This weekend see’s a young up and coming Northern Irish rider take on the big guns in their own back yard. Long time friend of VC Iveagh and someone who has helped the club in the background Chris ‘Kipper’ McGlinchey will ride for the Irish Development Team at the Ras Mumhan in a race that starts this Friday. It’s a massive step up for him but judging by results thus far in 2016, he is more than ready for it.
Chris has had a meteoric rise over the last few years, only taking up road cycling towards the end of 2014 but in his first season he jumped from A4 to A1 in only a matter of weeks. When Chris first mentioned he was thinking of swapping Downhill Mountain biking for road racing I thought he would do well, his MTB background standing him in good stead for the hustle and bustle of road racing, but I have to admit, I thought it would take him a little longer to develop his road skills that it has. Yet with each race he has shown exactly what he was capable off, his performances are one of consistency, with the seemingly only weakness being a lack of team around him and having to battle alone against some of the strongest teams in the province.
Over the Easter weekend Chris will take on one of the hardest races on the Irish racing calendar, the Ras Mumhan. This year the route will total a race distance of 500km and will include 23 categorised climbs, no easy feat, and with one of the biggest fields ever to compete in the event, Chris will be up against over 180 elite riders with teams from Ireland England, Scotland and Holland forming up on the start line. I have absolutely no doubt ‘Kipper’ will hold his own among the elite field but whatever the result, everyone in VC Iveagh shall be wishing him well and no doubt bringing him back to earth on his return.
You can find full details of each stage and links to both the Ras Mumhan and Chris’s website below:
Stage 1. Good Friday March 25th. 3.00pm Killorglin-Sliabh Luachra-Killorglin.
This is the sixth consecutive year to go to the Sliabh Luachra region of East Kerry. The Ras will start at 3.00pm in Killorglin taking the riders to Killarney, on to Kilcummin, Scartaglin, Castleisland, Currans, Ballyfinnane, Firies, Milltown and finishing in Killorglin around 5.15pm, a total of 106km with three climbs.
Stage 2. Saturday March 26th. 11.00am Kenmare- Beara – Kenmare.
This will be a big day for cycling in Kenmare & West Cork. The race will leave Kenmare at 11.00am. The route will take the riders to Lauragh, on to the Category 1 climb over the Healy Pass, which is one of the two category 1 climbs this year, down into Adrigole, on to Glengarriffe, Ballylickey, Kealkill, the Climb of Keimaneigh, Ballingeary, then Category 2 climb of Reanaree, Ballyvourney, another Category 2 Climb over the County Bounds, on to Kilgarvan and finish back in Kenmare at 2.15 pm, a total journey of 145km.
Stage 3. Easter Sunday March 27th 11.15am Waterville and Coom an Easpaigh Stage.
This stage has a 11.15 start in the South Kerry town of Waterville and the leading riders are expected at the finish back in Waterville again at 2.15pm. The 135km route includes the Category 1 Coom an Easpaigh climb introduced last year for the first time in many years. The stage takes in Ballinskelligs The Glen, Cahirsiveen, Dromid, Portmagee on to the Category 1 Climb at Coom an Easpaigh, St Finians Bay before going back to Ballinskelligs and on to the finish in Waterville. There are 4 other climbs along the way including two Category 2 ascents in what is regarded as one of the classic road stages of any race in these islands.
Stage 4. Easter Monday March 28th 10.00am Beaufort and Killorglin Stage.
The final Stage will start at 10.00am, after 3 laps of the Killorglin–Beaufort-Killorglin circuit, the riders will go on to the Donal McKenna circuit for 10 laps which will take them up the famous hill in the town centre each time, a total distance of 117km There is a cat 4 climb at the line each time which will keep the King of the Mountain title up for grabs right to the finish line. This is where the race was won and lost last year which adds to the excitement on the last day. Expected finish time of 12.30.pm.