The Route for Kerry Group Rás Mumhan, the first major Stage Race of the Irish Cycle Racing season which will take place over the 4 days of Easter weekend 2016 has been announced.
Stage details announced today will see the Climbs of the Healy Pass and Coom an Easpaig retained for the 2016 edition of the race.
Announcing their continued sponsorship for this prestigious International Cycle Race, Mr. Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs at Kerry Group said “we are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the race for 2016.The continued involvement of Kerry Group is due to the dedication of the race organisation and their loyal band of volunteers who continue to upgrade all aspects of the event year after year. This has been helped by massive contribution of the competitors and their teams to give the race a big reputation at home and abroad.”
On behalf of the Race Organisation, Race Secretary, Mary Concannon said: “Kerry Group is the top sporting sponsorship brand in this country and the fact that they are continuing their sponsorship and association with the event is a big statement that the race is continuing to go from strength to strength.
The format of the race will remain the same with 4 road stages. Stages 1, 2 and 4 remain the same as last year. Stage 3 will be amended somewhat using the same roads , but with a change to the order they are ridden. The 500 km route, which is again long and hard, will start on Good Friday.March 25th and finish 4 days later on Easter Monday MorningMarch 28th.
Stage 1. Good Friday. Starting and finishing in Killorglin after 105km, this stage takes in Killarney, Kilcummin, Scartaglin, Castleisland, Currans, Ballyfinnane, Firies, Castlemaine, Milltown and on to the Finish. 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. This is a day for the climbers. A total distance of 145km, starting and finishing in Kenmare and taking in the Category 1 Climb to the Healy Pass on the Beara Peninsula after only 30km. Then it’s down into Adrigole, Glengarriffe, Ballylickey, then Ballingeary, Reenaree, Ballyvourney, The County Bounds, which includes 2 more Category 2 Climbs. Turn left off the main road at Poulgorm Bridge, then Kilgarvan, and on to the Finish back in Kenmare.
Stage 3. Easter Sunday. 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 100km point of a 135 km route that also includes 5 other climbs , and 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 they lost on the ascent . The stage starts and finishes in Waterville. The route is Waterville, Ballinskelligs, , Cahirsiveen, Dromid, New Chapel Cross, Portmagee, Coom An Easpaigh, The Glen, and on to the finish in Waterville.
Stage 4. Easter Monday 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 be a major change to arrangements for the laps of the Donal McKenna finishing circuit on Easter Monday morning. Riders that are 3:30 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.
Teams: There will be changes to the Team structure for 2016. Teams will consist of 5 riders. Priority for engagement to the start list will be given to teams with the highest number of A1 riders. Teams may not contain more than two A3 riders.
A maximum of 40 teams will make up the field. There will be places reserved for 9 invited teams and places available for a maximum 31 teams after that. Entry will open on 21st Feb 2016 and close on 6th March, or earlier if the entry list is full. The full list of competitors and teams will be published on March 9th. Rider changes to the entry list will not be permitted after 12 noon on March 21st, the Monday prior to the race start.
You can follow the route ‘stage by stage’ here: http://www.mapmyride.com/