Route And Detailed Analysis 2008
Feb 4, 2008, 20:41
FBD INSURANCE RÁS 2008 STAGE DETAILS
STAGE 1, SUNDAY 18TH MAY NAVAN - BALLINAMORE 142 KMS.
NAVAN, Kells, Kells Category 3 KOM, Ballinlough, Slieve an Callaigh Category 3 KOM & Hot Spot Sprint, Oldcastle, (Virginia), Ballyjamesduff, Granard Hot Spot Prime, Ballinalee, Longford, Newtownforbes Hot Spot Prime, Rooskey, Dromod, Mohill, Fenagh, BALLINAMORE.
STAGE 2, MONDAY 19TH MAY, BALLINAMORE - CLAREMORRIS 167 KMS.
BALLINAMORE, Drumcong, Carrick-on Shannon, Tobercurry, Slieve Gamph Category 3 KOM, Bunnyconnellan, Ballina, Pontoon, Castlebar, Balla, CLAREMORRIS.
STAGE 3, TUESDAY 20TH MAY, CLAREMORRIS - LISDOONVARNA 133 KMS.
CLAREMORRIS, Milltown, Tuam, Claregalway, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan,
Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Ballinalacken Category 3 KOM, Roadford/Doolin, Doonagore Category 1 KOM, LISDOONVARNA.
STAGE 4, WEDNESDAY 21ST MAY, COROFIN – TRALEE 156 KMS.
COROFIN, Ennis, Clarecastle, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Limerick, Patrickswell, Adare, Newcastlewest, Barnagh Gap Category 3 KOM, Templeglantine, Abbeyfeale, Glanshearon Category 3 KOM, Barr na Gaoithe Category 3 KOM, Reanagown Crossroads, TRALEE.
STAGE 5, THURSDAY 22ND MAY, TRALEE - SKIBBEREEN 141 KMS.
TRALEE, Farranfore Category 3 KOM, Killarney, Ladies View Category 2 KOM, Molls Gap Category 2 KOM, Kenmare, Turners Rock Category 2 KOM, Glengarrif, Derrynacreha Category 3 KOM, Ballylickey, Bantry, (Ballydehob), SKIBBEREEN.
STAGE 6, FRIDAY 23RD MAY, SKIBBEREEN – CLONMEL 180 KMS.
SKIBBEREEN, Drimoleague, Dunmanway, Carraighdroichid, Coachford, Donoughmore, Bweeng, Dromahane, Mallow, New Twopothouse, Doneraile, Kildorrey, Mitchelstown, Ballyporeen, Clogheen, Ardfinnan, CLONMEL.
STAGE 7, SATURDAY 24TH MAY, CLONMEL – ROUNDWOOD 177 KMS.
CLONMEL, Glenbower Category 3 KOM, Grangemockler, Kilkenny, Paulstown, Loughlinbridge, Nurney, Tullow, Hackestown, Tinahely, Aughrim, Slieve Mann Category 1 KOM, Drumgoff Category 1 KOM Laragh, Annamoe, ROUNDWOOD.
STAGE 8, SUNDAY 25TH MAY, NEWBRIDGE – SKERRIES 130 KMS.
NEWBRIDGE, Milltown, Allen, Kilmeague, Prosperous, Kilcock, Warrenstowm, Drumree, Dunshaughlin, Rathoath, Curragha, Pluckhimin Category 3 KOM, Garristown, Naul, Balrothery, Cross of the Cage Category 3 KOM, Skerries, Black Hills Category 3 KOM, Skerries, Black Hills Category 3 KOM, SKERRIES.
Stage one begins with a ceremonial start in Navan at noon on Sunday May 18th, and takes the riders 142 kilometres to Ballinamore. The route passes through Kells and crosses a category three climb there after just 14.2 kilometres. The prime line is also the location of the first of three hot spot sprints, which will award bonus seconds and could well influence who takes the first yellow jersey of the race.
The second combined climb/hot spot sprint location comes 15.1 kilometres later at Slieve an gCallaigh, another category three ascent. From there the riders pass through Oldcastle, Ballyjamesduff (51.3km) and on to Granard (74.8km), Ballinalee, Longford (99.5km) and then travel via the N4 to the day’s final Hot Spot Sprint in Newtownforbes, which comes 38.6km from the finish line.
The speeds will be ramping up from here all the way to the finish, and there should be plenty of attacking heading along the roads which connect Rooskey, Dromod, Mohill, Fenagh and Ballinamore itself, the finish on this opening stage of the race.
