The route for Ras na mBan 2021 includes six stages and five days of racing on the picturesque roads of County Kilkenny and surrounding counties in early September.
Details with map links below:-
STAGE 1 – Wednesday 8th September
Road Race Kilkenny-Callan 70.1KM
Stage 1 (Road Race) Kilkenny – Callan
The race kicks off on Wednesday 8th September with an 71km road race beginning at event headquarters, the Springhill Court Hotel, and finishing for first time in the picturesque town of Callan on a rolling course which includes two hills offering points for the IVCA Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains classification.
Stage 1 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31550616
Kilkenny (SHC) – Danesfort – Stonyford – Knocktopher – Kilmaganny – Skough – Callan
STAGE 2 – Thursday 9th September
Road Race Kilkenny-Piltown 89KM
Thursday’s second stage is a rolling 89.5km road race starting in Kilkenny and finishing in the pretty village of Piltown. Riders race to a 19.6km finishing circuit including two Queen of the Hills at 55.9KM and 75.6KM
Stage 2 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31879896
Kilkenny (SHC) – Stoneyford – Knocktopher – Ballyhale – Mullinavat – Piltown – 2 laps of circuit via Templeorum – The Sweep – Piltown
STAGE 3 – Friday 6th September
Road Race The Cut – Slieve Blooms 104KM
Friday’s third stage is a new version of the ‘Queen’ stage route used in 2019 with an epic assault on The Cut in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois set to create big gaps between the riders on general classification.
The stage is a daunting 104km slog from Castlecomer through County Offaly, onto Wolftrap Mountain followed by the route into County Laois and on to The Cut. The final climb is a 7km ascent with an average gradient of 4.5% and a maximum of 9.8% to a popular viewing point for cyclists and tourists.
Stage 3 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31729410
Castlecomer (Discovery Park) – Crettyard – Stradbally – Portlaoise – Mountmellick – Rosenallis – Clonaslee – Kinnitty – The Cut
STAGE 4 – Saturday 7th September
Individual Time Trial 6.5KM
The following day, Saturday, features two separate stages beginning with a 6.5km individual time trial stage on a hilly road beginning in the pretty location of Tullaroan and ascending to the scenic location at a wind farm above the village.
Stage 4 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31879953
Start – Tullaroan – Place to place.
STAGE 5 – Saturday 7th September
‘Criterium’ Circuit Race 40km
Race Length: One hour
On Saturday evening the riders converge on the world famous Kilkenny Castle for a one-hour, high-octane criterium circuit race on a 2.1km lap that proved to be a real hit with the riders and the large and appreciative crowd lining the circuit in the last four editions. It will be the fastest bunch stage of the week and is sure to provide spectacular racing action for the spectators in Kilkenny city centre. It’s a race that will be targeted by the sprinters and will likely play an important part in the destination of the Points Classification at the end of the week.
Stage 5 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31879923
The Parade – Nuncio Road – Waterford Road – Upper Patrick Street
STAGE 6 – Sunday 8th September
Road Race Kilkenny 88KM
The race concludes on Sunday September 10th with a tough 88km on rolling roads beginning and ending in Kilkenny at the end of five tough days of racing. The big challenge on the final day will come when the riders leave the beautiful village of Inistíoge to take on Woodstock Hill, where the final battle for general classification honours will be joined.
The riders will then race back to Kilkenny to the finish line down John Street and Rose Inn Street before swinging left for the short drag to the final finish line in front of Kilkenny Castle.
Stage 6 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31879938
Kilkenny – Kells – Dunamaggin – Knocktopher – Thomastown – Inistioge – Woodstock – Thomastown – Gowran – Paulstown – Kilkenny
Total Stage Distance – 400.6km