PRESS RELEASE 5 TOUGH  SCENIC ROUTE FOR RAS

453 Kilometers (283 miles) and 27 categorised climbs, await the 140 plus rider field from Ireland, England, Wales, Isle of Man, Holland, Turkey, & Germany,  that will assemble on Good Friday, in Killorglin, for the KERRY GROUP RAS MUMHAN 4 day International cycle race. The race will visit the highways and byways of County Kerry , which will be seen at its magnificent best, with a brief visit to West Cork on Saturdays stage..  This will be a mighty contest and the Climb to the Healy Pass  on Easter Saturday will be the only category one climb of the week end. There are 26 other climbs, the majority of these are category 4, 17 of them in all, with 10 of them coming in the last 40 km of the race , on Easter  Monday, when the race goes on to the finishing circuit for 10 laps with a cat 4 K.O.M at the finish line each time. The King of the Mountains title may not be decided to the very finish.

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Stage 1, Good Friday, Milltown & Glencar Stage, the 2nd part of the stage takes the field around Caragh Lake which is a new area . The stage end sponsor is The Corner House Bar in Cork City.  The route is in the Mid Kerry area starting in Killorglin , on  to Killarney, and into Farranfore.  The race turns left here on to Firies Village, then Milltown and through Killorglin. Then its on  the Glenbeigh road and left at the Red Fox Inn around the Lake  finish back in Killorglin up the hill after 96km of racing.  The stage starts at 3.30pm and expected finish at 6.pm

Stage 2, Starts in Killarney at 11am on  Easter Saturday. The Healy Pass & Molls Gap Stage.  It is our day to visit the  Kenmare & West Cork area, a trip of 140 km (87 mls).  Many of the most famous battles in the Ras Tailteann of old were fought out on the Healy Pass climb.  On the way back from Glengarriffe we will take in the Caha Pass and the Tunnel road on to Kenmare again and on to finish on top of Molls Gap where surely the biggest crowd of the week end will await  this unique finish. The stage end sponsor is  Tile Choice in Killarney , and the winner should be there around  2.30pm.

Stage 3, Easter Sunday starts at 12 noon and is in South Kerry, a total of 142 km. Cahirsiveen Credit Union & Pauline Sugrue Auctioneers, are our stage end sponsors. There are 4 special primes on the route also, sponsored by friends of the Scully & Sugrue families who have a long association with cycle racing in this area. This is a great stage with the start & finish in Waterville . The race goes on a loop around St Finians Bay , through Cahirsiveen, on past the great Mick Murphy’s house, where there is a prime; Mick of course won the Ras Tailteann in 1958 and is known as the Iron Man. .  The race comes all the way back to within 3km of the start when the riders will have covered 60km. Then it’s on the Ring of Kerry road again to a prime at Pauline Sugrue’s office. Then it’s left towards Portmagee, over the bridge on to the famous Valentia Island. There is another prime immediately after the bridge and a tough cat 2 climb after  the race turns left at Chapletown.

Then it’s a loop of the Island and back over to the bridge. The race turns right at Anagar Bridge and on to the St Finian’s Bay  area in reverse of the first part of the stage, where there are 2 climbs in quick succession the final climb is hard cat 2 is also the last prime of the day.  Then with over 130km covered the race  swings right for the final 10km to go to the finish, due at  approx 3.40 pm.

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Stage 4, Easter Monday has an early start at 10 am to give all plenty of time for the journey home.  Killorglin is  home of 2 more cycling greats from the Kingdom; Gene Mangan winner of the Ras Tailteann in 1953 and John Mangan in 1972. The  route takes the race on the Killarney road as far as Fossa where the race swings left up to Aghadoe, on to Faha and Milltown where we go left and back to the bridge at Killorglin. There are 2 cat 4 climbs along the way and we do this loop twice.  Then it’s on to the finishing circuit for 10 laps of what’s known as the Donal McKenna Circuit with the cat 4 climb on the line each time. The total distance is 114km, with the finish due at 1pm.  Fexco who have a long association with the club in Killorglin and the race are  the stage end sponsors.

