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An Post Rás route unveiled for 2015
27 Jan 2015 14:02
The organisers of An Post Rás have revealed what is hoped will be a fast and tactical 1,200-kilometre route for 2015.
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Deliberately omitting some of the tough first category climbs that have featured in recent years, the emphasis this time around is on opening up the possibility of attacks at any point in the race.
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The 2015 edition of the race will begin in Dunboyne, travelling clockwise around Ireland with stage finishes in Carlow, Tipperary, Bearna, Newport, Ballina, Ballinamore and Drogheda, before the customary final stage in Skerries.
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Scrapping it out over eight days, the riders will still have 21 categorised climbs to negotiate.
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Announcing the route for the race, which runs from 17-24 May, race director Tony Campbell said: “This year’s race is a lot flatter than recent years.
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“However, it is very rolling terrain and very exposed, and there is very little shelter on a lot of stages.
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“The riders are going to have to be careful of winds; if there are any sort of westerly winds, I would say they could be in big trouble. It is going to make for great racing and will also require good bike-handling skills.
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“Sometimes the flatter editions are the ones with the most attacking, the most action and the most tactics.
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“It’s going to allow for typical Rás style racing with plenty of attacking, which is what we love so much about the race. It should be a great one for the neutrals and hopefully this year an Irish rider can take home the trophy.”
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Day one of the race covers 154.4 kilometres from Dunboyne to Carlow and has been set up to ensure a fast, aggressive opener.
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It features four third category climbs at Sherlockstown, Boherboy, Hacketstown and Kilcommon, each awarding points towards the King of the Mountains competition. It also includes An Post Hotspot Sprints at Naas, Clonegal and Ballon.
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Time bonuses will be on offer at each of these three gallops, but larger bonuses at the finish mean that whoever wins the stage will don the first yellow jersey of the race.
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