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Countdown To The FBD Insurance Rás
By Rás Adm.
May 13, 2007

Shay O'Hanlon Dublin Four Times Rás Winner 62 ,65, 66, 67.
A top class field of 150 riders from Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Iran, Netherlands,  Britain and the USA will face the starter when the FBD INSURANCE RÁS 8 Day International Cycle Race gets underway from Naas town centre next Sunday, 20th May. Included in the thirty teams are nine Continental (pro) teams, Australia FRF Couriers NSWIS, Britain’s Stena Line recycling.co., Czech Republic Sparta Praha, Danish Team Vision Bikes, Estonia Kalev Chocolate, Germany’s Thũringer Energie, the USA’s Team Kodak and Team Kelly Benefit Strategies, and of course, Irelands only pro team Murphy & Gunn-Newlyn-M. Donnelly- Sean Kelly.

The strictly amateur side of the sport is represented by national teams from Ireland, Iran and the Netherlands under-23 squad. Fourteen county teams, three British regional and one German club team are also in the line-up.

 

Ireland’s David McCann, winner of the race in 2004 and racing in Asia and the USA since, spearheads the home challenge while
The Late Paddy Flanagan KildareThree Times Rás Winner 60, 64, 75.
Britain
’s Chris Newton, winner in 2003 and 2005, has the form, class and team support to join the great Sé O Hanlon and Kildare’s Paddy Flanagan in having three RÁS victories on their CV.

 

However, strong challenges are certain from the pro teams, particularly those from Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic. The Australians will also be a major force with Peter Herzig determined to go seven places better than last year and net his country’s first-ever win in the big Irish race. Should the race become very tactical between the pro teams one of Iran’s experienced riders or one of the Netherland’s budding pros could exploit the situation and gain enough valuable time to win the race.

 

On paper the strongest county teams are Meath myhomes.ie/BDBC and Dublin Murphy & Gunn-Newlyn. All of the Meath riders are capable of stage wins and high GC placing particularly Brian Kenneally, and Stephen O’Sullivan who is coming nicely into form at the right time. Perhaps the very promising Isaac Speirs from the Murphy & Gunn-Newlyn team may emulate the great Stephen Roche and win the race at the tender age of nineteen years.

 

The 1180 kilometres clockwise course around the country will bring the riders over nineteen King of the Mountains climbs and stage finishes in Templemore, Loughrea, Sligo, Dungloe, Buncrana, Derry, Newcastle, with the final stage finishing in Skerries
Two Of This Years Contenders Stephen O'Sullivan Myhome.ie And Raymond Clarke Tipperaty Dan Morrissey
on Sunday 27th May. Possibly the steepest climb in Ireland, Mamore Gap on the Innishowen Peninsula, will feature on the stage from Dungloe to Buncrana, while the 165 kilometres from Derry to Newcastle will bring the riders down Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

 

“Once again this year, through the generous sponsorship of FBD Insurance, the Irish sporting public will have the opportunity of seeing the very best Irish cyclists doing battle over Irish roads with national and professional teams from many parts of the world,” said organiser Dermot Dignam this week.

 

“The racing will be tough, fast and highly competitive with severe KOM climbs on many of the stages. It’s a typical Tour de France-type route that demands the utmost effort from all the riders, and will ensure that only the best man will receive the accolade of champion of the 2007 FBD Insurance RÁS at the finish in Skerries on Sunday 27th May.”

 

FBD INSURANCE RÁS 2007 STAGE DETAILS

 

STAGE 1, SUNDAY 20TH MAY  NAAS – TEMPLEMORE 157 KMS.

NAAS, Newbridge Hot Spot Sprint, The Curragh, Kildare, Monasterevin, Portarlington, Mountmellick Hot Spot Sprint, Rosenallis, Clonaslee, The Cut Category 2 KOM & Hot Spot Sprint, Mountrath, Borris-in-Ossory, Roscrea By-Pass, Templemore, Bouladuff, Borrisoleigh, TEMPLEMORE.

 

STAGE 2, MONDAY 21ST MAY, TEMPLEMORE – LOUGHREA 147 KMS.

TEMPLEMORE, Thurles, R502, Ballycahill, Curreeney Cross Category 3 KOM, Dolla, Silvermines, Ballina, Killaloe, Tuamgraney, Scarriff, Lecarrow Category 3 KOM, Killanena Category 3 KOM, Gort, LOUGHREA.

 

STAGE 3, TUESDAY 22nd MAY, LOUGHREA – SLIGO 171 KMS.

LOUGHREA, Kilconieran, Athenry, Tuam, Dunmore, Ballyhaunis, Charlestown, Tobercurry, Ballygawley, Ballintogher, Dromahair, Clogher More Category 3 KOM, SLIGO.

 

STAGE 4, WEDNESDAY 23rd MAY, SLIGO – DUNGLOE 138 KMS.

SLIGO, Drumcliff, Grange, Cliffony, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal By-Pass,  Mountcharles Category 3 KOM, Dunkineely, Bruckless, Ardara, Glenties, Maas, Leitir, Mhic an Bháird, DUNGLOE.

 

STAGE 5, THURSDAY 24TH MAY, DUNGLOE – BUNCRANA 131 KMS.

DUNGLOE, Dubhcharaidh, Peirse Mor Category 3 KOM, Carabit Category 2 KOM, Fintown, Letterkenny,  Burnfoot, Fahan, Buncrana, Slavery Category 3 KOM, Pinch Mountain Category 2 KOM,  Clonmany, Mamore Gap Category 1 KOM, Old Mountain Category 3 KOM, BUNCRANA.   

 

STAGE 6, FRIDAY 25TH MAY, BUNCRANA – DERRY 96 KMS.

BUNCRANA, Clonmany, Ballyliffen, Carndonagh, Malin, Culdaff, Gleneely, Moville, Muff, DERRY

 

STAGE 7, SATURDAY 26TH MAY, DERRYNEWCASTLE 165 KMS.

DERRY, Dungiven, Glenshane Pass Category 3 KOM, Cookstown, Dungannon, Moy, Portadown, Gilford, Lawrencestown, Banbridge, Ballyward, Devils Elbow Category 3 KOM, Castlewellan, NEWCASTLE.

 

STAGE 8, SUNDAY 27TH MAY, NEWCASTLE – SKERRIES 174 KMS.

NEWCASTLE, Castlewellan, Kilcoo,  Hilltown, Lynch’s Hill Category 3 KOM, Mayobridge, Newry, Cloghoe Mountain Category 3 KOM, Dundalk, Ardee, Collen, Slane, Balrath, 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.

 


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