The route for the 13th edition of Rás na mBan includes six stages and five days of racing on the roads of picturesque County Kilkenny for the riders in early September. Details with map links below.
STAGE 1 – Wednesday 5th September
Road Race Kilkenny-Gowran 70.1KM
Stage 1 (Road Race) Kilkenny – Gowran
The race kicks off on Wednesday 5th September with a 70.1km road race beginning at event headquarters, the Springhill Court Hotel, and finishing for the second time in the picturesque village of Gowran on a mainly flat course including a single hill offering points for the IVCA Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains classification.
Stage 1 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27569409
Kilkenny (SHC) – Bennettsbridge –Thomastown – Graiguenamanagh – Goresbridge – Paulstown – Gowran
STAGE 2 – Thursday 6th September
Road Race Castlecomer-Castlecomer 75KM
Thursday’s second stage is a rolling 75km road race starting and finishing in the pretty village of Castlecomer. Running on roads which will be familiar to riders in the Deenside Cup and Des Hanlon classic races, the race begins in the leafy surroundings of the Discovery Park in Castlecomer.
Stage 2 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27569464
Castlecomer (Discovery Park) Ballyraggett – Firoda – Castlecomer – Coolcullen – Rossmore – Castlecomer
STAGE 3 – Friday 7th September
Road Race Mount Leinster 112KM
Friday’s third stage is a repeat of last year’s epic assault on Mount Leinster when wind, rain and the hilly roads served to create big gaps between the riders on general classification.
As last year, the so-called ‘Queen Stage’ is a daunting 112km slog that culminates in the arduous climb of Mount Leinster to the fabled ‘Nine Stones’. It’s a 7.8km ascent at an average gradient of 4.4% to a popular viewing point for cyclists and tourists. A short descent at half way offers brief relief but masks the true challenge of the climb.
Stage 3 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27569489
Kilkenny (SHC) – Paulstown – Leighlinbridge – Muine Bheag – Borris – Ballymurphy – Kiltealy – Bunclody – Kildavin – Myshall – Fenagh – Mount Leinster
STAGE 4 – Saturday 9th September
Individual Time Trial 6.5KM
The following day, Saturday, features two separate stages beginning with a newly minted 6.5km individual time trial stage on a hilly road just in Tullaroan.
Stage 4 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27569519
Start – Tullaroan – Place to place.
STAGE 5 – Saturday 8th 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 two 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 National Dairy Council Points Classification at the end of the week.
Stage 5 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27569533
The Parade – Nuncio Road – Waterford Road – Upper Patrick Street
STAGE 6 – Sunday 9th 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 for a new approach to the finish line down John Street and Rose Inn Street before swinging left for the short climb to the final finish line in front of Kilkenny Castle.
Stage 6 Route Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27569427
Kilkenny – Kells – Dunamaggin – Knocktopher – Thomastown – Inistioge – Woodstock – Thomastown – Gowran – Paulstown – Kilkenny
Total Stage Mileage – 391.6km