*Scenes from Lisdoonvarna during the 2022 Rás Táilteann. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan
CO CLARE will host a stage of the Rás Táilteann for the second year in a row.
Stage three of the international cycling stage race will again start in Co Clare, organisers have confirmed while the concluding part of the preceding day will take cyclists across East Clare.
Barefield will serve as the finishing point on May 18th for the second stage of Rás Táilteann with cyclists departing Birr, then making their way along the rolling roads of North Tipperar skirting Lough Derg and taking in the cat 3 climb in Portroe before crossing the River Shannon into Killaloe.
There are three back-to-back cat 3 climbs and the cat 2 Maghera Mast all featuring for the final 50km of stage two. A relatively flat final 25km into the finish at Barefield awaits.
A stalwart of Irish cycling, Tommy Devereux who died in December 2022 has stage three dedicated to his memory, the 149.3km section commences in Ennis. On paper, stage 3 is a day for the sprinters with mostly fast and flat roads making up the route with two cat 3 climbs. The route takes in the towns of Ardrahan, Craughwell, Athenry, Tuam and Ballinrobe before making its way into Castlebar for a finish on Lanagh Road.
Clare TD, Joe Carey (FG) said the event guarantees more than 500 bed nights for the county and serves as “a timely boost for the local hospitality trade”. He stated, “The Rás is one of Ireland’s most iconic sporting events and the Clare countryside lends itself to some challenging tests for professional cyclists as well as providing a major boost for the tourism industry”.
Last year marked the first time since 1991 that Co Clare had a team of riders involved with the Burren Cycling Club flying the flag for the county.