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Consolation for Kingdom comes with Rás Mumhan

County Kerry in general may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms with the news that Darragh ó Sé has ended his 16-year inter-county career. But thankfully the cycling fraternity is as happy as the Easter bunny.

Why all the excitement? Well, in a nutshell, they have secured the support of the Kerry Group for the sponsorship of Rás Mumhan.

The starting flag will be unfurled on Good Friday and at around midday on Easter Monday the chequered flag will be waved for the survivors of a truly classic event.

It is indeed the first big stage race of the Irish cycle racing calendar, and with a total of almost 500km and 26 categorised climbs, 10 in the last 40k, this year's Rás will see a field of over 120 riders battle it out to be crowned the 2010 winner.

The four-day event will see changes to the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan route,

The race will start on Good Friday at 3.30pm in Killorglin with a new stage that will take in Milltown and Caragh Lake, a distance of 96km with three minor climbs on the way, before finishing in Killorglin.

Another new stage on Saturday begins in Killarney at 11am and will take the riders to Kilgarvan and Kenmare before travelling out the Beara Peninsula, over the Healy Pass, on to Glengarriff, through the Tunnel road, on to the second passage through Kenmare and finish on top of Moll's Gap.

Four major climbs in the second half of this 140km stage will be a huge test for all cyclists participating in the race.

Easter Sunday sees the race back in South Kerry. On Easter Monday, the action starts at 10am in Killorglin. There will be KOH points on the finish line of each lap, so the race for the climber's jersey will be up for grabs right to the end. Teams from Ireland, England, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg and Holland have already registered for the event.

Entry forms, rules and regulations are on the website

www.rasmumhan.com


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