Rás to make a stop in Limerick

Kilmallock hosted a stage finish of the famed Rás Tailteann this week. Photo: Loraine O'Sullivan.

KILMALLOCK is readying itself to host its first stage finish of the famed Rás Tailteann Cycle Race on Wednesday (May 22).

From a start point of Tullamore (County Offaly), riders in the opening leg of the 69th edition of the race will travel through Birr, Borrisokane, Nenagh, Birdhill, Newport, Caherconlish, and Bruff before arriving in the medieval (and sporting) South Limerick town before 3pm.

The finish is situated on Lord Edward Street.

During the 148km stage, competitors will take in two category three climbs (including the Bike Park between Birr and Borrisokane).

As per tradition, there will be three Hot Spot Sprints.

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Stage One finish co-ordinator is Kilmallock’s Paul Gammell, who said that “this occasion will be talked about for many years to come.”

“There will be up on 200 sprinting to the line and in the process making cycling history in Kilmallock.”

The race will continue the following morning from Kanturk, with the Rás to finish in Bective, County Meath, on Sunday May 26.

There will also be stage finishes in Sneem (Kerry), Cahir (Tipperary), and Kildare town.

An international field of around 200 competitors will partake, including last year’s winner Dillon Corkery of Team Ireland.

Race Director Ger Campbell said that “this year’s route is more difficult than the previous two editions, with a welcome return to cycling strongholds such as Cork and Kerry.

“There are a series of very tricky climbs along the way southwards and back up the country towards our ultimate finish in Bective for what promises to be an extra special day,” he said.

“I would like to thank all the stage start and stage finish towns along with all the stage co-ordinators for their extremely helpful input and dedication to the 2024 route.”

The overall winner will receive the George Plant Trophy.