Ulster Cycling News

Ras Dhun na nGall Returns to South- West Donegal

With club cycling very visible around Donegal and local riders becoming well known, the showpiece Ras Dhun na nGall is taking to the roads around Ardara over the coming weekend. Sponsored by the Nesbitt Arms Hotel and the Ardara Town Traders, this exciting and colorful stage race will see 180 of the country's best young riders take on some of Ireland's most difficult cycling terrain. Riders from the Four Masters CC, Errigal CC, AAA Cycling, Strabane- Lifford CC and Tir Chonaill Gap CC will race against some of the top up- and- coming riders hoping to make the Ireland team, as well as established riders competing for the love of the sport.


The race has always been an important stepping stone for riders with ambitions of going to the highest levels of the sport, and several of our previous competitors have gone on to win big races all over Ireland, Britain and Europe.


The 2015 Ras Dhun na nGall takes to the roads this coming Friday evening, leaving Ardara and heading through Kilraine, Frosses, Dunkineely and Bruckless and returning to Ardara via the Five Points. This stage will be short, fast and more than likely will end in a big bunch sprint along the Main Street in Ardara, with the heaving bunch hitting in excess of 40mph in the race to the line.

Bunch sprint Ardara


Saturday morning sees the riders in Maghera for a time- trial, which while short, will see the maximum effort from each rider as time lost or gained here may prove to be critical to the overall result of the race. Each rider will ride flat out uphill for just under two miles, and the fastest riders will cover the distance in around six and a half minutes. After a short recovery period, the riders leave Ardara again in the afternoon on a 51-mile stage that takes them through Maas and Glenties before turning at Fintown for Doochary and Lettermacaward and through Glenties to finish at the school in Ardara.


The final stage, at lunchtime on Sunday, is by far the most difficult as the riders race from Ardara through Bruckless, Dunkineely, Glenties, Clooney and Ardara again before finishing on the famous Glengesh Pass. Glengesh is known throughout Irish cycling circles as being one of the most difficult climbs in the country, friendly for spectators but much less so for the cyclists themselves at the end of three hard days of racing. While the overall winner will take the plaudits on Sunday evening in Ardara, all the riders will be content in the knowledge that they will have just completed one of the hardest races in Irish cycling.

Daire Feeley in yellow


The racing will be hard and fast for the entire weekend, and while some traffic delays may take place in the south west of the county over the weekend, the public has always been hugely supportive of the race, and the riders appreciate the courtesy and appreciation shown to them by all along the route.

Story via Press Release
Pics Marian Lamb

Approximate time schedules:


Friday 5th June:

Stage 1

Depart Ardara:                        7.30pm
Frosses:                                   8.11
Dunkineely:                             8.27
Bruckless:                                8.32
Arrive Ardara                          9.00pm

Saturday 6th June:

Stage 2

First rider starts Maghera:     9.01am
Last rider finishes:                  12.20pm


Stage 3:

Depart Ardara:                        2.30pm
Clooney:                                  2.50
Glenties:                                  3.06
Fintown:                                  3.29
Doochary:                                3.41
Lettermacaward:                    4.10
Glenties:                                  4.31
Finish Ardara:                          4.48pm


Sunday 7th June:

Stage 4

Depart Ardara:                        12.00noon
Bruckless:                                12.31
Dunkineely:                             12.35
Glenties:                                  1.16
Clooney:                                  1.33
Ardara 1st passage:                 1.48
Ardara 2nd passage:                2.30
Finish Glengesh:                      2.44pm






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