The Route for Kerry Group Rás Mumhan has been announced today. The first major Stage Race of the Irish Cycle Racing season will take place over the 4 days of Easter weekend, April 19th to April 22nd.
The format of the race will remain the same with the 4 road stages, the same as last year., their will be a slight change in the last 10 km on Day 1. The 500 km route, which is again long and hard, will start on Good Friday, and finish four days later on Easter Monday Morning.
Stage 1. Good Friday. 19/4/19 100km. Starting at 2.50pm and finishing back in Killorglin at 5.25pm , this stage takes in Killarney, Kilcummin, Scartaglin, Castleisland, Currans, Ballyfinnane, Firies, Castlemaine, Milltown, the route to the finish will now be on the new road to Killorglin after Milltown, which only opens to traffic this week, the KOH here will be a stiffer climb, and will be only 5km from the finish and is sure to impact on the stage result. The Category 2 Climb at Knocknaboul at the half way point on narrow winding roads is the feature of the stage.
Stage 2. Easter Saturday. 20/4/19. 130KM. 11.00am Start. Listowel, in North Kerry, is the starting point again for this tough hard stage, which will finish in the village of Athea in West Limerick after 130km of undulating roads. The stage is built for the real strong men, with a number of category 2 and 3 climbs. The route will take the riders from Listowel to Ballylongford, Tarbert, along the coast road to Glin, then up the hill out of Athea for the first of three times, through Carrigkerry and turn left at Ardagh. The race will again turn left before Shanagolden, through Ballyhahill to Glin. From there it is on to Athea, then a 40km finishing circuit through Carrigkerry , Ballyhahill and Glin for the third time before finishing up the hill out of Athea at 2.20pm
Stage 3. Easter Sunday. 21/4/19. 155km. 11.30am Start. This is our annual day in South Kerry, with a series of loops once described by Irish Cycling Legend Phillip Cassidy as “the finest road racing stage in Ireland”. The fact that it includes the Category 1 Climb at Coom An Easpaig only adds to the intrigue. This will come at the 130km point of a 155 km route that also includes 6 other climbs, including the climb on Valentia Island. This will surely see the strong men come forward for final destination of the overall title. However, it is far enough from the finish to allow non-climbers to make up some of the time lost on the ascent. The stage starts and finishes in Waterville. The route is Waterville, Ballinskelligs, Valentia, Cahirsiveen, Dromid, New Chapel Cross, Portmagee, Coom An Easpaigh, The Glen, and on to the Finish in Waterville at 3.30pm
Stage 4. Easter Monday. 22/4/19. 115km The final day is mostly a flat stage, starting and finishing in Killorglin. with the usual sting in the tail. The 25km loop through Beaufort is covered 3 times and then it is on to the final 10 laps of the town circuit and up the hill each time to add a further 40 km, a total of 115km. The crowd that turned up last year to witness this stage was huge and brought a great atmosphere to Killorglin. There will again be a major change to arrangements for the laps of the Donal McKenna finishing circuit on Easter Monday morning. Riders that are 3m:30s down on the leaders will be withdrawn from the circuit. They will be credited with a finishing time appropriate to the lap they were removed at. This amendment will greatly facilitate the ease of movement of motor traffic in Killorglin and contribute significantly to race safety.