Big Rás boost for the King­dom

450 bed­nights for North Kerry as top in­ter­na­tional riders hit the King­dom with Rás Tail­teann 2018

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By DÓNAL NOLAN

NORTH Kerry is set for a sig­nif­i­cant boost with the ar­rival of the Rás Tail­teann to the county next week – an event rep­re­sent­ing 450 bed­nights for Tralee, Lis­towel and Bally­bunion.

Stage three of the race fin­ishes in Lis­towel on Tues­day, May 22, with the first riders ex­pected in at around 2pm hav­ing set out from Tip­per­ary.

It’s a big oc­ca­sion for a town with a strong cy­cling her­itage on what is its eighth oc­ca­sion to host a stage fin­ish since the first back in 1976. There’s ad­di­tional ex­cite­ment in Lis­towel given home tal­ent Eu­gene Mo­ri­arty’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in a record-set­ting turn for the county - as 2018 will mark the Lis­towel man’s 21st Rás. It’s seen as a re­mark­able achieve­ment in com­pe­ti­tion at such a high level.

Eu­gene com­petes with Tralee Manor West along­side team­mates Cathal Moyni­han, Cor­mac Daly, Lee Masters and Paul Kennedy; one of two Kerry teams con­test­ing the race. The other Kerry team is Kil­lar­ney – com­prised of riders Mar­cus Tracy, Richard Maes, Conor Kis­sane, John Bros­nan and Pa­trick Clif­ford. They will be part of a field of more than 180 riders, with pro teams from Bri­tain, Den­mark, Aus­tria, Ger­many and the USA tak­ing part.

The Kerry-bound ac­tion be­gins in Tipp town on Tues­day morn­ing with the field trav­el­ling a 140km route via Lim­er­ick, Foynes, Glin, Tar­bert, Bal­ly­long­ford, As­dee, Bally­bunion and Lis­sel­ton to fin­ish in Lis­towel’s Mar­ket Street be­tween 2 and 2.30pm.

Wed­nes­day’s stage be­gins in the Square in Lis­towel with the Rás set­ting out for a Glen­gar­riff fin­ish, trav­el­ling via Moll’s Gap and Ken­mare and over the Healy Pass in a stun­ning route tak­ing the ac­tion through South Kerry in style.

Lis­towel is mean­while pulling out all the stops for a fa­mous North Kerry wel­come with or­gan­is­ers en­cour­ag­ing shops and home­own­ers to dec­o­rate their fronts with cy­cling mem­o­ra­bilia.

“Traders in Lis­towel are en­cour­aged to put some cy­cling mem­o­ra­bilia on their shop win­dows from now up un­til the Rás leaves town on the fol­low­ing morn­ing,” one of the main or­gan­is­ers in Lis­towel and Eu­gene’s fa­ther, Tadhg Mo­ri­arty told The Ker­ry­man.

Lis­towel Cy­cling Club are also now urg­ing the pub­lic to be mind­ful of the big event when park­ing in town on stage day.

“The pub­lic, traders and res­i­dents along the route to the fin­ish are asked to co-op­er­ate with the club with the park­ing re­stric­tions which will be in place from 8am to 4pm on the day,” Tadhg said. Stew­ards will be on hand to help en­sure a smooth run­ning – un­der stage-end di­rec­tor Conor Mo­ri­arty and Club Chair­man Jimmy Healy.

Ex­pec­ta­tions among Rás riders and of­fi­cials are high. Lis­towel’s pre­vi­ous host­ing proved hugely-suc­cess­ful with the town mak­ing all feel deeply wel­come. Charged with find­ing ev­ery­one a shel­ter for the night is for­mer Coun­cil­lor Maria Gor­man; who has acted as ac­com­mo­da­tion of­fi­cer for the event every sin­gle year Lis­towel hosted a stage since 1976.

And for the cy­cling unini­ti­ated - make no mis­take, this is a big sport­ing event. One of the last men to win a stage in Lis­towel, Sam Bennett, just this week won the sev­enth stage in the world fa­mous Giro d’Italia.

Eu­gene Mo­ri­arty on course for his 21st year con­test­ing the Rás a record for Kerry and the great Lis­towel cy­cling clan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.