O'Donovan leaves his Mark on Rás Tailteann

June 4th, 2023 3:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Skibbereen's Mark O'Donovan in action in Rás Tailteann for Blarney Cycling Club. (Photo: Sean Rowe)

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PERHAPS the clue is in his tweet.

After completing and conquering the five-day Rás Tailteann, former world champion rower Mark O’Donovan took to Twitter.

‘Very proud to have completed my first Rás Tailteann, racing 770kms on Irish roads over five days,’ the Skibbereen rower-turned-cyclist said.

His first Rás Tailteann, but maybe not his last? The door is open. O’Donovan has the cycling bug.

Completing his first five-day cycling event was his main aim at the outset – and he achieved his goal without too much suffering. His left hip took a knock on day three, three kilometres from the stage finish in Castlebar, but he pedalled on.

The 2017 world rowing champion finished 74th overall and was Blarney Cycling Club’s highest-placed finisher, as he was in Rás Mumhan in March. It’s a remarkable story considering he only took a serious interest in cycling in 2020, having hung up his oars.

O’Donovan hails Rás Tailteann as a ‘great experience’ and is ‘glad to have completed it’, and there is more to come from him on the roads. He moves fast on land, as he did on water.

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