Press Launch for Stage 3 of An Post Ras Tailteann on Tuesday 24th of May 2011 Kilrush – Castleisland
The Currow Cycling Club has been given the honour of hosting a stage finish in Castleisland on May 24th. The cyclists will make their way in what is being billed as the first decisive day of the race from Kilrush to Limerick, onto Abbeyfeale, to the new Limerick Road Roundabout and onto the bypass to the Tralee road where they turn left into and through Castleisland town to the old Library where its a left turn passing Crag Caves and the Catagory 1 climb, turning left again and following the same route to Castleisland to the finish line on Upper Main Street.
The route has two definite vantage points for spectators, the first by watching the race near the viewing point on the Limerick road and walking onto the climb. The other is at the finish line where you will again see the race twice with the all important finish on the second circuit. It is worth noting it will not be possible to watch the race on the climb and then make it to the finish as all the roads are being used by the race. It is also worth bearing in mind that the Currow CC along with the cooperation of the local people will aim to keep the circuit car free during the duration of the event which could begin as early as 2pm or as finish as late as 4pm. Diversions will be in place and with the new bypass everyone should be accomodated but please avoid travel at these times if you can. The organisers also ask that all dogs be kept off of the roads at this time for safety reasons.
Kerry cyclists will be keen to impress on this stage and recent Ras Mumhan winner Sean Lacey will hope to bring his rich vein of form into the race. Paul Griffin had a spectacular stage win in Ras Mumhans hardest stage into Waterville at the weekend and could relish the finishing circuit in Castleisland. Daniel Clifford, Eugene Moriarity and Kerry champion Niall Brosnan will also have ideas of stage glory as well as a tilt at one of the jerseys. They will have to contend with a field of 185 riders making it the biggest RAS or indeed cycle race ever to be held in Ireland with cyclists already confirmed from Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austraia, New Zealand, USA, Russia, Ukraine and Greece.
Anoter feature of the race this year is the brainchild of Eamonn O’Muircheartaigh. This is being billed as the Race the RAS where the competitors will leave three hours before the main RAS and aim to stay ahead of the race. Locals Mick Galwey, Dara O Cinneide, John O’ Keeffe, Ger Power, Killian Burns, Seamus Moynihan, Karl O’Dwyer and John L McElligott as well as other Kerry players are taking part on this leg as well as a host of other GAA stars. This should add to the excitment on the day.
Radio Kerry will also be broadcasting live from 11am to 1pm on the day from the main street.
The local schools will also have an AN POST RAS Cycling Themed art competition so all pupils can contact their teachers about this. The two lucky winners will recieve a RAS jersey on the day from the stage. There willalso be a shop window display competition.
Castleisland will show their usual support for a race that there is a massve local history with. On one occasion the whole of the Kerry team was made up of cyclists from the Castleisland district and we hope it is not too long before we see a local in the event again.
Stage 4 will see the cyclists assemble at An Riocht and after a ceremonial start will begin racing at Cahernard as they make their way on the Wednesday to Castletownbere. The race will pass through Currow before heading to Farranfore, Killorglin, Killarney and Kemare before crossing the border to Cork.
Overall this event is a timely boost to the economy of County Kerry with over 400 people travelling with the race in total.