All roads lead to the Kingdom for the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The 51st edition of the Kerry group Ras Mumhan will be taking to the road of the southwest for the Easter weekend of the 7th through to the 10th of April. The ensuing battles between the elite of Irish cycling combined with an international field is what’s presently on the menu and it is mouth watering to say the least. Even the most Wiley of critics will have little to complaint about as the ingredients for what will be plated up by the time we hit the final stage in Killorglin and will make it an unforgettable experience. The tradition and the legends created in the last 50 years will be screaming down the years to again raise the yellow jersey to its place in Irish sport and no better place than the home of previous winners Mike Breen, John Mangan, Gene Mangan in the spiritual heartland of cycling that is Killorglin.
With Lindsay Watson last years winner looking to retain his title, and certainly has the tools in his belt with a very strong Ulster squad consisting of current cyclo cross national champion Dean Harvey and the ever-present Matthew Teggart. Going toe to toe will be the 2022 Ras Tailteann champion Daire Feeley, the Roscommon man, riding with All Human Velo Revolution, and backed up with Mitchell McLaughlin fresh from the professional circuit with previous winner of Ras Mumhan Mark Dowling, surely provides the script for the perfect storm.
The likely intentions of Matthew Devins fresh from his yellow jersey Ras Maigheo is not lost on anyone with a knowledge of cycling, supported again by previous winner Conor Henebry and the likes of Sean Hahessy could provide us all with the upset at the bookies. The emergence of young Seth Dunwoody from Armagh riding for the Ireland Junior Team who has had brilliant results on the continent, still only a first-year junior accompanied with Liam O’Brien of Fermoy will do similar to last years edition when the Irish juniors took stages in style. The raiding 7 international teams are sure to have a say in matters in quiet preparation for an ambush on the roads of the southwest this Easter there couldn’t be a better backdrop than the hills of Kerry and Cork to set the snare.
Most riders will have experience of previous editions of Kerry Group Ras Mumhan, with the addition this year of the stage three from Millstreet, taking in over 1700 m in elevation will no doubt test the mettle of even the best prepared rider. The final stage in Killorglin taking in Beaufort before moving on to the Donal McKenna circuit with 10 laps of the traditional route up the town centre to the final destination of this years Kerry Group Ras Mumhan.
In a fitting tribute to our friend Padraig Harnett, sport journalist in the southwest region of Ireland who has sadly passed away during the year. Padraig was a champion for so called fringe sports in a region where Gaelic Games take precedence, he was the conduit for media and exposure for our sport and his absence this year will truly be felt. Padraig’s wife Maura Daly will be at hand to present the yellow jersey in Killorglin where he did so many interviews and live reports down through the years.