ORGANISERS of the Cáirde Rás Tilteann have decided to definitively postpone the 2021 Rás Tailteann slated for June this year and focus instead on running the event in 2022.
The decision came following consultation with race stakeholders and volunteers. In recent months, organisers assessed options to safely put 2020’s postponed event back on the road in June 2021 but could not find a viable way of holding the event.
‘’Whilst we are exceptionally disappointed to be put in this position again, effectively for the third time in twelve months. The uncertainty in relation to the availability and reopening of hospitality due to Covid-19 restrictions, plus the challenges facing the roll out of vaccinations to the wider population in time for June, coupled with the risks currently emerging in the form of new variants of the Covid- 19 virus, significantly informed our decision process ‘’ said Race Director Eugene Moriarty.
Focus is now moving forward to 2022 in the hope that the covid-19 vaccine rollout program will be complete meaning a safer and far less restrictive environment should be in place.
He added ‘’the silver lining to this turn of events for all of us is that it has now given us more time to consider a return to the traditional length of the event. While the plan is still to utilise the 2020/21 route as published. We are going to assess the addition of extra stages to the current route. To potentially return An Rás closer to its historical, increasingly unique and rare 8-day format on the world stage and of course we would never rule out a return to UCI status if it could be achieved post Covid. Clearly though, there remain many elements that need to fall into place over the next 12 months for this to be successful.’’
Gerard Campbell, Route Designer expanded further by saying “that in designing this route originally, we had an eye to making it as flexible as possible to accommodate the potential for changes. The overarching goal still is to cater primarily for Domestic National Level competitors and Internationals of the same calibre, regardless of length of the event, but to incorporate more innovative elements into the route that we know have worked exceptionally well in the past for competitors, spectators, sponsors and crucially the stage end locations’’
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