2024 Rás Tailteann: First Sponsor And First Two Visiting Teams Announced

Ahead of the 2024 edition of the Rás Tailteann from May Wednesday, May 22nd to Sunday, May 26th, race organisers have announced the first sponsor as well as the first two visiting teams.

First Sponsor

The first sponsor of the 2024 event will be Work Permits Ireland, who are the official sponsor of the rider numbers.

Work Permits Ireland was established in 2018 to effectively manage employment permit applications for a variety of industries and clients nationally and internationally. Its dedicated staff has experience processing, managing, and delivering all types of employment permits issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment.

Colm Hilliard, director of Work Permits Ireland, is a keen sportsman, involved for many years in Gaelic football as a player, coach and administrator with his club, St. Colmcille’s in East Meath. Colm is “proud to be associated with the Rás, as a good few people from East Meath were involved with this race, particularly the Nulty brothers from Cooperhill and many others.” However, his “friendship and as a work colleague with Louis White, a native of Platin, Drogheda, and a renowned team manager and a motivator ahead of his time in the Rás, is the main reason for this sponsorship.”

Louis was a proud and knowledgeable sportsman in every sense of the word. His love for cycling is well-known locally and nationally. Colm expressed that “the fact that we have a stage of the Rás in East Meath this year is very special”.

Colm and Work Permits Ireland have sponsored local amateur sports clubs in East Meath and this year decided to make a gesture of sponsorship to the Rás “in support of the great voluntary efforts over the years of very many people, particularly the likes of Ger Campbell”.

Ger Campbell, Race Director, expressed his gratitude to Colm and the team at Work Permits Ireland. He added, “Having Colm and Work Permits Ireland join the race as a commercial partner is very special, and we are sure his generosity will help to keep Louis White’s vision for the sport alive.”

First Two Visiting Teams

The first visiting team of the 2024 event is Team Wheelbase/Cabtech/Castelli, who return after their debut in the race in 2023.

On returning to the event, Team Manager Stuart Reid said:

“We return to the Rás after making a very successful debut in 2023, where we came away with two stage wins, the points jersey, the best team overall on GC, and a rider less than 10 seconds off the final general classification podium. After returning from last year's Rás, we went on to finish 2nd team overall in the British National Road Series and 1st team overall in the British National Circuit Series, including two wins.”

When asked about the team's preparation for this season, Reid said:

“We will return to this year’s Rás after a number of National B road races, in which we have had two wins already, along with the first two rounds of the National Road Series - The East Cleveland Classic and the Lincoln GP, as well as the UCI CiCLE Classic.”

Welcoming Wheelbase/Cabtech/Castelli back to the event, Ger Campbell, Race Director, said:

“With a top-five finish and being the highest-placed team in the event, Wheelbase/Cabtech/Castelli had a stellar debut in the Rás in 2023, and we look forward to seeing them bring their talent to the Irish roads again this year.”

The second visiting team of the 2024 event is Foran Cycling Team, who return after their debut in the race in 2022.

Foran Cycling Team (previously Foran CCC) was set up in 2019 by Tom Quaid and Paul Lavelle (Directors of Foran Construction) and has very much been a rider-run team since its inception. In essence, the team is a group of working professionals who strive to race at the highest level alongside their careers, whether that is National Road Series events or overseas stage races.

When asked about their hopes for Rás 2024, Quaid and Lavelle said:

“Last year was a big step up for Foran, and we posed a real GC threat. Sadly, we couldn’t pull it off, but it ignited the desire of our riders to put themself in the best position ahead of selection and this has boosted the strength of the team. After banking even more mileage over winter around full-time jobs, we hope to play a major role in the race, with results on stages and for the overall GC.”

With respect to preparation plans, Quaid described the hard work that the riders are putting in:

“Every Sunday, Foran rides together, rain or shine. Combined with social activities and team camps, this creates a big family feel for the team. During races, this is then leaned on heavily as we all know each other really well and can support each other. Outside of the Foran trip to Tenerife, some riders have gone on other holidays/training camps to escape the London rain and bank some training miles.”

Welcoming Foran CT back to the event, Ger Campbell, Race Director, said:

“With a top-ten finish in last year's Rás and some really strong performances, Foran CT are certainly a team to watch at this year's event.”

2024 Rás Tailteann

This year, the event will kick off from Tullamore, County Offaly in Ireland’s Midlands, where the first stage finish will be in Kilmallock. This will be the first-ever Rás Tailteann stage to finish in the County Limerick town.

The 2024 edition will also have finishes in Sneem, County Kerry, on the famous ‘Ring of Kerry’, Cahir, County Tipperary which will see the first finish there since 1967 and Kildare Town, County Kildare with the fifth and final stage of the 2024 Rás Tailteann finishing in Bective, County Meath where the race will take in three laps of a 14.1KM spectator-friendly finishing circuit.

784.8KM of Irish roads awaits this year's entrants with a total of eighteen categorised climbs over the five stages, including two category one climbs on stages two and four.