Rás Tailteann 2023 - Stages Guide

The 2023 Rás Tailteann is fast approaching as riders and fans look forward to Ireland's premier stage race, taking place from May 17th to May 21st. 

We've put together a breakdown of the technical guide for each stage of the 2023 Rás Tailteann, including the expected times the riders are expected to pass through different areas. 

Stage 1: Navan to Birr – 154.8km - May 17th

Rás Táilteann 2023 will assemble and depart from Navan, Co. Meath. Both Rás Táilteann and the local Navan Road Club celebrate 70 years of existence in 2023.  

As such, the race organisers have decided to commence the event in Navan in recognition of the role that local riders have played in supporting the race since its inception in 1953. After a ceremonial start in the town, the race will travel mostly on flat roads taking in two cat 3 climbs within the first 90km.  

The final part of the stage gets much tougher as the race crests the cat 1 Wolf Trap Mountain climb 20km from the finish. A fast run-in to Birr via Kinnity concludes the stage. 

Stage 2: Birr to Ennis – 154.5km  - May 18th

Stage 2 features a tough day in the saddle as the race departs from Birr and makes its way along the rolling roads of North Tipperary, skirting Lough Derg and taking in the cat 3 climb in Portroe before crossing the Shannon into Killaloe.  

The final 50km of the stage could be very telling with 3 back-to-back cat 3 climbs and the cat 2 Maghera Mast climb all featuring. A relatively flat final 25km into the finish at Barefield awaits on the outskirts of Ennis town. 

Stage 3: Ennis to Castlebar – 149.3km - May 19th

Stage 3 is dedicated to the memory of Tommy Devereux, a Castlebar native and stalwart of Irish cycling & Rás Táilteann who sadly passed away in December 2022. On paper, stage 3 is a day for the sprinters with mostly fast and flat roads making up the route with two cat 3 climbs thrown in for good measure.  

The route takes in the towns of Ardrahan, Craughwell, Athenry, Tuam and Ballinrobe before making its way into Castlebar for a finish on Lanagh Road. 

Stage 4: Charlestown to Monaghan – 175.9km - May 20th

The race transfers to Charlestown for stage 4 départ to commence the longest stage of Rás Táilteann 2023 (~176km). The first half of the stage features mainly flat roads passing through Tulsk, Strokestown and Longford.  

The race then makes a directional change northward in Longford which features more difficult roads for the second half of the stage. The undulating roads through Co. Cavan where three cat 3 climbs are featured are sure to take their toll on the riders before a relatively flat run-in from Clones to Monaghan town.  

The final twist of stage 4 is the last 300 meters uphill to the finish outside Monaghan Cathedral. 

Stage 5: Monaghan to Blackrock – 133.4km - May 21st

After a ceremonial start in the centre of Monaghan town, the riders will make their way through the towns of Ballybay, Shercock, Kingscourt, Drumconrath, Ardee, and Castlebellingham before passing onto a slightly tweaked and extended finishing circuit in Blackrock.  

The riders will complete 4 laps of an 11.1km circuit before they finish the Rás 2023. Stage 5 also features one cat 3 climb at Meath Hill en route to Blackrock.  

After last years thrilling finale, more of the same is promised in the beautiful Co. Louth seaside town this time around.