The An Post Rás is an annual, eight-day, stage race around Ireland. The race is Ireland’s number one cycling event and will take place from May 22 – 29, 2016. This is the sixth year of An Post’s sponsorship of the celebrated Rás Tailteann, which is more commonly known as The Rás. The epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events bringing world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and village’s nationwide. The Rás has a worldwide reputation of being a gruelling challenge in the elite, international calendar. The open racing style allows amateur county and club riders to pit themselves against domestic and international professionals. Charleville will be the venue for the finish of Stage 2 on Monday 23rd May 2016 and the starting point of Stage 3 the following morning Tuesday 24th.
After the huge success of the 2014 event, Charleville Chamber of Commerce are delighted to once again bring An Post Rás to Charleville. The 2014 event was a great boost to the local businesses and retailers and we are confident 2016 will be even more successful. Charleville Chamber of Commerce would like to say a huge thank you to Cork County Council and Charleville Park Hotel, because without their help and support, Charleville would not have been chosen as a host town. As part of the event, we organised an Art Competition for local schools, with St. Josephs Infant School, St. Anne’s Primary, Charleville C.B.S Primary and Charleville Holy Family School taking part. The theme of the competition is ‘Cycling and Healthy Living’ and the entries to date have been excellent. We would like to offer a huge thanks to both students and teachers for their hard work. There will be 5 winners picked, and the 5 students will receive their prize of a cycling jersey up on stage on Monday may 23rd. This will be a great experience for the kids. There will also be a ‘Ms An Post Rás’ elected and she will present the top 3 cyclists with flower bouquets on stage, and pose for photographs for the large media attendance.
Charleville will be the destination for the finish of Stage 2, which starts in Mullingar. The competitors will be arriving from the Kilmallock direction and are expected in Charleville around 2.40 pm on the Monday, so let’s hope for an exciting finish. Stage 3 will start from Charleville on Tuesday morning at 11 am heading in the Newtownshandrum direction, and Stage 3 will finish in Dingle later that afternoon. As of now, there is 175 cyclists registered for the main race. These cyclists come from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, New Zealand, U.S.A as well as Ireland. These cyclists will all be staying in Charleville overnight. On top of that, there will be team managers, team personnel and mechanics. That will bring the overall figure to 550. There will be a large number of reporters, photographers and film crews, as well as live coverage on local radio.
If 2014 is anything to go by, we expect a huge number of spectators from the Charleville area, as well as the rest of Ireland and the competitors countries already mentioned. Charleville will be a hub of activity for the two days, which will be a huge boost to the local economy.