Rás na mBan battles are fought over five days for a number of different classifications and prizes, each with its own level of importance.
Six distinctive jerseys are visible in the bunch during the race.
An Post Rás na mBan Overall Classification
The pink An Post overall leader’s jersey is the top prize in Rás na mBan.
The overall race leader is easily picked out in the fast moving bunch of cyclists each day as the leader on lowest accumulated time for the race to that point.
The An Post Ras na mBan pink leader’s jersey awarded at the conclusion of the sixth and final stage is the most coveted accolade in Irish women’s cycling.
The 2016 overall race winner was Denmark’s Rikke Lønne riding with the Swedish Team Crescent DARE squad.
NDC Points Jersey
The NDC points jersey is awarded to the rider who shows the most consistency in stage finishes by accumulating the most points on offer for each stage.
Often the preserve of the sprinters, or the strong all rounder with a strong finishing kick, the NDC Points jersey was won in 2015 byScotland’s stage winning sprint star Eileen Roe.
Past winners include current United Healthcare professional rider and British world championship team rider Hannah Barnes and Ireland’s world championship rider, Cork’s Fiona Meade.
The Rás na mBan points jersey is supported by the National Dairy Council which plays a vital role in driving a sustainable dairy industry in Ireland and in educating consumers on the role of dairy in their lifestyles.
IVCA Queen of the Hills
The purple IVCA Wicklow 200 Queen of the Hills jersey is presented each day to the rider who has accumulated the most points in the Queen of the Hills competition. A number of hills in various road stages have been selected as counting hills in the competition and have been categorised according to difficulty.
The competition is sponsored, as it has been for many years, by the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association which supports cycling at all levels and promotes the Wicklow 200, one of Ireland’s most famous and most challenging challenge cycling events. The winner in 2016 was the Netherlands’ WV Breda rider Marieke Kirkvliet.
Former winners of the jersey include 2016 World Road Race Champion Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark.
The Kilkenny County Council Best Irish Rider Jersey
The green Best Irish Rider Jersey is the main goal of Ireland’s club riders as they compete with top international riders throughout Rás na mBan.
The Kilkenny County Council Jersey is presented to the first placed Irish-based club rider on the previous stage.
At the end of the event a separate prize list is awarded to the best placed local riders in the overall classification which was won in 2016 by Team Ulster star Claire McIlwaine. In 2016 Kilkenny County Council supported this award for the first time to celebrate Ireland’s top women’s stage race taking place in their county.
Womenscycling.ie Best Young Rider Jersey
Awarded for the first time in 2014, the white Best Young Rider jersey was worn each day by the highest placed rider under the age of 23 at the start of the year.
Riders such as Britain’s Hannah Barnes, double world junior champion Amalie Diderickson of Denmark and Britain’s Molly Weaver have won the jersey in the past. Emma Norsgaard Jorgensen announced her arrival on the international stage by taking the Womenscycling.ie Best Young Rider jersey in 2015.
The 2016 winner was Nina Buijsman of Team Regio Noord Holland.
Leinster Stages Jersey
Awarded for the fourth time in 2016, the distinctive blue Stages jersey is presented after each stage to the rider who has taken victory on the day.
The jersey proved a very popular addition to the awards list for the event in 2013 with Hannah Barnes taking no less that three Stages Jerseys back to Northampton while Tayler Wiles took two stage wins on her way to overall success in 2014.
Grace Garner took two stage wins in 2015 as the Leicester rider finalised preparations for the World Championships in Richmond Virginia. The jersey was awarded to five different riders in 2016 including overall race winner Rikke Lønne who scored an emphatic solo success on stage three at Mount Leinster.