KERRY GROUP RÁS MUMHAN’s 4 DAY INTERNATIONAL CYCLE RACE was officially launched today by Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D. Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht at the ‘An Puc Rí’ Statue located on the bridge in to Killorglin. Mr. Deenihan , described the race which was established in the late 1950’s as: “one of the institutions of Irish Cycle Racing which is known far and wide as one of the toughest races on these islands”.
Killorglin is synonymous with cycling not alone in Kerry, but all over Ireland and further afield. It has given Kerry some of its most famous sporting sons, we all know of the exploits of Gene & John Mangan, both winners of this race in the past along with Pat Healy, Batty Flynn and many more. Apart from its sporting significance, the event has many other important features, as it is a huge boost to the economy of the area, with over 1,000 bed nights for the area over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend when the race takes place. The publicity the race generates for County Kerry is also important as coverage at both local and national level in the Press, Radio & TV shows off the county at its best at the start of the Tourist Season. The Kerry Group Rás Mumhan will take place in the West and South Kerry Gaeltachts on two of the four days and this is another fine aspect of the event.
Launching the event Minister Deenihan said: “The contribution of the main sponsor Kerry Group cannot be over stated. Kerry Group supports many of the top sporting events in County Kerry and beyond and their association with this event is of significant benefit to the Rás in taking the race to a new level and in raising its profile on both the national and international arena”.
The Irish Sports Council also supports the event and this is another important factor in the promotion of the Rás. Mr Deenihan, who is a very active Leisure Cyclist, thanked the organisers for the opportunity to Launch the race and wished all the competitors, their supporters and the Race Organisation well for the Easter weekend.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs, Kerry Group commented: “With only two weeks to go to the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan and with today’s announcement of such a strong group of local, national and international riders, anticipation is growing among the cycling world that this year’s event will be a very competitive affair. He added: “The Rás offers a unique opportunity for spectators to enjoy the scenic views of the south west of Ireland while watching top class cyclists compete over County Kerry’s challenging landscape for the much sought after Kerry Group Rás Mumhan winner’s title”.
This prestigious event will boast a field of 150 plus riders from Holland, England, the Isle of Man, France and Italy, who will compete with the best of the Irish over four days of racing on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Friday 06 April to Monday 09 April, 2011. Last year’s winner Kerryman Sean Lacey will lead the Irish challenge, while the other locals attempting to keep the title in the Kingdom will be led by Daniel Clifford, Paul Griffin, County Senior Champion Matt Slattery, and previous winner Eugene Moriarty.
As in previous years the race will be held in four stages over four days: Stage 1 will take place on Good Friday 06 April in the East Kerry area. Stage 2 will take place on Saturday 07 April in West Kerry, with a visit to South Kerry on Easter Sunday 08 April for stage 3 of the race. The final day sees the race go back to Killorglin for a stage in Mid Kerry. Full details of the stages and times can be seen on the race website at www.rasmumhan.ie .
Speaking at the launch, Rory McGillycuddy, Commercial Director, thanked everyone for attending the Launch, giving a special mention to the Minister who fitted this event into his busy schedule. He also thanked Mr. Frank Hayes and Kerry Group for their support and said that: “the sponsorship had been of enormous help to the Rás in steering the Race to New heights”. He added that the race organisers were also grateful to the following for their support towards the event: Annadale Technologies, Fitzgeralds Centra-Homevalue Dingle, IRD Waterville, FEXCO, DMC Sports SMS Santini, Melina Joy/Urban Optics Killarney, Cycling Ireland, Irish Sports Council , Billy O Shea Auctioneer Killorglin, Owens McCarthy Claims Specialists Killorglin, Mosca McGillicuddy & Assoc., Pauline Sugrue Auctioneer Waterville, Vincent Sugrue Waterville, Gerald Sugrue Painting & Décor Waterville, Waterville House, Merrion Group Dublin, Waterville Inn Restaurant & Bar, PK’s Supervalu/Topaz, Killorglin Sports & Leisure Centre.
Kerry Group Rás Mumhan is organised and run by a voluntary committee and the community’s involvement in the race is important to the event. The organisation is aware that the roads of Kerry are busy over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Therefore the assistance and advice of an Garda Síochana, Kerry Co. Council and others is vital. The co-operation from road users in Kerry as the race passes by is important to the success of this event.
Etape Ras Mumhan is a separate non competitive event on the Saturday run over the same route as the race will travel later in the day on Saturday 07 April. http://www.etaperasmumhan.ie