Friends First St. Tiernans send team to the 2017 An Post Rás

Brian O’Neill, Strategic Marketing Director with Friends First, pictured here with Adam Greally.

For the first time in its 30 year history, St. Tiernans Cycling Club will be entering a team in Irelands only Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) categorised race, the 2017 An Post Rás. Renowned as one of Europe’s most unpredictable and unique stages races, ‘The Rás’ will roll out of Dublin Castle the morning of Sunday May 21st and arrive back to Skerries the following Sunday, May 28th. The eight stages, comprising of 1200km in total, will finish in Longford, Newport, Bundoran, Dungloe, Donegal and Ardee respectively before the finale in Skerries. This year’s race, after a few forays south in the past number of editions, has a firmly north western flavour.

As the race twists and turns towards the North, stage 6 on 26th May will be on the rider’s minds as it is then they will tackle the fearsome Glengesh pass, a climb the St. Tiernans riders know well from their participation in Rás Dhun na nGall over its last three editions. Team rider James Quinn spoke of their preparation which began in earnest last November, “We have ridden all of the major stage races this year in preparation and we know what level you need to be at to compete at races like the Rás. Every bike racer in Ireland aspires to become a man of the Rás and we are delighted have Friends First on board with us as we commit to achieving just that, adding another 5 men to that list.”

Brian O’Neill, Strategic Marketing Director with Friends First said “We are delighted to support the Friends First St. Tiernans Rás team and continue our association with the sport and with the club. We are in our fifth year of supporting the clubs open race in Laragh, Co. Wicklow, and it is exciting to see them develop further and compete at this level. This is Ireland’s premier cycling event and has always been held in high regard countrywide. I think its association with the County team’s means there is a common thread with amateur sport whilst it is certainly operating at a professional level. We are happy to be associated an event that really is part of Irelands sporting history.”
The Rás has always been in a unique position when it comes to amateurs racing with professionals, the ‘county’ teams bringing an air of unpredictability to the sometimes metronomic world of professional racing. Adam Greally of the Friends First St. Tiernans Team said, “When you are a nine to five worker racing against a nine to five cyclist you know it is going to difficult but that is part of the attraction of the Rás, the amateurs and professionals racing together. It is something the bigger teams enjoy and is one of the unique features of the race”.

When asked about the level of training and dedication to getting to this point he said “The commitment has been huge and unwavering from all on the team and without Friends First coming on board it may have all been in vain, we were delighted to get them to back us. It will all be new for the majority of the team including myself, John (O’Regan) and James (Quinn) but we have two experienced guys in Niall (O’Dwyer), Ronan (Killeen) and our manager Justin (McGee) , who have been through it all before so we will not be without some race knowledge. When you see some of the names on the start list you begin to wonder but the Rás would not be the race it is if it wasn’t for the county teams and we have to thank our sponsors Friends First, Parcel Zone and Brendan Bonnie for helping us to maintain that tradition.”

Stage one of the 65th An Post Rás begins from Dublin Castle at midday this Sunday the 21st May. We hope to see the five Friends First St. Tiernans members in Skerries sometime after midday on Sunday 28th May as men of the Rás.

Follow the Team on Twitter @StTiernansCC


The late late show tonight. The story of the day was line outs and more line outs. Again, a flat day that was initially viewed as a transition day before the road goes up for the next few days, but it turned out to be super fast, super tough and got a super Irish winner at the end of it all.

Bad luck from the off for some of the team with John flatting early when the bunch was starting to travel. Everything counts and this was an early blow but John rode it in and lives to fight another day. Not much luck for Ro either who was under pressure before he started with some overnight sickness. Kudos to him for talking to the start line and getting to Donegal, hopefully on the mend.

Cross winds after the first climb combined with an outrageous pace left the race in tatters. James put in a strong ride and after one line out too many got in a group that rode it back to Bundoran. Adam continues to impress with another top ride finishing in a group with some notable names. It was one of the ‘easy’ days that don’t actually exist in the Rás.

Tomorrow the race finds itself in Donegal and the flat roads end. A series of climbs punctuates the day with the mighty Mamore Gap arriving with just over 10km left to race, a climb familiar to a lot of the club!

Shoutout to Kieran Regans Dad who got some shots of the team at the finish in Bundoran. Inpho again providing superb images of the entire race.
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Marcus Dowling posted in St. Tiernan's Cycling Club — with William McCormack. ... See MoreSee Less

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Has anyone got a spare entry to the granfondo in Northern Ireland on the June bank holiday. Entries are closed now I believe but I'm hoping to pick up an entry. Please PM me
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St. Tiernan’s Cycling Club is a men's and women's cycling club based near Sandyford and Dundrum in Dublin. We specialise in road cycling at all levels, running regular Saturday and Sunday spins, extra training days on and off the bike, and plenty of social gatherings. Our senior riders are accomplished racers and tourers, regularly sighted at Ireland biggest races and in Europe's biggest sportives. We accept new members throughout the year so, if you would like to join St. Tiernan’s Cycling Club, or just come for a spin, check out our New Members section for more information. Please Contact Us with any questions. We look forward to seeing you on the road. In the meantime, ride happy.