Great Local Welcome for Dornan Rás Mumhan and the Sun on Good Friday Stages

Local men on stewarding duties at Hartnett’s Corner on Good Friday afternoon were from left: Jerome ‘Fagin’ Hartnett, Patsy O’Donoghue, Brendan Herbert, Dornan Engineering, sponsors; Tommy Dom O’Connor and Seanie Broderick keeping an eye on them. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Killarney cyclists pictured at An Ríocht Athletic Club in Castleisland before the start of the Dornan Engineering Rás Mumhan Stage 1B on Friday afternoon. Included are from left: Milo Donaldson, Luke Costello, Finn Roumen, Shane Spellman, Ewan Buckley, Mark Mglynn and Nathan Mullan. ©Photograph: John Reidy
The 150 strong peloton getting into racing mode as the riders prepare to leave a tricolour bedecked Castleisland after a leisurely lap of the town on Stage 1B of the Dornan Rás Mumhan on Good Friday afternoon. The riders were heading to Brosna and ultimately to Knocknagoshel to the stage end there at 5:30pm. ©Photograph: John Reidy


Well past use but recyclable: Scoil Mhuire, Knocknagoshel’s welcome for the Dornan Engineering An RÁS Mumhan courtesy of Principal Kate McSweeney and Care-taker Johnny Morrissey and a huge cast of enthusiastic pupils. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The Dornan Engineering Rás Mumhan and its Stage 1A Time Trial got under way in Currow on Good Friday afternoon just seconds after mid-day and on a 8.8km course.

Cycling Ireland’s junior team members posted a time of 10.04 and it proved unbeatable.

By the start of Stage 1B in Castleisland interest in the Rás was heightened considerably with the introduction of the Yellow Jersey to the scene and it set the tone and increased competition levels.

And all on a day on which the clouds parted and the sun made a most welcome return for the duration of the event’s Castleisland involvement. The 150 strong peloton had just cleared the speed limit signs on the Brosna Road when the first few drops of rain fell and a brief shower followed – and that was it – but in a good way.

Great Cycling Names

Stage 1B took off after a ceremonial start with a leisurely lap of Castleisland. This was greatly appreciated by the locals in a town which has had much more than a passing acquaintance with big time racing over a long span of years.

The names of the late great Johnny Drumm along with Dan Ahern, Johnny Brosnan, Eamonn Breen, Brendan and John Brosnan and Denis Twomey were mentioned as participants in the great and ancient sport and some in the much anticipated stages of An Rás Tailteann which frequently passed through the town and sometimes stopped here overnight.

Mick Murphy Remembered

The legendary 1958 Rás Tailteann winner, Mick Murphy from South Kerry wasn’t forgotten either – as he worked on the farm with Neilie Horan for a while during his association with the Desmond Cycling Club around that time.

You’d know there was a local hand in the planning of the current event and John Breen, son of the aforementioned, Eamonn, had an army of gilets jaunes volunteers at every possible junction and flash point.

That and the inclusive involvement of the neighbouring villages in the opening day’s stages is what made it memorable and possibly provided a ground plan for an event of a more local flavour and with a name yet to be thought of.

Stewards at Hartnett’s Corner

Even the sponsors, Dornan Engineering had a local representative with the stewards at Hartnett’s Corner. Brendan Herbert was on duty there with Jerome ‘Fagin’ Hartnett, Tommy Dom O’Connor and Patsy O’Donoghue with Seánie Broderick keeping an eye on them from the corner itself.

The peloton left An Ríocht announced by Denny McSweeney in a lead vehicle and turned left onto Upper Main Street with team car musical horns blaring its arrival.

It headed down town and around the Back-of-the-Forge before straightening itself for the top of the town again under a tricolour bedecked ceiling courtesy of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

The long, human ribbon of colour and pure excitement set its course for the Brosna Road where racing began in earnest.

In this, Brosna Town and ultimately a Knocknagoshel and Good Friday history making stage finish awaited in the arms of a huge welcome.

The following race details and event technicalities were provided from the road by Mark Murphy.

Liam Flanagan in Yellow for 1B

Team Ireland cyclists were looking well early on Friday with being fastest at the first split.

However, Team Skyline and Trinity racing soon caught up and proved to be the quickest team with a time of 09.52.35. with Liam Flanagan of North Carolina crossing the line first and so headed into Stage 1B in Castleisland in the yellow jersey.

The Trinity Racing team was not far behind with a time of 09.55.71. The Foran CT won two stages last year and performed well again giving a time of 10.03.62. and earning a third placing.

Velo Revolution Attack

The teams made their way to An Ríocht Athletic Club for a brief break before stage 1B began which took in Brosna and on to a circuit and stage finish in Knocknagoshel.

From the get go, Velo Revolution were on the attack and stringing out the bunch. This resulted in a three man break consisting of Lindsay Watson, George Mitchell and JB Murphy, however this was soon brought back by the main bunch with riders being dropped out the back on the climb up to Brosna.

Probing Attacks in The Mall

Once it entered the circuit in to Knocknagoshel, the probing attacks started to take affect with a five man break being made consisting of Tom Martin of Velo Revolution, Liam Crowley of UCD, George Kimber of Skyline, Luke Tuckwell of Trinity as well as Dominick Jackson of Foran CT who won a stage in last years Ras Mumhan.

The five riders worked their way to a gap of 52 seconds with the closest to the peloton coming down to 38 seconds. Once the five mentioned riders settled in to the fourth and fifth circuit there was no come back for the bunch.

Kimber in Yellow on Stage 2

Luke Tuckwell from Trinity attacked however, Tom Martin from Velorevolution was quick to shut it down.

The pace was high with George Kimber pressing on and applying pressure and it was between Kimber and Tuckwell for the win with George Kimber having the edge. Both were closely followed by Dom Jackson of Foran CT.

General classification leading in to Stage 2 sees George Kimber of Skyline in yellow, followed closely by Luke Tuckwell of Trinity by one second and Dom Jackson just three seconds off the yellow jersey.

You can contact The Maine Valley Post on… Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467.