140 riders to Start. A top class field will go to the line for the race. Clubs from Dublin, Wexford, Kildare, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Mayo, Waterford, Meath , Cork,  Galway, Meath, Donegal ,Kerry and an Irish U/23 development team will take on the foreign challenge. Last years winner Brian Kenneally is not listed to start , but there are 3 previous winners in the field.

Sean Lacey is the man of the moment and he will have most to fear from fellow Kerryman , Paul Griffin who has been 2nd ,3rd & 4th overall in recent years and the top of the podium is his goal.  Daniel Clifford will carry the local hopes and he lines out in the Irish team. They will all have to be at their best to repel the foreign challenge. The Edge look to be the best Irish team and will back Laceys bid. Tino Haakman was runner up 2 years ago and leads one of  Dutch teams in the race, while Dion Beukaboom who won the 1st stage last year and was 3rd overall returns also. Turkey will be at the race also with their National Under 23 team .

The Main Sponsors of the race are KERRY GROUP and their association with the event cannot be over stated as their name is synonymous with sport in Kerry & Ireland . The stage end sponsors as already mentioned play a big part also as does David McQuaid and DMC Sports who provide the classification jerseys.Cycling Ireland, the Irish Sports Council and Cycling Munster are also on board.

There is a cash Prize Fund of € 5,550 on offer over the 4 days and with a top class field assembled there will be great racing.  Cycle racing has a great history in Kerry and there will be big crowds on the roads to cheer on the riders.

Full Route,Times, and list of riders are on the race website www.rasmumhan.com

Tadhg Moriarty – Press Officer  -087/2443360

Friday 19th March 2010

Andrew Roche will lead a  5 man team to represent the Isle of Man in the KERRY GROUP RAS MUMHAN 4 day International Cycle Race that gets under way in Killorglin on Good Friday which is 2 weeks from to day. Roche is no stranger to the Kingdom as he won the FBD Ras title in the green and gold colours of Kerry in 1997 under the managership of Brian Connaughton.  Roche will attempt to add the title to his list with the help of Graeme Hatcher, Tom Black, Colum O Shea and Marty Warren.

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Also in the line up this year will be the National U23 team from Turkey. This is their first Visit to the race. The team will include Adil Kurkut  last years  winner of the National Junior title. They come to the race with high hopes of a stage win., and of course the Under 23 overall classification.

The OneLife Cycling Development Squad from England will also make their Debut in the race and they will have three category 1 riders in their 5 man team, James Bowtell, Adam Cotterell and Joshua Cunningham.

Cycling Ireland will send a Development team in the race and they performed well last year when CiaranCassidy took the final stage and 6th overall.

Monday 8th March 2010

Tino Haakman will again lead the West Frisia Combilift team from Holland in the KERRY GROUP RAS MUMHAN 4 Day International Cycle Race to be held on roads of Kerry over the Easter week end. He wil be joined by Rick Beemsterboer and Rob Muud who both rode in the race last year, Completing the 5 man lineup will be Robert Jan Moll and Henk Van Vuure. Haakman was runner up in 2008 and 11th overall last year.

West Wales Dragons will come to the race for the first time and will be represented by Grant Leavy,David Crowley, Rowan Marshall, Heflin Price and James Lewis.

Another Dutch team, Team Midi Centre Ruiter, will return this year also and they will be led by Dion Beukeboom, winner of the first stage and 3rd overall last year, he took the Under 23 title also.

The 2 English teams , Surrey League and One Life Development will name their teams this week end as will the squad from the Isle of Man.

The race starts on Good Friday with the Milltown & Caragh lake 96km stage. Saturday is the Healy Pass andFinish on Molls Gap day, Sunday is in South Kerry which includes the trip on to Valentia Island and the Grand Finale on Easter Monday morning in the Mid Kerry area will finish with 10 laps of the traditional Donal MckennaCircuit up the hill thro’ the town each time.

A lot of intrest will centre on the Saturday stage which will start outside Killarney, the race will go to Kilgarvan and thro’ Kenmare , then over the Healy Pass, Glengarrife, the climb up the Tunnel road before coming back to Kenmare again and finish on top of Moll’s Gap in front of a big crowd of spectators.

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