Blackrock was thronged last Sunday afternoon as the famous Rás cycling race concluded in the village with Roscommon man Daire Feeley from the Cork based ‘All Human Velo Revolution’ team. The huge event began the week with 8 International Teams, 30 National Teams, over 170 professional cyclists and a cavalcade of 44 vehicles consisting of Gardai, support crew, media and marshalls.
The 67th edition of the race saw cyclists race around Ireland with stage finishes in Horse and Jockey, Castleisland, Lisdoonvarna, Kilbeggan, before starting the final stage in Kinnegad to the finishing circuit the village of Blackrock. In total cyclists covered 756km with 8 categorised climbs as competitors battled it out for the coveted Rás yellow jersey.
By day five there were 150 cyclists remaining who sped through the packed village of Blackrock for the finishing laps of the five day Rás which has been one by some of the biggest names in Irish cycling including Stephen Roche. An Rás Tailteannn as it is now known was returning after a four year absence having failed to sort out a sponsor in 2019 before being postponed due to Covid a year later. Local organisers including Pat O’Shaughnessy from Cuchulainn Cycling Club had worked tirelessly to ensure the event was a success and they must have been delighted to see the huge crowds on show not only in Blackrock but across Mid-Louth as cyclists raced towards the finish in the village.
Kevin McCambridge won the final stage but it was Daire Feeley who took overall honours as he finished safely in the main pack having protected his lead on the final day. Minister for Sport Jack Chambers was on hand to welcome the Roscommon man home and signal the end of a very successful five days for An Rás Tailteann