Meath is gearing up to witness some of the best racing action from around the globe as Ireland’s only Union Cyclist Internationale ranked cycling race passes through the county on the opening stage of the An Post Rás.
The very best international talent from around the world will descend on Ireland for eight spectacular days of racing pitting themselves against the country’s top domestic riders in the hope of making their name amongst the cycling greats.
This year’s edition will see the peloton travel west from Dublin, then north through Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way before returning south to the customary finale in the seaside town of Skerries.
For the second consecutive year, the peloton will set off from the historic setting of Dublin Castle on Sunday 21st May and make their way towards Meath. It will then travel through Kilcock, Summerhill and Trim before climbing the category three ascent of Lough Crew.
On the final day, Meath will see further action with the race passing through Wilkinstown, Navan and Duleek before facing a category two climb at Bellewstown and two category three climbs at Snowtown Hill and Ringfort View.
An Post Rás Race Director, Tony Campbell believes the action in Meath will be central to the spoils on both the first and final stage.
“It is fantastic to have Meath involved at the start and the end of this year’s edition and they will see plenty of action. Particularly on the final day, the two climbs before the finishing loop will be decisive and bringing Bellewstown into it should make the race a lot tighter.
Locals in Meath will see cycling talent from Australia, America, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Britain and of course the Irish national, An Post Sean Kelly and domestic teams. The opening stage winner of this year’s Giro, Lukas Postlberger, won the An Post Rás two years ago so it’s a testament to how strong and talented these riders are. I would really encourage as many as possible to come out and support all the riders as the atmosphere is going to be electric.”
Clocking in at just under 1,200 kilometres, the An Post Rás will run from May 21st to 28th. As always, the race will place a heavy emphasis on national, regional and top level, locally sponsored amateur cycling teams.
An Post have teamed up with www.independent.ie to give cycling fans and spectators easy to follow race updates, exclusive rider interviews, highlights from each stage, results and classification standings.
An Post Rás 2017 (Total: 1199.8 kilometres):
Stage 1, Sunday May 21: Dublin to Longford (146.1 kilometres)
Stage 2, Monday May 22: Longford to Newport (142.9 kilometres)
Stage 3, Tuesday May 23: Newport to Bundoran (149 kilometres)
Stage 4, Wednesday May 24: Bundoran to Buncrana (151.8 kilometres)
Stage 5, Thursday May 25: Buncrana to Dungloe (181.2 kilometres)
Stage 6, Friday May 26: Dungloe to Donegal (132.1 kilometres)
Stage 7, Saturday May 27: Donegal to Ardee (167.3 kilometres)
Stage 8, Sunday May 28: Ardee to Skerries (129.4 kilometres)
Stage 1, Sunday May 21: Dublin Castle to Longford (146.1 kilometres)
Kms Location Time
0.0 Dublin Castle 12:00
0.0 Ballyowen Lane/St Lomans Hospital 12:30
5.7 Leixlip, 12:38
12.5 Maynooth 12:48
18.8 Kilcock 12:58
26.6 Garadice 13:09
40.3 Trim 13:30
52.7 Athboy 13:49
53.9 Athboy An Post Hotspot Sprint 13:50
67.0 Crossakiel / Crosa Caoil 14:10
73.6 Lough Crew Category 3 KOM 14:20
78.8 Oldcastle 14:28
79.4 Oldcastle An Post Hotspot Sprint 14:29
83.4 Co. Cavan 14:35
95.9 Ballyjamesduff 14:53
114.6 Co. Longford 15:21
118.9 Granard 15:28
120.2 Granard An Post Hot Spot Sprint 15:30
131.0 Ballinalee 15:46
138.2 Killeenatruan 15:57
146.1 Finish outside Court House and Annaly Hotel 16:09
Stage 8, Sunday May 28th: Ardee to Skerries (129.4 kilometres)
Kms Location Time
0.0 Ardee 12:30
3.3 Co. Meath 12:34
7.2 Drumconrath 12:40
15.3 Nobber 12:52
23.9 Wilkinstown 13:05
27.3 Kilberry 13:10
32.3 Navan 13:18
44.8 Kentstown 13:37
53.3 Duleek 13:49
61.0 Bellewstown Category 2 KOM 14:01
67.9 Snowtown Hill/Harbourstown Category 3 KOM 14:11
69.9 Naul village 14:14
79.7 Ringfort View Category 3 KOM 14:29
92.8 Black Hills Category 3 KOM 14:49
106.6 Black Hills Category 3 KOM 15:09
120.4 Black Hills Category 3 KOM 15:30
129.4 Finish line 4th passage - Finish 15:44