Those taking part in the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan or running teams will get all the information they need from the Race Manual. My previews are those of a sports journalist who covers the Ras for Radio Kerry and the local sports media and aimed at those who want to get a quick overview of the Stages and where to watch them!
Here is my look at Stage 1:
New Hill to climb on Stage 1 – Stage 1 is kindly sponsored by O’Sullivan Cycles:
Day 1 of the 2019 Kerry Group Ras Mumhan is the annual Good Friday 100km circuit of East Kerry. The start and finish will be in the race’s host town of Killorglin and the peloton will roll out at 2.50pm.
The Stage can be divided up into four sections depending on the road conditions. The first part is very fast as it takes the riders on the main road from Killorglin to Killarney through Fossa. On reaching Killarney the riders will get through two roundabouts and after a short climb on the Tralee road the race will turn right and head for Kilcummin.
Here the road narrows and gets more undulating with a steep climb up to Kilcummin village and then onto the Cat 2 climb at Knocknaboul. Once they summit here they will have reached the stages half way point.
Once the riders turn onto the Scartaglin Castleisland road the speed will again pick up as the riders head for Castleisland and on towards Currans. In the village is one of the trickiest parts of the stage with a very fast right turn under the train bridge followed by a sharp left over the river and then up over the Killarney /Tralee Road fly-over.
The riders now face the long drag to Ballyfinnane and then onto Firies where they re-join the main road as the racing will really start to hot up.
Caution will be needed in Milltown with two sharp quick corners before the riders will get a glimpse of the new road and the new climb to the King of the Hills summit at Dromid. The climb out of Milltown was always a short sharp test for the riders and while that is still there those looking for KOH points will need to pace themselves on the new road before making a bid for the line.
The race will now be within 5km of the finish and there is no doubt that this climb will play a major part in the outcome of the stage.
The race into Killorglin is by now well known to those who have taken part in previous races and once they cross the bridge they will sprint up the hill to the finish around 5.25pm – a hill that the riders will know well by the time Easter Monday comes around.