Skip to main content


Dean Harvey, in the white jersey of young rider classification leader, on the final circuit in Killorglin at Kerry Group Rás Mumhan 12 months ago, when victory soon turned into disappointment (Photo: Caroline Kerley)

Rás Mumhan, sponsored by Dornan, gets underway at 12 noon today for five stages of racing over the next four days. And while there is plenty of international opposition – including a strong contingent from Britain – the general classification is normally won by the Irish.

This year there is an intriguing mix of top Irish riders on the start line. Some have been regarded as very talented up and comers in recent seasons, but are now moving in the ranks of the more established performers. Others make up a new wave of young guns now on the rise.

We’ve picked out these seven Irish riders as the ones to watch this weekend on the roads of Kerry and Cork.

Dean Harvey Trinity Racing

Harvey, who has just turned 21-years-old, is a top competitor for Ireland and, still with this season and next to run at U23 level, he has been an outstanding performed on the road and in cyclocross. He very nearly won Rás Mumhan overall last year; crossing the line first on the final stage and seemingly taking the yellow jersey from Finn Crockett. However, he was judged to have had some additional assistance while getting back on after a mechanical and was penalised, losing the stage and overall. But he was one of the very strong riders in the race and it is expected that will not change for the 2024 edition. He will be gunning to win this year, backed by his team.

Sam Coleman Irish Junior Team

The 18-year-old Irish junior – competing on the national team this weekend – has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season. He goes into this weekend not only in great form but with his confidence riding high after recent big wins. He claimed victory in the Mapei Classic in France last month followed by a stage win at Rás Mhaigh Eo, victory in the Tour of Ards and a stage and overall win at La Route d’Éole Juniors two-stage race in France last weekend. The 18-year-old will now, for the first time, go into a major elite Irish stage race as one to watch, which will be a new experience for him this weekend.

Seth Dunwoody Irish Junior Team

Dunwoody (17), a team mate of Coleman’s on the Irish junior team this weekend, has shown great form in Europe so far this year and rode very strong at Rás Mumhan last season. He was to the fore on the final stage, placing 2nd, and ended the race 8th overall; a fine performance for a first year junior. Since then his progression has continued at pace and already this year he has been 2nd in Kuurne-Kuurne Juniors, won the Annaclone GP at home and finished 5th overall in the Guido Reybrouck Juniors stage race in Belgium. He is a favourite for a stage win this weekend and will also look to make a big impression in the general classification.

Daire Feeley All human-VeloRevolution

Feeley (27) told stickybottle on the opening day of the season he had put in a big winter and was determined to be on top on the home scene this season. He has certainly set out his stall early, with five wins so far, including both the Boyne GP and Des Hanlon Memorial last weekend. The Rás Tailteann winner from two years ago is definitely a potential overall winner this weekend. He will need to be extra sharp to be as strong this weekend as he has on Irish roads in recent weeks, considering the international contingent that will bolster the field at Rás Mumhan. But few would bet against Feeley making a big impression over the next four days.

George Peden Cycling Ulster

Peden, a 24-year-old perhaps best known for his TT abilities, has finished on the podium in four of his five road race outings on home roads so far this season. That consistency would mark him out as one to watch at Rás Mumhan in any season but his performance last Sunday at the Des Hanlon Memorial was notable. He was very strong – maybe the strongest in the race – on the final climb, though ultimately beaten to victory by Daire Feeley. However, if Peden has those legs against this weekend, and he got a bit of luck, his form could carry him very far indeed over the next four days.

Jamie Meehan Cycling Ulster

Meehan (20) is plying his trade this year in France with top elite team CC Etupes. He performed especially will on the Kerryman’s Table finish last year at Rás Mumhan, racing to 6th on the day. Later in the year he put up even better performances, including at the National Road Championships where he claimed the U23 road race crown. He is already well underway in France this year and his 6th place at the 166km Annemasse-Bellegarde last weekend suggests Meehan is coming into form at the right time.

Conn McDunphy Team Skyline

McDunphy (27) has developed into one of the best riders in Ireland in recent seasons and is also a former elite national TT champion. He has won many races in his day but is due a big stage race win, and this might be the weekend for him. He has done most his racing so far this year – with new team Skyline – in Greece, where he has ridden two stage races and three one-day events before placing 6th at the Des Hanlon Memorial last weekend. He suffered a crash in Carlow last Sunday and, but for that, night have been at the front with Daire Feeley and George Peden.

#Irish #riders #watch #Dornan #Rás #Muman #Youth #experience

Source link