Rás na mBan is to return to Kilkenny in September.
Organisers say they’re working on plans to stage the event from the 8th to the 12th of September.
Teams from all over the world will return to the city for a fifth year for the 400 kilometre race.
At the beginning of 2020 the committee of Rás na mBan was confidently planning the 15th edition of Ireland’s top international stage race and looking forward to welcoming teams from all over the world to the magnificent medieval city of Kilkenny for the fifth year.
Scroll forward a year and making plans might seem like a folly given the events which have gripped the globe of late. However, the organisers of Rás na mBan have continued to meet regularly – if ‘virtually’ – in the last year and have forged ahead with plans to present another five-day feast of top quality bike racing action this September.
The pandemic may have had a cataclysmic effect on many aspects of society and world trade but one positive side effect is the upsurge in interest in cycling throughout Europe and beyond.
This effect has been just as keenly felt in Ireland and it is with this in mind that the organisers of Rás na mBan are redoubling their efforts in advance of a resumption of racing hostilities in time for this year’s event.
At the time of writing Ireland is currently emerging from the highest level of lockdown and movement is restricted for all but essential purposes. However, with a national vaccination plan being rolled out and covid rates starting to drop there is optimism that sporting activity can resume this year and that bike racing will be happening by the time of the scheduled running of Rás na mBan in September.
Having completed almost all of the route planning ahead of last year’s cancelled event, the organisers have used the hiatus to focus on structures and systems around working with covid and ensuring that our competitors, officials, and all interested parties have the safest and best possible experience of the 2021 event.
Expect to see some new faces taking on riders on new and familiar roads in and around County Kilkenny.
Speaking of the ongoing planning ahead of Rás na mBan 2021 Race Director Valerie Considine said: “The last year has certainly been challenging for everyone and has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate where the race sits in ours and cycling’s priorities. We’ve never been more committed to the successful presentation of an event that will, we hope and trust, serve to be part of the regeneration of the sport this year.
“Among others, our national Junior Road Race Champion Ella Doherty has spoken enthusiastically of her plans to ride the race as a first-year senior this year and we are honoured to be able to present a top-class international sports event for our visiting riders and our homegrown talent alike.
“We’re grateful to all our stakeholders for their continuing and vital support as we fine-tune our systems for the next edition of the race.
“We’ve got some exciting new plans for the event and some popular elements which we have retained, all of which will be revealed in due course. In the meantime, it’s roll on September and the resumption of hostilities.”