invites the public to experience the excitement and thrills of competitive Irish road racing on our own doorstep in Limerick.
The race headquarters once again is at The Millennium Centre Caherconlish. The facilities here are a great favourite of the Irish cycling community. The riders will leave the centre at 12.00 and after a short briefing by officials, the race will start proper near the tennis club, on the road to Ballyneety.
The race circuit travels the lumpy route to Ballyneety, turning left at the village taking the main road to Holycross then turning left at the next junction to Herberstown passing the Honey Fitz pub, and turning left again back to Caherconlish. The race finish line is just past the Tennis court grounds outside the village, so this uphill finish as ever should provide a really exciting finale.
Last year’s race was won in inspiring fashion by Dillon Corkery of Team Bioracer-DHL-FR Services from Conor Hennebry of Team Dan Morrisey, and Newcastlewest Cycling Club’s Paul Kennedy. There was more local glory in the A3 race with Limerick CC’s own Tom Shanahan taking the verdict.
The club race committee headed by Race Director Declan Fagan, are expecting a record 350 competitors from clubs around the country, especially from Munster. With the 4-day Rás Mumhan and Gorey 3-day races coming up at Easter time, riders will be looking at Rás Luimní as an opportunity to prepare themselves and test their metal on a race circuit that offers no hiding place for the competitors.
The races will start at 12.30pm. Three separate races will run in parallel catering for all competitive levels. First off will be the A! and A2 category riders, the top level in the country. These will race four laps of the 31Km circuit. Next, the A3 category which is made up Senior, Junior, Veteran and Lady racing cyclists, will race three laps of the circuit. The third race will be the A4 category and they will race two laps of the circuit.
The buzz will build from an early start with sign on commencing at 10:00 in the morning. Limerick CC are presently erecting signs in the locality advising locals of the event as everyone’s safety is the first priority. The organising committee are very grateful to the local community who are so cooperative each year and turn out along the circuit in great numbers to cheer the riders on.