An Rás Tailteann made a welcome return to Castleisland on Thursday last with the 145Km stage coming from Horse and Jockey outside Thurles.
The Rás entered the town from Scartaglen onto the Main Street up to the Carnegie Library onto College Road and the major climb to Gleansharoon and then the fast descent to the finish via the Old Limerick Road.
The Gleansharoon climb was where Iron man the late Mick Murphy who won the Rás in 1958 used to train with a 56lb. weight tied to the back of his saddle.
Stage Win for Spanish Team Rider
The leading group in this year’s race made light work of the climb as they sped down to the finish in Castleisland.
Louis David Sutton of the Spanish, Brocar-Ale Team finished 11 seconds ahead of William Perett, Spellman Dublin Port with Michael Chadwick of the Britian Embark-Bikestrong team 54 seconds behind the winner.
The overall winner of the race which finished on Sunday last in Blackrock Co. Louth was Darie Feely from Roscommon.
“Incidentally Feely was the winner of the John Drumm Memorial Cup held in Currow this year on the 3rd April,” recalled stage end coordinator and man-of-the-Rás Eamonn Breen.
John Mangan’s ’72 Rás Win Celebrated
At the stage finish in Castleisland on Thursday there was an important side event in which the 1972 Rás Tailteann winner and Killorglin man, John Mangan had his achievement celebrated.
A member of the Setanta Rás team at that time, John was presented with a Cuchulainn trophy to mark a great achievement in winning the Rás Tailteann cycle race fifty years ago.
He was a member of the Killorglin cycling club and won many races in Ireland and later in France where he competed with success against some of the top cyclists.
Castleisland got great exposure on the RTÉ News, TG4 and TV3 and the stage-end committee headed by Eamonn Breen would like to thank: Kerry County Council; An Gárda Síochána; Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club and The Kerryman for their assistance.
Also thanks to the sponsors: Seán Higgins / Sports Recovery Suite Tralee; Lee Strand Milk; Castleisland Chamber Alliance; River Island Hotel; McElligott’s Furniture and two anonymous donors.
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