Rás na mBan stage race
Rás na mBan (pronounced “Raws na mon” – literally “women’s race”) is Ireland’s only women’s international stage race.
Rás na mBan was established in 2006, this year the race will run for five days with six stages. The race runs from the 6th to the 10th of September and the riders will cover 400 kilometres. While the race is headquartered in Kilkenny, the racing will take place around County Kilkenny in the south of Leinster.
Twenty teams from Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands and the US are taking part. We will be following DAS-Handsling as they tackle what is billed as “one of the toughest and friendliest autumn stage races on the calendar.”
Rás na mBan stage one result
Kilkenny to Callan, 74.2 km.
Mia Griffin of Team Ireland took the first stage win and the leader’s jersey. That makes two opening stage wins for Team Ireland in two years. She said “Rás na mBan has always been my favourite race, but in my career I haven’t got a stage win here. I was close in 2021, so to get the stage win means a lot, and to do it in Kilkenny makes it even sweeter.” It’s been a tough year for Griffin, who is coming back from a concussion suffered at Paris-Roubaix in April, whilst riding for trade team Israel-Premier Tech Rolland.
The local rider stormed clear of a the bunch to take a convincing win into Callan, County Kilkenny, holding off Team Noord Holland’s Paulien Koster and DAS-Handsling’s Emma Jeffers, who crossed the line in second and third respectively.
Third placed rider on the stage Emma Jeffers of DAS-Handsling tops the standings in the Sport Ireland Best Young Rider Classification going into Stage 2, with Manon de Boer in the lead of the IVCA Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains classification.
Thursday’s stage sees riders set off for a challenging 101 kilometres from Kilkenny City to The Rower, with three categorised climbs along the way.
Rás na mBan Stage two
Stage 2 gets underway at 11:55, rolling out from the Hoban Hotel in Kilkenny on Thursday 7th of September. The opening 1.9km is neutralised before the riders take on the remainder of the 100.9km with over 1,000m of climbing.
The stage will speed through a number of picturesque towns where the roads narrow and wide. This will force the riders to consider their positioning in the bunch before reaching Thomastown. This is where the QOH competition will start to fully come to life.
Riders will take on “The Rower” climb twice, at 53.6km and again at 100.8km. The Category 2 climb is 2.2km in length, averaging 5.3% and maxing out at 7.5%. Descending down from the Rower takes riders on to “the Coppenagh” climb 6.2km long at an average of 3.4%.