Lindsay Watson of the Ulster team leads out teammate Matthew Teggart during Stage 2 of Rás Tailteann. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Kilbeggan set to host stage finish in Rás Tailteann cycle

The Rás Tailteann national cycle race returned to the roads of Ireland this week and it will include a stage finish in Kilbeggan tomorrow (Saturday), June 18.

The route for the 67th edition of the race (which started on Wednesday) will see competitors cycle 765 kilometres in total, with the fourth stage on June 18 beginning in Lisdoonvarna and heading for the Midlands.

This 154km stage will pass through Athlone before finishing in Kilbeggan. Cyclists will then transfer to Kinnegad for the final stage, on June 19, which will set off from the Westmeath town and finish in Blackrock, Co. Louth.

David Louis Sutton of the of the Spanish Brocar-Ale team won yesterday's FBD Insurance sponsored stage in a solo effort that also put him in the Cycling Ireland supported yellow jersey of race leader.

The race continues today (Friday) with stage 3 - 172.1 kilometres from Newcastlewest to Lisdoonvarna. This features the category three ascent in the Burren after 150kms followed by the category two climb of Corkscrew Hill at 162kms before the finish 10kms later in Lisdoonvarna.

Race Director Ger Campbell said Cáirde Rás Tailteann is thrilled to be in a position to hold the race this year.

"This year is all about getting the show back on the road and giving centre stage back to the county teams together with a balanced mix of overseas competitors," said Campbell.

"On a personal level it is a huge honour for me to be race director this year, given the respect I have for those who have held the position previously," he added, also expressing gratitude to the race's funding partners and sponsors.

Cycling Ireland is supporting An Rás Tailteann and CEO Matt McKerrow said he was "delighted" to see the event return to the Irish cycling calendar after a short hiatus.

"We are pleased to be in a position to support the event to get back on the road this year and see the legacy of this longstanding race, which dates back to 1953, continue. We hope our significant funding of the event this year provides the impetus for future editions to follow,” he said.