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Ireland’s premier women’s stage race Rás na mBan expands
 
By Staff
Date: 5/17/2011
Ireland’s premier women’s stage race Rás na mBan expands
 
Cycling Ireland Women's Commission are pleased to announce that An Post, Ireland’s postal service, has taken over title sponsorship of Rás na mBan, Ireland’s premier international stage race for women.

This year’s event marks the 25th anniversary of Irish international women’s stage racing and the race promoter, Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission, is celebrating that milestone by expanding An Post Rás na mBan from three to five days.

The cream of Ireland's racing talent is set to do battle with international teams and riders from across Europe and beyond from Wednesday, September 14 to Sunday, September 18 over six stages totaling 400 kilometers of racing.

Image provided by Rás na mBan. Irish Road Champion Olivia Dillon (also with U.S. based women’s pro team Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12).

For the fourth year in succession An Post Rás na mBan 2011 will be based in the picturesque surroundings of the Ring of Kerry where the riders will benefit from unrivalled central accommodation at the four-star Sneem Hotel whose proprietor Louis Moriarty has been a long time supporter of the event.

The riders face five challenging road stages and a short time trial on challenging and often hilly roads through some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland.

Once again, the event carries valuable financial and personnel support from the Irish Veteran’s Cycling Association.

Race organizer Valerie Considine believes the move to five days will further enhance the status of the already popular race.

“Five days will help broaden the appeal for international and domestic teams and riders and the support from An Post, Sneem Hotel and IVCA provides an important platform to help facilitate this expansion,” says Considine.

“This event has really come into its own and developed a strong identity since the move to Kerry four years ago and we’re looking to build on that this year.

"Last year's race had a record entry and, judging by the unprecedented interest from teams already, we're set to top that this year."

Last year’s winner Olivia Dillon is already making plans to return from her US base to defend her title. The reigning national road and time trial champion scored a unique treble with a dominant victory in Kerry and is looking forward to the extra challenges offered by the move to five days this year.

“My victory last year will always be special to me and I’m very much looking forward to defending my title over five days in September,” says Mayo-native Dillon. “The race has a unique atmosphere of friendly rivalry and stunning location.

“Two more road stages on the tough, hilly roads around the Ring of Kerry will be an extra challenge this year and I’m sure there are plenty of riders lining up to take my crown. I’m up for the battle!”

Full details of the route and participating teams will be announced in due course.

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PAST WINNERS

2010 Olivia Dillon, Ireland
2009 Emma Trott, England
2008 Louise Moriarty, Ireland
2007 Marit Huisman, Netherlands
2006 Stephenie Gronow, Germany
2005 Elisabeth Braam, Netherlands
2004 Louise Moriarty, Ireland
2003 Angela Hunter, England
2002 Esther van der Helm, Netherlands
2001 Esther van der Helm, Netherlands
2000 Julie Hooper, England
1999 Louise Jones, England
1998 Claire Moore, Ireland
1997 Susan O’Mara, Ireland
1996 Angela Hunter, England
1995 Helena Kinsella, Ireland
1994 Marie Purvis, Isle of Man
1993 Claire Moore, Ireland
1992 Claire Moore, Ireland
1990 Kim Staff, England
1989 Patricia Anderson, Ireland
1988 Claire Moore, Ireland
1987 Fiona Madden, Ireland
1986 Marie O’Donoghue, Ireland


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