Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs, Kerry Group, officially launched the 2017 KERRY GROUP RAS MUMHAN outside their flagship plant in Listowel on Tuesday 28th March. He said “the 4 Day International Cycle Ras is now just over 2 weeks away. One hundred and eighty five (185) Senior Riders representing thirty seven (37) teams from Ireland, England and the Isle of Man will go to the line on Good Friday April 14th in Killorglin Co. Kerry. It will be a hugely competitive race as it has always been, and the new stage in North Kerry and West Limerick will add a new dimension to the event.”
Stage 1 is a 2.50pm start in Killorglin and finish at 4.45 in Killorglin also, with Saturdays stage 2 starting in Listowel at 11am and finishing in Athea at 1.45pm. Sunday in Waterville will start at 11.15am and finish approx 3.45pm and the final stage on Monday morning will go to the line at 10am with a finish expected at 12.30
This year will see riders compete for a total prize fund of €7,000. The prize list includes the first ten over the line on the stages, as well as separate Under 23 prizes. The first twelve on the overall classification will claim a share, in addition to prizes for the King of The Hills, Points, Under 23 and Senior 2 Competitions. There are also Primes on the various stages, as well as a prize for the most combative rider each day. Finally, on stage 2 there are prizes for 1st Limerick and Kerry riders on the stage.
Stage 1. Good Friday. 100km Starting and finishing in Killorglin after 100km, this stage takes in Killarney, Kilcummin, Scartaglin, Castleisland, Currans, Ballyfinnane, Firies, Castlemaine, Milltown and on to the Finish. The Category 2 Climb at Knocknaboul at the half way point on narrow winding roads is the feature of the stage.
Stage 2. Easter Saturday. 130KM. Big time cycle racing is back in Listowel after a lapse of ten years. The North Kerry town is the starting point for this tough hard stage which will finish in the village of Athea in West Limerick after 130km of undulating roads. The stage is built for the real strong men, with a number of cat 2 and 3 climbs. The route will take the riders from Listowel to Ballylongford, Tarbert, Glin, up the hill out of Athea for the first of three times, on to Carrigkerry, Ardagh, Foynes, up the big climb in Glin again, on to Athea again, then on to a 25km finishing circuit through Carrigkerry and back to finish up the hill out of Athea.
Stage 3. Easter Sunday. 155km. This is our annual day in South Kerry , with a series of loops once described by Irish Cycling Legend Phillip Cassidy as “the finest road racing stage in Ireland”. The fact that it includes the Category 1 Climb at Coom An Easpaig only adds to the intrigue. This will come at the 130km point of a 155 km route that also includes 6 other climbs , including the climb on Valentia Island, this will surely see the strong men come forward for final destination of the overall title. However it is far enough from the finish to allow non-climbers to make up some of the time they lost on the ascent . The stage starts and finishes in Waterville. The route is Waterville, Ballinskelligs, Valentia, , Cahirsiveen, Dromid, New Chapel Cross, Portmagee, Coom An Easpaigh, The Glen, , and on to the Finish in Waterville.
Stage 4. Easter Monday. 115km The final day is mostly a flat stage, starting and finishing in Killorglin. with the usual sting in the tail. The 25km loop through Beaufort is covered 3 times and then it is on to the final 10 laps of the town circuit and up the hill each time to add a further 40 km, a total of 115km. The crowd that turned up last year to witness this stage was huge and brought a great atmosphere to Killorglin. There will again be a major change to arrangements for the laps of the Donal McKenna finishing circuit on Easter Monday morning. Riders that are 3:30 down on the leaders will be withdrawn from the circuit. They will be credited with a finishing time appropriate to the lap they were removed at.. This amendment will greatly facilitate the ease of movement of motor traffic in Killorglin and contribute significantly to race safety.