51st Milk Rás starts today in Dublin
Over 140 international cyclists from Ireland, Britain, Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Germany and Wales have gathered in Dublin for the start of FBD Milk Rás today. The Irish tour takes in 1,124 kilometres and 29 major mountain climbs over eight days in this, its fifty-first year.
While professional cyclists will be able to pick up UCI ranking points, the race is open to senior category riders who can get a team together and there are many club riders, often in regional teams. The Rás is not one for the faint-hearted though, as the organisers point out, it requires "guts, commitment, determination, the ability to take and give extreme punishment..." To add that extra element, this year the race includes a challenging mountain-top finish on Seskin Hill at the end of stage six.
RCUK will be getting regular updates direct from the race from Shaun Murray, if he's still got time after his mechanic and supporting efforts for experienced Rás men John Tanner and Mark Lovatt et al. of the Yorkshire team that is...
For more info and a very detailed route see the official FBD Milk Rás site.
Stage 1, Sunday 23rd May, Dublin – Trim, 132 Kms.
Dublin, Balbriggan, Gormanston, Stamullen Hot Spot Sprint, Greenanstown Category 3 KOM, Duleek, Drogheda, Donore, Slane Category 3 KOM & Hot Spot Sprint, Glassallen Category 3 KOM, Collen Category 3 KOM & Hot Spot Sprint, Ardee, Wilkinstown, Navan, Trim.
Stage 2, Monday 24th May, Trim – Oranmore, 167 Kms.
Trim, Boardsmill, Ballivor, Raharney, Killucan, The Downs, Mullingar, Ballymore, Athlone, Ballinasloe, New Inn, Athenry, Oranmore.
Stage 3, Tuesday, 25th May, Oranmore – Charleville, 152 Kms.
Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Gort, Drumindoora, Killenena Category 3 KOM, Aylevaun Category 3 KOM, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Ogonelle Category 3 KOM, Killaloe, Ballina, Birdhill, Newport, Boher, Caherconlish, Ballyneety, Crecora, Croom, Banoge, Charleville.
Stage 4, Wednesday 26th May, Charleville – Cahirciveen, 181 Kms.
Charleville, Newtownshandrum, Milford, Drumcolliher, Broadford, Glenduff Hill Category 3 KOM, Ashford, Glenquin Category 3 KOM, Abbeyfeale, Glenshearoon Category 3 KOM, Castleisland, Farranfore, Firies, Milltown, Killorglin, Seefin Category 3 KOM, Glenbeigh, Drum West Category 3 KOM, Mount Foley Category 3 KOM, Cahirciveen, Annagar Bridge, Raheen Category 2 KOM, Cill Urlait Category 2 KOM, Coonanaspig Category 1 KOM, Portmagee, Cahirciveen.
Stage 5, Thursday 27th May, Cahirciveen – Millstreet, 152 Kms.
Cahirciveen, Waterville, Coomakista Category 1 KOM, Caherdaniel, Sneem, Kenmare, Kilgarvan, Inchee Mountain Category 1 KOM, Cuil Aodha, Baile Bhuirne, County Bounds Category 3 KOM, Glenfesk, Rathmore, Millstreet.
Stage 6, Friday 28th May, Millstreet – Seskin Hill Carrick-on Suir, 151 Kms.
Millstreet, Mallow, Castletownroche, Ballyhooly, Fermoy, Ballyduff, Cappoquinn, The Pike Category 3 KOM, Lemybrien, Mahon Bridge, Carrick-on-Suir, Seskin Hill & Category 1 KOM.
Stage 7, Saturday 29th May, Carrick-on-Suir – Tullow, 149 Kms.
Carrick-on-Suir, Cussan Category 2 KOM, Kilmaganny, Newmarket, Knocktopher, Thomastown, Coppenagh Gap Category 2 KOM, Graignamanagh, Ballymurphy, Kiltealy, Bolamor Category 3 KOM, Bunclody, Cranavane Category 3 KOM, Myshal, The Heights Category 1 KOM, Corrabutt Gap, Category 1 KOM, Mount Leinster Category 1 KOM, Kiltealy, Bolamor Category 3 KOM, Bunclody Category 3 KOM, Tullow.
Stage 8, Sunday 30th May, Phoenix Park Circuit, 40 Kms.