This year’s An Post Ras na mBan is set to be the biggest ever with 24 teams signing up for the 10th edition of Ireland’s top international stage race for women.
As the deadline for entries to this year’s landmark anniversary edition of the event passed on Monday evening, race organiser Valerie Considine confirmed that four more squads than in 2014 are set to make the trip to Co. Clare in September.
The entry list, to be revealed shortly, includes 10 teams from Britain, seven from Ireland, three from the Netherlands and single teams from France, Norway,Denmark and the US.
Riders from Sweden, Australia, Belgium and New Zealand are also entered with those teams making it 13 different countries represented on the entry list for the five-day, six-stage event starting on September 9th.
In total there are 112 riders with the 24 different squads and the event can expect record participation levels from overseas and local competitors.
In addition there is an increase in Junior and Under 23 competitors indicating the event’s growing status as a development race for emerging international riders.
Ras na mBan is a five-day event and begins on Wednesday, September 9.
Valerie Considine: “It’s particularly encouraging to see so many teams from at home and abroad preparing for the tenth edition of our race,” said Considine.
“It’s great that so many talented Irish riders are focused on doing battle against an increased entry from abroad.
“Looking at the entry list for Ras na mBan I truly believe that this is one of the most open fields in years and there will be many riders with genuine hopes of pulling on the final pink An Post overall winner’s jersey in Ennis on September 13.”
Reigning Irish Road Race Champion Lydia Boylan will travel from her base in Nottingham with Team UNT as the Irish Olympic Track Squad member chases a first overall success in Ras na mBan.
Having finished eighth on general classification at Ras na mBan while supporting team-mate Olivia Dillon to victory in 2013, Boylan will benefit from a season of international racing and will be looking forward to racing for overall honours with her UK registered squad.
Ranged against her is the best of the locally-based riders including Eve McCrystal and a talented Richie’s Garda CC squad.
Long-time Belgian-based rider Michelle Geoghegan from Kerry has assembled a talented Team Steen Wear lineup, while regular event supporters Lakeside Wheelers return as do Cycling Ulster.
Meanwhile, there are debut appearances from De Ronde Von Cork, Nenagh Cycling Club and Magnet.ie Nicolas Roche Performance Team including emerging Junior talent Emily Birchall.
In addition, Irish junior star Ciara Doogan, fresh from an impressive debut in the European Road Championships, will guest with the Danish Rytger squad in her first appearance in An Post Rás na mBan.