Stage two begins in the same location and again follows mainly flat roads. The peloton will pass through Carrick on Shannon after 24.9km of racing, then make for Boyle and Tobercurry (74km) en route to the sole climb, the category three ascent of Slieve Gamph. The prime line comes 92.7 kilometres after the start and with less than two hours remaining, this hill could act as a catalyst for a breakaway group to strike out for home.
From there the riders will head through Ballina, Knockmore, Castlebar (138.8km), over the level crossing at Manulla and then accelerate on towards the finish on the Square in Claremorris. In all it is 167.5 kilometres distance, and will see plenty of attacking and tactical racing.
Stage three from Claremorris to Lisdoonvarna is the second-shortest of the 2008 FBD Insurance Rás but in featuring the first category one climb of the race, it should prove crucial. The route take the riders through Tuam (24km), over the level crossing on Oranmore, then on to Clarinbridge, Kinvara (73.2km), Fanore and on to the category three ascent of Ballinalacken, 118.9 kilometres after the start and fractionally under 20 from the finish.
Soon afterwards the riders will race onto the slopes of the first category Doonagore climb and with the summit only 7.5 kilometres from the line in Lisdoonvarna, flat-out attacking is guaranteed. The climb will show who the true favourites are for the race.
Stage four to Tralee is 155.6 kilometres in length and follows mainly flat roads for the first half of the stage, beginning in Corofin and heading to Ennis, Newmarket-on-Fergus (25.8km), Limerick, Adare, Newcastlewest and then to the top of the category three Barnagh Gap (99.8km). The identically-ranked climb of Glanshearoon comes just under 30 kilometres later and is itself followed in 6.8 kilometres by the third category Barr na Gaoithe.
Less than half an hour of racing remains from this point and there is guaranteed to be plenty of action between that summit and the finish line in Tralee.
Skibereen is the destination on stage five, a tough 141 kilometre race which takes the riders over five categorised climbs. The first of these is the second category Farranfore ascent and the summit comes just 17 kilometres after the start in Tralee, making it almost certain that the bunch will split into several pieces. Three more category two mountains then punctuate the next hour and a half of racing, namely Ladies View (50.8km), Molls Gap (55.5km) and Turners Rock (83.1km).
The fragmented peloton will head through Glengariff and on to the category three Derrycreha. 45 kilometres lie between the top and the finish, and there will be plenty of action along the route through Bantry, Ballydehob and to the line in Skibbereen. This should be one of the most decisive days in the race.
In contract, stage six is almost completely flat. It is, however, the longest stage of the race and the 180 kilometres between the start in Skibbereen and the finish in Clonmel will give plenty of opportunity for attacks. The route passes through Dunmanway (23.8km), Kilmichael, Donoughmore (77.5km), Dromahane (92.7km), to the feeding zone near Mallow, then Mitchelstown (135km), Ballyporeen, Ardfinnan and to the finish line in Clonmel. Those hunting for a stage win or to improve their overall position will aim to get into a long-distance breakaway, but this could equally turn out to be a day for the sprinters in the race.
Stage seven comes on the penultimate day of racing and the stage from Clonmel to Roundwood promises to be a classic. It is, at 177 kilometres, the second-longest in the race and in passing through the Wicklow mountains, will pose a very tough challenge to the riders. The first climb, Glenbower, comes 14.6 kilometres after the start and is a third category ascent. The peloton will speed through Kilkenny (43.6km), Loughlinbridge (71.5km), Tullow (90.8km), Tinahely, Aughrim (130.7km) and then on to two of the toughest climbs in the area, the category one Slieve Maan and the category one Drumgoff, which tops out 22 kilometres from the finish line in Roundwood.
Once down the twisting, dangerous descent the riders will speed through Laragh and Annamoe, with the big guns slugging it out all the way to the flag in a bid to decide the stage win, the race lead and the various classifications.
That leaves just one more day, but the complexities of stage eight provides opportunity for a change in the yellow jersey. Running 130 kilometres from Newbridge to Skerries, the early kilometres head through Prosperous, Kilcock (30.4km), Dunshaughlin, Rathoath and on to the category three climb of Pluckhimin (75.1km). After Naul and Balrothery the riders will hit the category three Cross of the Cage climb (94.4), racing onto the Skerries finishing circuit almost immediately after the top.
If the past two years are anything to go by, massive crowds will line the streets in the seafront town, generating plenty of atmosphere and encouragement. The riders will whip past them and begin the first of two 13.8 kilometre laps, fighting it out on the category three Black Hills each time. The last ascent of the climb is nine kilometres from the finish and from there to the line the speed will be manic. Much is at stake, and every second may well count.