For the first time since 1991, Clare will have a team of riders racing in the Rás Tailteann.
Burren Cycling Club will partake in the five stage race which commences in Dublin on Wednesday June 15th and finishes in Dundalk on June 19th. Clare will host a stage once again for the Rás with stage three bringing riders from Newcastlewest to Lisdoonvarna- a gruelling 175 km’s the longest stage of this year’s RAS.
Bellharbour’s Mark Shannon, a multiple Rás winner is currently one of Cycling Ireland’s top ranked riders, the winner of this year’s Crotty Cup in Kilrush is part of the Burren team. Their youngest member is twenty year old Danny MacDonald of Clooney, he won this year’s Lacey Cup. They are joined by former Connacht champion, Richard Meaney, Simon Kelly a former professional with the Sean Kelly/An Post squad, Adare’s Paul Kennedy a Masters 40 National Time Trial Champion while Clarecastle’s Ger Troy is the team’s reserve rider.
Cycling enthusiasts John Nilan and Patrick O’Donoghue set up Burren Cycling Club on November 28th 2003. The currently has over 110 members. To cater for a growing racing cohort Burren CC set up a racing side to the club to assist racing riders develop. The racing side of the club was formed in 2016. Burren CC have had its best racing year to date with multiple victories and placings in races across the country so far this year.
Known as Ireland’s number one elite cycling event for men, the Rás has changed its format this year to be spread across five days. This epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since bar one in 2019 and was postponed because of Covid 19 in 2020 and 2021. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events and has consistently brought world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide.