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Phoenix Rás Team 2015
Phoenix C.C, Rás Team 2015

If you're racing in France, you move from Castle Town to Castle Town, surrounded by hairdressers and pharmacies.

If you're racing in Belgium you hit concrete pavements after concrete pavements, with a pint of something, never out of eyeshot.

If you are racing in Holland you can probably see the next place you're are racing as the godforsaken country is flat. To your left is a lkeor clogs or cheese.
Giro di Lombardia is the "Race Of The Falling Leaves"
The Rás is the race of the More>>>

Mike The Man Of The Rás "73"
Mike O'Donaghue Carlow In The Race Winners Yellow Jersey After He Won THe 1973 Tayto Rás Tailteann
In May 2013 Carlow County Museum unveiled a special temporary exhibition to mark the fortieth anniversary of Carlow man Mike O’Donaghue winning the Rás Tailteann (now the An Post Rás), Ireland’s premier bike race in 1973. The exhibition launch coincided with Stage 6 of the 2013 An Post Rás stage finishing on Barrack Street, Carlow Town earlier that afternoon. The An Post Rás with the assistance of Carlow County Museum as the Stage End Coordinator brought the riders just over 154kms from Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

It is not often that museums mount an exhibition about a living person let alone hold a major street event in their honour. What resulted was an exhibition rekindling memories of an occasion that was front page news in 1973 with a link to the modern day with hundreds of spectators on the streets of the town cheering on the ‘Men of the Rás’.

On Sunday July 8th 1973 thousands gathered on a sunny afternoon in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, to witness the conclusion of the twenty first edition of Ireland’s great bike race, the Rás Tailteann. This ten day gruelling race had visited each of the four provinces and the final stage saw Carlow’s Mike O’Donaghue in the coveted yellow jersey of race leader. After twenty laps of the Phoenix Park’s Polo Ground circuit Mike crossed the line as the only Carlow man so far and the first from the south east to win the Rás Tailteann More>>>

1990 FBD Rás - Macroom To Clonmel My Story
In 1990, I lined up for my second FBD Milk Ras as part of the Clare team.

Photo by Paul Cooley

Part sponsored by ‘Rebel Menswear’, a small clothes shop in Ennis, my teammates and I hounded local businesses, friends and family for the remainder of the finances needed to get us around Ireland for what was then a nine-day, ten-stage race.

1990 Clare Riders
 60.Barry Sutton
 61.Philip Colleran 
62. John Hassett
 63.John Colleran 
109.Sean McIlroy

Team Management
 Paul Cooley
,John Nolan,
George Nolan


Padraig Marrey Rás Storey
Padraig Marrey Mayo

Padraig Marrey the Ballinrobe Co. Mayo Postman man is one of the unsung heroes of Irish cycling and his passion for the sport knows no bounds.

He’s had a staggering career, with 12 Rásanna to his name. But a health scare last year has meant he will never race the country’s most arduous event again
The Ballinrobe man never had the distinction of winning a stage – though he came close on several occasions. But his love for the race is deep-rooted.
Here, he tells about his first Rás as a fresh-faced teenager… More>>>

John Dempsey's Rás 2013
John Dempsey Tipperary Iverk Produce Gives A Day To Day Account Of His 2013 An Post Rás

Richard Handley's Rás 2013
Richard Handley
Richard Handley went into this year’s An Post Rás Tailteann as Rapha Condor JLT’s team leader. Handley has consistently shown excellent form this year, taking several early victories and, after finishing an excellent 5th in the 2012 Rás, held realistic ambitions of a podium place.

The Rás though, perhaps more than any other of the races that the Rapha Condor JLT team will take part in, is an unpredictable and uncontrollable beast. The field is made up of 5 man teams, and the competition and terrain is savage at best.

Looking back over his race, Richard takes us through his week in Ireland with the Men in Black, and describes the ups and downs of vying for victory in the fabled Rás. More>>>

Men Of The Rás In The Tour de France 2013
John Dempsey
All of us in Ireland know that the Rás is by far the most important race in the world and everything else is a mere warm up to it or a cool down afterwards. Some ex riders of the race may insist that the lap of France that is happening at the moment is a little bit more important

All joking aside the Rás has always being a proving ground for some of the world’s best amateur riders and it’s a buzz for the county riders to be sitting at home on the sofa watching these guys in the tour and turning to the missus for the 100th time and saying to her “did I tell you about the time I bet him in the sprint for 50th coming into Scarriff in 08??”

So which of this year’s tour men learned there trade racing around Ireland in a May gone by?

By far the two most well know are Tony Martin who won the race in 2007 and Mark Cavendish who rode for the British national under 23 team in 2004.

James Moss Reflects On The Recent An Post Rás
James Moss IG Sigma Sport
“The long-running Irish stage race, known simply as the RAS to everyone involved in cycling, is one of the highlights of the year to many people, me included. It is a superbly organised event, on fantastic roads throughout Ireland with eight days of uncontrollable, aggressive racing. Perfect.

As IG Sigma Sport were going there with arguably one of the strongest teams in the race, we were all really looking forward to getting stuck in and getting some results notched up. If I was to say the race was pretty much a disaster for the five of us, I am pretty sure all but one rider would agree.

Problems began very early in stage one when Pete Williams became very ill after eating something that did not agree with him at all. Somehow he got through the 160k stage but, without going into the grim details, was in no state to get through the second stage without much food inside him. One rider down. More>>>

The Rás
Tom Southam
The An Post Rás Tailteann, or simply ‘The Rás’, as it is known, is a race to be enjoyed many years after it has been completed, when the pain and suffering of the event has been turned by time into a happy memory of the toughest of times.

The Rás, an eight-day pro-am stage race that takes place in Ireland each May, has been held annually without interruption since 1953, and is considered by many to be Ireland’s most important stage race. The Rás is in many ways unique, its UCI status, and Ireland’s close proximity to the UK, means that the race attracts a number of British and European Continental teams. But its strong Irish heritage also means that the field is made up of a mixture of professional teams and Irish county teams.

The county teams (who have their own overall classification to race for) are made up of perhaps the most determined club level riders on the planet, whose approach to finding themselves up against full time professionals is not to lay down but instead to attack, whenever and wherever they can. It's the inclusion of these county riders that makes the Rás what it is. It’s these riders, not the professionals, that change the bike race from just another tough European stage race with the tiresome routine of doomed, two-man breakaways slowly being reeled in. Instead, the inclusion of the county riders acts to democratise the race, make it unpredictable, and much, much harder.

From the county riders perspective too, the race is difficult, but perhaps in a different way to the many professional riders. Ultan Coyle, long-time designer for Rapha and also the current British 24 hour Time Trial Champion, is one such rider who, despite little experience on the road, has leapt at the opportunity to take part in this year's Rás. His story is one of many happily unconventional ones that make this great race what it is. More>>>

Famous Names In The Rás
Shay O'Hanlon, 62,65,66,67
Paddy Flanagan, 60, 64, 75
The 2008 FBD Insurance Rás rolls off from Navan on Sunday, May 18, and a week later another chapter in the history of the famous race, which began as a two-day event in 1953, will be completed with the finish in Skerries, Co. Dublin.

The race was called An Rás Tailteann for 30 years until the word “Tailteann” was dropped in 1984. Many older followers of cycling in this country regret that change but they retain fond memories of the giants of the road when it was purely an amateur event.

Riders like Gene Mangan and Mick Murphy from Kerry and Ben McKenna of Meath, winners in the 1950’s, were as well known as intercounty footballers from those counties at the time, and they were followed by two men who hold a special place in the history of the race.

Paddy Flanagan from Kildare was the overall victor three times between 1960 and 1975 and Dublin ace Shay O’Hanlon triumphed four times, first in 1962 and then a 1965 to 1967 three-in-a-row.

Paddy was just 16 years old when cycling on an ‘ordinary’ bike from his home in Kildangan, Co. Kildare, to Monasterevin when passed by a group of six racing cyclists from the local Midland Cycling Club who were out on a training spin.

Young Flanagan got in behind the group and when the speed went up, the racers were surprised that the teenager was still with them. So with the spin reaching its conclusion, they tried to drop the ‘intruder’ but instead it was four of the original sextet who dropped back while Paddy stayed with the other two. More>>>

Last Updated: Oct 5th, 2023 - 19:56:03

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