Route unveiled for Rás na mBan 2024 in Kilkenny

The 2024 Rás na mBan will mark the return of Ireland’s premier international stage race for women to Kilkenny this September, showcasing a series of exciting new stages and formats. This 18th edition will again highlight Kilkenny’s stunning landscapes, offering a mix of challenging terrains and picturesque routes. One of the key highlights for this year is the introduction of an all-new third stage, culminating in a new finish location. This stage is expected to present fresh challenges and opportunities for the riders, adding a new dynamic to the race.

Returning to Kilkenny City for the Finale

As is tradition, the final day will feature a double dose of high-octane racing in Kilkenny City. The morning will kick off with a 2.5km time trial against the historic backdrop of Kilkenny Castle. Later in the day, the event will conclude with the popular hour-long circuit race around Kilkenny City, starting from The Parade in front of the castle.

Kilkenny County Council, which has supported the race since 2016, remains a pivotal partner. Cathaoirleach Michael McCarthy expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “I am delighted to welcome back all participants and organisers of Rás na mBan to Kilkenny once again. We can ensure full co-operation and assistance from Kilkenny County Council and the staff in order to make this event as successful as possible. I would encourage people to come out and support this great annual event.”

Race Director Valerie Considine is equally excited about the event’s return to Kilkenny. She stated, “The move to Kilkenny eight years ago has been overwhelmingly positive for Rás na mBan, and we have enjoyed taking the race to different locations in and around neighbouring counties in that time. The beautiful countryside in Ireland’s Ancient East and the great support from Kilkenny makes planning the route of Ireland’s top international stage race an absolute pleasure.”

2024 Rás na mBan Route and Stages

The race begins on Wednesday, 4th September, and spans five days, featuring a variety of stages:

  • Stage 1: Starts in Kilkenny and finishes in Callan after covering 75km, including two laps of a 13km circuit.
  • Stage 2: A 105km route from Portlaoise to Mountrath, including the challenging climb of ‘The Cut’ in the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
  • Stage 3: An all-new 104km stage from Kilkenny to Gorey in County Wexford, noted for its rolling roads and tough terrain.
  • Stage 4: Covers 101km, starting in Kilkenny and finishing in The Rower after two climbs through scenic Thomastown and Inistioge.
  • Stage 5: A 2.5km time trial set against the backdrop of Kilkenny Castle.
  • Stage 6: The final, fast-paced city centre criterium race in Kilkenny City.

This year’s race promises to be a thrilling showcase of international talent and local support, with Olympic, World, and European Championship riders set to compete alongside Ireland’s best cyclists. The green jersey for the best Irish rider, sponsored by Kilkenny County Council, will be a key focus, with the top local talent vying for this coveted prize.

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