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Returning Rás Tailteann to finish by the sea in Blackrock

An Post Ras
The first cyclists over the line at the last stage finish to be held in Louth - in Ardee in 2017. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.

Blackrock will host the the finishing line for the 2020 Rás Tailteann after the return of Ireland’s premier cycling competition was officially announced on Wednesday afternoon after a one year hiatus.

The five day event will end in the seaside village on Sunday June 14 at the end of a day in which Stage 5 takes in Trim, Navan, Slane and Collon before the 95km event ends in Blackrock. Upon arrival in Blackrock, the riders will take on four laps on technical finishing circuit of 10km.

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After no Ras in 2019, the event will enjoy a much anticipated return this year for it’s 67th edition. The event starts, as ever, in Dublin and will have stage finishes in Horse and  Jockey, Castleisland, Lisdoonvarna and Kilbeggan – before the event ends in the Wee County after 135km distance covered on day five.

Rás Tailteann will cover 758km with 7 categorised climbs which will act as a platform for attacking riders to battle it out for the coveted Rás yellow jersey.

“The route expertly designed by Ger Campbell, will allow the riders to race every day, with undulating roads and deliberately stays away from multiple big first category mountains of recent editions, this will open up the race for aggressive racing,” Race Director Eugune Moriarty said.

Team registration and entry is expected to open before the end of March via the Rás Tailteann website.

In 2017, Ardee hosted the stage seven finish of what was then the An Post Ras. Dutch rider Daan Meijers of Netherlands Delta Cycling Rotterdam was first past the line on Market Street in the town on a miserably wet May afternoon in mid-Louth.

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Britain’s James Gullen won that year’s edition. Luuc Bugter of the Netherlands is the reigning champion, dating back to 2018. That year’s Ras started in Drogheda on May 20.

On Tuesday evening, Louth County Council confirmed they were in talks with race organisers in relation to the event. Councillor Liam Reilly asked whether any applications had been made about road closures for the event, citing Blackrock and Dromiskin as areas where the race could pass through.

“The race organisers have made tentative enquiries with ourselves,” Frank Pentony said. “We have had initial discussions.”

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