Padraig’s Preview of the Stages continues with Stage 2

Riders cross Kerry Limerick border for a Stage 2:
In most areas of Kerry there are certain names associated with cycling and certainly in Listowel the Moriarty names is synonymous with the sport.
Once again this Easter Saturday’s Stage 2 of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan will be the Listowel Cycling Club / Gene Moriarty and Sons Electrical Contractors sponsored 130km ride from Listowel in Kerry to Athea in our neighbouring county of Limerick.
The stage starts with the riders heading out on the undulating roads of North Kerry and West Limerick with a number of Category 2 and 3 climbs to negotiate.
From the start the riders head to Ballylongford and Tarbert where they turn right and head towards the Limerick border.
Fans Viewing: Stage 2 has lots of opportunities for fans of the Ras to view the action with big crowds expected in the towns.
The Ras will then travel along by the Shannon and past the Knight of Glin’s Castle but as these are fast sections of the road the riders will not have much time to take in the view.
Fans from the Limerick area will gather in Athea and will be able to see the race passing them three times on a hill that will certainly test the legs.
From the flat roads the riders will hit the hill in Athea, a climb they will take three times during the stage. From here they will ride through Carrigkerry, the town from where St Patrick is said to have stood and blessed Kerry. (One has to ask why he did not cross the border into the Kingdom?!!).
After Carrigkerry the race will travel through Ardagh, where one of the countries greatest treasures – the Ardagh Chalice – was found. Just before Shanagolden the race will turn left. Shanagolden of course has been made famous by the Sean McCarthy song but I doubt if any of the peloton will be humming the tune at this stage of the race.
At this stage those will Stage ambitions will be looking to be in the right place as the race heads back to Athea and then onto the 40km finishing circuit through Carrigkerry, Ballyhahill and Glin for the third time before finishing up the hill out of Athea between 2 and 2.30pm.
Trophies and Prizes up for grabs:
There are plenty of prizes up for grabs on this Stage with the main one being the coveted Gene Moriarty Cup for the Stage winner. The Cup is named in memory of Gene a rider in the 50’s and 60’s, father of Tadgh Moriarty and grandfather of Eugene who won the Cup in 1996.
Collins Bar and Grocery Athea are sponsoring prizes for the 1st Kerry and Limerick riders home on the stage.
During the stage the Primes for the First Rider into Glin on Round 1 & 2 is sponsored by Adams of Glin while the Prime on Round 3 is sponsored by McSweeney’s Bike Shop.
The prize for the First Rider into Athea is sponsored by TJ Reidy Cleaning Services with the Ballyhahill KOH prize sponsored by Greenspan.
Last Season: The International dimension of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan was shown by the 2019 podium on Stage 2. The winner was Wouter Been from West Fresia with his teammate Harry Sweering in second with Italian native and Irish resident Matteo Cigala in third.
From a Kerry point of view it was a good day for Killarney CC’s Marcus Tracey who took over the S2 Jersey.

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