BY KIERAN McCARTHY
CLONAKILTY’S involvement in this year’s 2016 An Post Rás could be crucial in the eight-stage event, according to Race Director Tony Campbell.
Clon town will host the end to stage five of the race on Thursday, May 26th, which will see riders cover 148.3km from Sneem through West Cork before racing to the finish line in Clonakilty.
Glengarriff, Bantry, Ballydehob, Skibbereen and Glandore will all feature on this route.
Looking ahead to the stage, Campbell commented: ‘We are using the tunnel road of Caha Pass. The guys will have a good three kilometres of draggy roads before the climb, which will be hard.
‘The climb of Glanlough is next and it is a sticky rise through the village, which could do damage.
‘The stage then finishes with a circuit, and so takes in the hill up to the finish twice. That climb goes on quite a way after the finish line, so that final lap could well break things up.’
Stage five of this year’s Rás will cause plenty of problems for the riders with plenty of climbs to challenge the.
Early on it moves through Kenmare, Castletownbere and Bonane, then the riders will tackle the second category ascent of Caha Pass (49.5km).
Very soon afterwards the category three Glengarriff climb rears up, and after moving through Bantry the riders will sprint it out for the points atop the category three Glanlough.
The riders will be cheered on through Ballydehob and Skibbereen prior to the day’s penultimate climb, the third category Glandore (117.8km).
This is followed 18.3 kilometres later by the first passage over the finish line, and the start of a 12.2 kilometre finishing circuit, which includes the category two McCurtain Hill.
This could well act as the platform for late attacks, giving those challenging for the yellow jersey a chance to put some pressure on.
Stage six will start in Clonakilty on Friday, May 27th and finish in Dungarvam 159km Also, Charleville will feature again in this year’s An Post Rás, having hosted stage three of the race in 2014.
2016 An Post Rás Route
Stage 1 (Sunday, May 22): Dublin Castle to Multyfarnham (144.6 kms)
Stage 2 (Monday, May 23): Mullingar to Charleville (183.7kms)
Stage 3 (Tuesday, May 24): Charleville to Dingle (133.2 kms)
Stage 4 (Wednesday, May 25): Dingle to Sneem (162.8 kms)
Stage 5 (Thursday, May 26): Sneem to Clonakilty (148.3 kms)
Stage 6 (Friday, May 27): Clonakilty to Dungarvan (159.1 kms)
Stage 7 (Saturday, May 28): Dungarvan to Baltinglass (155kms)
Stage 8 (Sunday, May 29): Kildare to Skerries (148.4 kms)