Jackson Victorious in Rás Tailteann

Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

The 69th edition of the Rás Tailteann did not disappoint. The prestigious race once again attracted a large entry field and large crowds as it toured Ireland from Wednesday through to Sunday. 

Going into the fifth and final stage there was very little separating riders in the battle for General Classification. As the riders entered the first of three circuits to be completed in Bective, Co. Meath it was all to play for. 

Having topped General Classification after Stage 2 and held onto a marginal lead throughout Stages 3 and 4, it was Dom Jackson, riding for Foran CT, who was crowned winner of the 2024 Rás Tailteann. 

Jackson knew it was all to play for in the final stage. He said: 

“It was all up for grabs. I didn't believe it and there were moments today I nearly had a cry mid-race. Genuinely, I thought it was all over. My teammates just came out of nowhere and pulled the whole things back together with the help of some other teams.”

Hot on his heels was Conn McDunphy. The Stage 2 winner, riding for Skyline, kept the pressure on Jackson but ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot. Also in the running for the yellow jersey was Ireland’s Liam O’Brien who finished third. 

O’Brien did not go home emptyhanded, he won the Leading Under 23 Rider Overall, and his stellar performance throughout the week, including a second place finish in Stage 2, has left him as a rider to watch for the future. 

O’Brien was part of a strong Irish team, consisting of 2023 winner Dillon Corkery alongside Dean Harvey, Liam Crowley and Odhran Doogan. 

Consistent performances over the course of the five stages, saw Ireland finish second in the overall National / International Team Standings. Victory went to Skyline and Wheelbase completed the podium. 

Corkery finished fourth in Stage 1 and Stage 5, and Doogan was third in Stage 3 and seventh in Stage 4. Harvey came home with the KOM jersey, four points clear of his nearest rival. 

In the Irish Country / Provincial overall rankings, Velo Revolution were victorious. Cycling Leinster were second and Bray Wheelers finished third.  

In the Cycling Ireland A2 and A3 standings, Greg Clarke won the A2 and Derek Joyce won the A3. Matteo Cigala won the overall Irish County Rider. 

2024 Route 

Getting underway on Wednesday, the Rás Tailteann began in Tullamore and headed 147.6km south to Kilmallock. Stage 2 was the longest of the five stages, with riders tackling 183.8km from Kanturk to Sneem. 

Stage 3 travelled north-east, from Kenmare to Cahir, with a distance of 154.8km. Getting underway from Horse and Jockey, Stage 4 was 143.7km, finishing in Kildare town. 

The final stage began in Maynooth and travelled a gruelling 155.6km to Bective. 

Race Director Ger Cambell said: 

“The route was spectacular this year, it was a little bit better designed. It’s been popular with the riders even through it’s probably been harder. The weather has been kind, the racing has been fantastic and what a finale here in Bective."

The atmosphere in Bective was electric, and despite some showers, the crowds were out in force. Campbell added: 

“I’ve said it before, I’ve been to the Worlds and to lots of events but the Rás is always the Rás. It’s special to have a crowd like this here and I suppose we look forward to the 70th edition of the Rás next year”

Stage Winners
Stage 1Alex Pritchard
Richardsons Trek DAS
Stage 2Conn McDunphy
Skyline Cadence 
Stage 3Cormac McGeough
Canel’s Java
Stage 4Tom Martin
Stage 5Tim Shoreman