This was a big weekend for cycling enthusiasts with the first stage of the An Post Rás taking place from Dunboyne to Kilkenny and a major cycling show on at Dublin’s RDS.
This year’s An Post Rás has 170 riders from 17 international and 18 Irish teams and will take place across the country over the next seven days before finishing in Skerries, County Dublin next Sunday.
The defending Champion team is the An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team which races out of Belgium. This is the 60th staging of the race and it appears to go from strength to strength. There is reported to be significant interest in the development of an Irish based professional team which would compete internationally.
The Irish Cycling Show also drew a large crowd to the RDS in Dublin over the past two days. Stephen Roche was there to remember the 25th anniversary of his Tour de France victory and there were stunt cycling displays and trade areas catering for the large number of sporting and recreational cyclists in Ireland.
A recent report by the Irish Bicycle Business Association put the value of the Irish cycling economy at just less than €140 million.