Launch of Kerry Aherns BMW/Opel Rás team
Published 30/04/2014 | 05:36
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 18-25 2014.
This is the third 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 villages 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.
Kerry Aherns BMW/OPEL Rás team will consist of five riders and a support crew of three under the management of Brendan Cassidy, secretary of Killarney Cycling Club.
The An Post RÁS starts in Dunboyne, Co Meath on Sunday May 18th and consists of eight stages in an anti-clockwise circuit of Ireland finishing on Sunday 25th May.
Team members are Matt Slattery, John Mannix, Mike Lucey, Benny Cassidy and Cathal Moynihan under manager Brendan Cassidy, soigneur Brendan Slattery, physio Cian Hogan and mechanic Mike Shaughnessy.
RÁS historians in Kerry will find it entirely appropriate that the name Ahern is to take its place in the great race again this May.
The name is as synonymous with the big event as: Breen, (Eamonn) Brosnan, (Brendan and Johnny) Drumm, (Johnny) Fitzgerald, (Paudie) Mangan, Gene and John and Murphy, (Mick).
Dan Ahern - an uncle of Paul and Pat Ahern of Ahern's Garage - had two runners-up Rás Tailteann placings during the most competitive and toughest period of its history. His credentials as a 'Man of the Rás' are well beyond argument. In the 1960 event he had three stage wins and ended the week as runner-up to the great Paddy Flanagan of Kildare.
Three years later, in 1963, Ahern was still making waves at the highest level and now the opposition included the fearsome Polish team of that time.
The Rás was sponsored at this time by The Farmers' Journal and this snippet from a week-long report by Tom Keogh puts Dan Ahern's achievements in perspective. You'll understand why it is so appropriate then that the Ahern name is up there with the best of them in this year's RÁS.
Rás Tailteann 7th. July -14th.July 1963: RAS STAGE FOR AHERN
Dan Ahern of Kerry, who was beaten in the sprint to the line on two occasions by the Pole, Zbijniew Glowaty, got sweet revenge on the sixth stage of Ras Tailteann, which finished in Clonmel yesterday. Ahern, a 23-year-old dairy farmer from Castleisland, was the first man over the line, followed by race leader, Glowaty, with Carrick-on-Suir rider, Patsy Wall, placed third...The best feature yesterday from the Irish point of view was, of course Ahern's eclipse of the Pole on the way to the line, but for a yellow jersey to stay up with the leaders, as Glowaty did all day, was a fine achievement.