A Conversation with Michéal O Shea on Rás 2016 and cycling in Kerry
Michéal O Shea took some time out of a really busy week to talk with us on the Mid Kerry Journal about his upcoming Rás. It is hard to believe that Michéal only took on cycling just over 4 years ago and this week is setting his sights on Irelands most competitive cycling race. It is easy to understand after a few minutes talking to Michéal that he has a huge passion for the sport and that he has worked incredibly hard to get to this stage.
After falling off a horse and injuring his hip Michéal was advised by his physio that he should take up cycling. After taking his advice and get bitten by the bug, he explained that he went from strength to strength – From starting with a charity cycle in Milltown called the Stephanie O Sullivan Memorial Cycle. He went from there to competing and progressing right up along the ranks from A4 right up to A1.
The Rás itself is a massive undertaking and Micheal will be competing with professional cyclist that are in training for the upcoming Olympics. The action gets underway on Sunday May 22 from Dublin Castle, Dublin City, with stage finishes in Multyfarnham, Charleville, Dingle, Sneem, Clonakilty, Dungarvan, Baltinglass and finishing in Skerries. It covers an incredible 1,235 kilometres of the country.
After building up a strong relationship with the Nenagh Cycling Club, Michéal will be a guest cyclist on their team for the Rás this year. We at Mid Kerry Journal would like you to head out and give them a warm welcome as they come ripping through the county.
Stage 2 and 4 are on the Tuesday and Wednesday respectively and it is the Wednesday where Mid Kerry will see most of the action as the race makes it’s way from Dingle to Sneem.
At the halfway stage of the whole race, this will be a serious test to every rider and the 170 km’s will we a grueling one with 2 category 3 climbs and a category 2 AND a category 1 climb thrown in for good measure.
When the cyclists hit the finishing line by the Sneem Hotel there will be some tired legs only to have to hop on the bikes again the following day and cycle from there to Clonakilty.
If you want to get more information on the route and the details of the race, you can get them here.