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Countdown to 2014 Rás underway

Story by John Donohoe

Wednesday, 7th May, 2014 4:45pm

Countdown to 2014 Rás underway

An Post postman Keith Lally and model Katie Larmour launch the 2014 Ras.

With less than two weeks to go until the 2014 An Post Rás gets underway and with a star studded line-up of international teams set to compete, excitement is building up all around the country. The customary start will begin in Dunboyne on Sunday 18th May and An Post Rás organiser Tony Campbell is expecting locals to give the riders a fantastic send off as they embark on a gruelling eight days of racing.

“The atmosphere is always incredible at the start. You can sense the adrenaline in the air. Dunboyne locals always come out in their droves to support the race and I don’t expect it to be any different this year. The riders - particularly the county riders - put so much in to training for the Rás that they will all be pumped up and determined to get off to a good start.”

The ceremonial start gets underway at 12.30pm and the riders will make their way 150 kilometres across the country to the first stage finish that afternoon in Roscommon. With four Post Office Prime Sprints along the way, Campbell expects plenty of aggressive riding by the peloton.

“Each Post Office Prime awards a time bonus of three, two and one seconds so there is a big incentive for the breaks to go clear and for riders to race as hard as possible. A bunch sprint looks most likely but it’s the Rás so anything can happen.”

Campbell is also urging locals to come out and cheer on the riders as they pass through the county.

“It’s not every day we have riders of this calibre competing on our roads. There are teams travelling from as far as Canada and New Zealand to get a taste of the Rás, so not only is it great for the local Irish riders to get to pit their wits against competitors of that quality, but it’s also great for fans of cycling to witness this spectacle right on their doorstep. I would urge all local communities and schools in particular to come out and cheer on the peloton as they make their way by.”

In addition to the county rider classification jersey introduced last year on the race, An Post is running a ‘C-Factor’ competition for county riders this year. The rider who best exemplifies the spirit of the race not only through his riding performance over the eight days, but also by his use of social media will be rewarded with the newly designed ‘Chapeau’ jersey after the final stage in Skerries.

The successful rider will also earn a VIP spot at an An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly team training camp in Calpe, Spain at the end of the year. The winner will be chosen by seasoned Rás watchers and county riders must use the hashtag #Ras2014 in any tweets if the content shared is to count towards the final prize. Visit for more information.

The eight-day International cycling road race takes place from May 18th to 25th and as well as the global feel to the event the emphasis will again be on national, regional and top level sponsored amateur cycling teams.

 An Post have partnered up once again with RTÉ for the famous race and cycling fans eager to follow the action can log on to for exclusive rider interviews, highlights from each stage, results and classification standings. Regular updates are also available on


Stage 1, Sunday May 18th, Dunboyne – Roscommon, 149.8kms

















Coole Post Office Prime and Hot Spot Sprint















Finish line at front door of Flemings Supervalu supermarket



Full route map and stage details:

Stage 1, Sunday May 18th :  Dunboyne – Roscommon, 149.8kms
Stage 2, Monday May 19th :  Roscommon – Lisdoonvarna, 159.2kms
Stage 3, Tuesday May 20th : Lisdoonvarna – Charleville, 154.2kms
Stage 4, Wednesday May 21st :  Charleville  – Cahirciveen, 183.6kms
Stage 5, Thursday May 22nd : Cahirciveen –  Clonakilty, 168.9kms
Stage 6, Friday May 23rd : Clonakilty  – Carrick on Suir, 167.9kms

Stage 7, Saturday May 24th: Carrick on Suir – Baltinglass, 147.7kms
Stage 8, Sunday May 25th: Newbridge - Skerries, 134.3kms