Ardee Cycling Club’s Tomas McCabe will represent the club in next month’s An Post Ras as part of the Louth Cuchulainn Cycling Team.
On Friday night, the team held their launch night at The Bike Station in Dundalk. The five strong cyclist team will compete in the 12,000km race which begins at Dublin Castle on May 21st and ends in Skerries eight days later.
Tomas, who hails from Dunleer and races with Ardee Cycling Club, is taking part in his first ever Ras and will surely receive a rapturous welcome when he cycles into Ardee on Saturday May 27th, the penultimate day of the event.
The Louth team will head from Dublin to Longford before heading to Newport in Mayo and then onto Donegal. It is the North West county where the race will most likely be decided with testing roads and savage climbs, most notably the category 1 Glengesh Pass and the Gap of Mamore. Stage 5 in particular sees the riders tackle 185km from Buncrana to Dungloe with three categorised climbs en route.
The race leaves Donegal on stage 7 and makes the 167km journey to County Louth with a first ever stage finish in Ardee. This route will feature roads well known to the Louth team, in particular Ardee’s Tómas McCabe who will be attempting his first Rás. The race finishes the next day with the traditional circuits in Skerries, with multiple ascents of the steep Black Hills.
Tomas will be joined on the Cuchulainn team with four other cyclists – Alan Gray (Dundalk), Ray O’Shaughnessey (Ravensdale), Liam Dolan (Dundalk) and Cootehill cyclist John Fitzpatrick. A race of this magnitude requires a huge financial input and the team has secured title sponsorship from Tony Meegan Salavage Ltd. Dundalk based businessman Meegan has always had an interest in local sports and was very keen to get involved with the Louth Cycling team.
The team was launched at The Bike Station on Friday evening last where Tony Meegan and a number of other sponsors were in attendance. Ray Fedigan, owner of The Bike Station, will accompany the team for all eight days to ensure that all equipment is working smoothly.
ThisIsArdee.ie photographer Adrian Crawley was at the launch and here’s some his photos from the night: