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Rás Tailteann 2018 Starts on 20th May

posted 14 May 2018, 15:40 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 14 May 2018, 15:41 ]
(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 13th May 2018)   
With the news of withdrawal of sponsorship by An Post for the 2018 Rás spreading through Irish cycling circles last year, it was feared that this great race was to go the same way. However, the organisers were pennywise over the previous years and had a rainy day fund which will be used to run the event this year.

The Rás commences on 20th ay with the first stage passing through Tyrellspass and Rochfrtbridge en route to Athlone for the stage finish. This will give all local cycling enthusiasts a fantastic opportunity to catch one of the best and hardest bike races in Europe as it races through our neighbourhood. This year there will once again be some local interest with Lakeside Wheelers member Stuart Cox riding with a Longford selection in the County Rider category.

Damien Shaw (centre) leads his new team in training earlier this year
Full-time rider and member of the Irish registered Holdsworth Pro Cycling team, Damien Shaw, will also be competing and no doubt, attempting to improve on his past performances. Shaw has ridden the Rás both as an amateur and professional rider with some excellent results. In 2015 he finished the eight-day race in great style coming home 2nd on two stages and 3rd on the final showcase stage into Skerries. In 2016 and 2017 he was one of the main threats to the General Classification and on both occasions he took a fabulous 5th placing. 

In particular, last year he was extremely close to donning the Yellow jersey but experienced some bad luck as the race traversed the tough roads of Donegal which ended his push for outright victory. However, this year he has a new team and the former Mullingar fireman and Lakeside Wheelers member will be back hunting for glory.
 

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