2 Counties Combine for Stage 2

2 Counties combine to create a tough Stage 2:
For the second year in a row Stage 2 of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan will be the Listowel Cycling Club / Gene Moriarty and Sons Electrical Contractors sponsored 130km ride from Listowel in Kerry to Athea in our neighbouring county of Limerick.
This is the first of three big cycling days in Listowel this year as the town will host the Ras Tailteann with a Stage Finish and Start on May 22nd and 23rd.
Back to the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan and the stage starts with the riders heading out on the undulating roads of North Kerry and West Limerick with a number of Category 2 and 3 climbs to negotiate.
From the start the riders head to Ballylongford and Tarbert where they turn right and head towards the Limerick border.
Fans Viewing: Stage 2 has lots of opportunities for fans of the Ras to view the action with big crowds expected in the towns.
The Ras will then travel along by the Shannon river and past the Knight of Glin’s Castle but as these are fast sections of the road the riders will not have much time to take in the view.
Fans from the Limerick area will gather in Athea and will be able to see the race passing them three times on a hill that will certainly test the legs.
From the flat roads the riders will hit the hill in Athea, a climb they will take three times during the stage. From here they will ride through Carrigkerry, the town from where St Patrick is said to have stood and blessed Kerry. (One has to ask why he did not cross the border into the Kingdom?!!).
After Carrigkerry the race will travel through Ardagh, where one of the countries greatest treasures – the Ardagh Chalice – was found. Just before Shanagolden the race will turn left. Shanagolden of course has been made famous by the Sean McCarthy song but I doubt if any of the peloton will be humming the tune at this stage of the race.
At this stage those will Stage ambitions will be looking to be in the right place as the race heads back to Athea and then onto the 40km finishing circuit through Carrigkerry, Ballyhahill and Glin for the third time before finishing up the hill out of Athea.
2017: Last year Paul Kennedy from the Newcastlewest CC used his local knowledge to take the stage win just ahead of a bunch sprint. Kennedy was recently second for the second year in a row in the Lacey Cup which sets him up nicely for a crack at winning Stage 2 of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan for the 2nd year in a row.
The Gene Moriarty Cup: The winner of Stage 2 of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan will be presented with the Gene Moriarty Cup. This was first raced for in 1983, when it was won by Philip Cassidy, and was raced for yearly until 2007. The Cup is named in memory of Gene a rider in the 50’s and 60’s, father of Tadgh Moriarty and grandfather of Eugene who won the Cup in 1996.
Prime: There is be a Prime for the first rider at Glin sponsored by Adams of Glin.