Ardee will host a stage finish of this year’s An Post Ras – with the renowed international cycling event expected to bring thousands of people to the streets of Ardee in May.
The 2017 An Post Ras route was officially announced today at the GPO on Dublin’s O’Connell Street and the best kept secret in the town has finally been made official – Ardee has been named as one of the stage destinations, meaning it will host a stage finish as well as a stage start the following day.
Riders will make the 167km journey from Donegal to Ardee on Saturday May 27th before leaving the town the next day on the final leg of the trip, the 120kms from Ardee to Skerries. Dublin, Longford, Newport, Bundoran, Buncrana and Dungloe will also act as destinations for the 2017 edition.
Formerly known as Ras Tailteann, the race is entering it’s 65th year and will include Ardee on it’s route for the very first time. The annual eight day stage race is one of Ireland’s top sporting events, bringing world class sporting action with it across the country.
It is also known for bringing a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide and upon it’s arrival in Ardee on May 27th, it will surely do the same here.
An agreeement was put in place last August that Ardee would be included on the course route for 2017 but an announcement on it had to wait as the race committee finalised the route and officially launched the event.
Last year, race co-ordinator Tony Campbell visited Ardee to meet with members of Ardee Cycling Club – including chairman Eamon Martin – as well as local Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue and former Ardee Garda Superintendent Andrew Watters, himself a keen cyclist, where they discussed the proposal that Ardee could hold the stage finish on Saturday May 27th 2017.
This will see cyclists end their day in Ardee before staying locally overnight and then embarking off on their journey to Skerries on the Sunday. Essentially a two day event, it will provide a significant weekend boost for local shops, pubs, restaurants and B&Bs.
In 2015, the An Post Ras came to Drogheda when the penultimate stage ended in West Street before competitors set off for the final leg.
We’ll have more reaction from the Ardee An Post Ras announcement a little later on ThisIsArdee.ie.