Monday 25th Feb.
The West Frisia team is the first of 3 Dutch teams to name their line out for this year’s KERRY GROUP RAS MUMHAN. Team leader, Tino Haakman will make his tenth appearance at the race. Haakman has several top 10 finishes to his credit and was 2nd to Paul Griffin into Waterville in 2011 and 5th on the Conor Pass stage in 2009. Silvian Buis returns for the third time and hopes to improve on his runner up spot to overall winner Denis Baaker on the final stage last year. Also making a return to the race is Gert Jan Jonkman who was 4th overall in 2009. This year, they will be joined by two newcomers, under 23 riders Harry Sweering and Ruben Dorren, both reputed to be good climbers.
The Isle of Mann, who are regulars at the race have also named their team. Leading the team is a well-known Kerry figure, Andrew Roche who was the last man to win the Ras Tailteann in the Kerry colours. Roche has also some good results under his belt in this race. He was runner up to Paudie O’ Brien on the final stage in 2011 and was 4th overall in 2010. Roche will be joined on the starting line by Graeme Hatcher, who was 12th overall in 2011 and Elliot Baxter who has also been at the race for the last 2 years. The line up will be completed by Darren Bell & Chris Whorrall.
The 4 Day International Cycle Race will carry a Prize Fund of € 6,000. Starting on Good Friday March 29th and finishing on Easter Monday April 1st, the race will be held on the roads of Cork and Kerry.
Stage 1: Good Friday, March 29th, the Sliabh Luachra Stage, will start at 3.30pm and will consist of 100 km that will take riders to the Sliabh Luachra area of East Kerry, starting in Killorglin, onto Killarney, Kilcummin, Scartaglin, Castleisland, Firies, Castlemaine, Milltown and finishing in Killorglin at approx 6.00pm. This is the same route as last year.
Stage 2: Easter Saturday, March 30th, the Kenmare, Beara & Healy Pass Stage will start at 12pm & will take riders on a 150km loop through the Beara Peninsula in West Cork. After starting in Kenmare the race will head out the Tunnell road to Glengarriffe, swing left here to Adrigole, Castletownbere, Eyries, Ardgroom, followed by a right turn at Lauragh up to the Healy Pass, then back down to Adrigole. The race turns left here and retraces the outward section back to Glengarriffe and onto the Tunnell road to finish in Kenmare at 4pm.The Tunnell road also has the Caha Pass Climb both times.
Stage 3: Easter Sunday, March 31st, the Waterville and Valentia Island Stage is in South Kerry which has proved to be a huge success over the last few years. There is a noon start again with the same route as last year, starting and finishing in Waterville. The route will take riders from the start at Waterville to the Glen, onto Cahirciveen, Dromid, back to within 3km of the start before the trip to Valentia Island, St. Finian’s Bay and back to finish in Waterville at approximately 3.30pm after a total distance of 142km.
Stage 4: Easter Monday, April 1st, the Beaufort & Killorglin Stage takes place in the Mid Kerry area and has an early start of 10am in order to give everybody with long journeys home an early finish at 1pm. The route will be familiar to many as it has been used on the final day many times. There are 3 laps of the Beaufort /Killorglin circuit and then onto the shorter Donal McKenna lap to be covered 10 times before the final chequered flag, after a total of 114km.
Already teams from Holland, England, Isle of Man, Luxembourg and Italy have signaled their intentions to compete in the race. Clubs, teams or individuals interested in taking part in the race should contact the Race Secretary, Mary Concannon: Tel: 00 353 64 44396 / 00 353 87 2802071, firstname.lastname@example.org.