After an absence in 2019 due to a lack of financial support, Rás Tailteann returns to the Irish sporting calendar this year.

Participants will tackle a new seven-stage route over 758km from 10 to 14 June for the 2020 edition.

As race director Eugene Moriarty told RTÉ 2FM's Game On, there are key differences to past versions including a later slot in the calendar that harks back to a bygone era.

"Recent history of the Rás has been that it has taken place in May, generally around the third week in May," he said.

"I think some time in the early '90s for reasons that are maybe a little bit lost to the mists of time, the Rás used to actually happen in June and then it was moved to May and throughout my career riding on it, it was always in May."

The event always has an international dimension, which will continue in 2020, but this year there is an aim of encouraging more domestic participants according to Moriarty.

"The change of dates, a little bit later in the year, and the shorter format will help generate an interest and maybe a little bit of that domestic-level rider back into the race," he said.

"It has evolved over many years where the vast majority of the riders in the race would have been Irish-based or Irish national high domestic standard.

"But in about the last 15 to 20 years, the standard kept creeping up and we got more of the full-on professional teams sending their incubator teams to the Rás.

"Often you would see the likes of Tony Martin, Mark Cavendish, John Degenkolb - of course our own Eddie Dunbar and Sam Bennett - all of these guys have come through the Rás, invariably winning stages or winning the event overall.

"And within 18 months to two years, you see them operating not just at the pro level but at the very highest levels.

"So for the 2020 event, we decided to not so much move away from aspiring to the same standard but we wanted to encourage more domestic-based riders, be they in Ireland or the UK or in the rest of Europe. 

"We've had interest from teams in America and Canada and places already onto us about this year's event so it's still going to be an international event.

"The two big differences are it won't have world ranking points on offer this year, so it won't be a UCI-categorised event and it will be five days long.

"But I think that is also something attractive to a lot of riders." 

Moriarty added that getting back to a UCI-recognised race remains an "aspiration".