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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 10 August, 2020
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No Rás Tailteann again this year as iconic cycling race postponed until 2021

One of Ireland’s longest running sporting events will return next year.

The Rás approaching Naul in 2018.
The Rás approaching Naul in 2018.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

IT’S BEEN CONFIRMED that the 2020 edition of the Rás Tailteann has been cancelled due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. 

A statement this morning says that the 67th edition of the iconic race has been “definitively postponed” until 2021 after efforts were made to stage it later this year.

Following a year’s absence due to lack of sponsorship, the highly-anticipated Rás was originally due to take place from 10 to 14 June 2020.

The new-look five-day event was forced into a rethink after the coronavirus pandemic hit, but organisers have now pulled it from the Irish cycling calendar.

“In the past weeks Cáirde Rás Tailteann has expended significant energy to safely put An Rás on the road in September/October 2020,” a statement reads.

“The group has monitored the evolving situation daily and digested publicly available roadmaps, health guidance, sporting and crucially, Rás volunteer stakeholder input.

Cáirde Rás Tailteann has decided as of today, to definitively postpone the 2020 Rás Tailteann which was originally due to return to the roads of Ireland last month, until 2021.”

“Notwithstanding quicker relaxation of restrictions than anticipated, the opportunity to safely put the race back on the roads around Ireland before the end of the 2020 road cycling season has contracted rapidly on us,” Race Director Eugene Moriarty said.

“Cognisant of the related planning and especially the lingering public health concerns, it was unanimously agreed that the safest, healthiest and most prudent course of action at this time would be to postpone running the 2020 event until 2021.

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“The group shares the disappointment that circumstances beyond anyone’s control conspired to prevent the Rás happening this year, but the health, wellbeing and safety of all our volunteers and athletes as well as the general public continue to remain our primary concern.”
https://www.facebook.com/rastailteann2018/posts/3005622602824805

The statement concludes: “The good news is, that the plan is for the Rás to return in 2021. The group will now take a well-earned break for a few weeks into August, when planning and arrangements will get underway for the 2021 edition.

“Cáirde Rás Tailteann would like to thank everyone for the continued large volume of messages of support and well wishes received to date. They would also like to thank the following for their continued unwavering support:

“Cycling Ireland, Sport Ireland, Rás volunteers and supporters, Cumann Rás Tailteann, the media, the public, Rás stage end organisers, County Councils, stage end accommodation providers, health experts and the Gardaí.”

Holland’s Luuc Bugter won the 2018 edition by one second, while Englishman James Gullen was named the overall winner in 2017. Bugter’s reign as Rás champion will now last three years.

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Emma Duffy

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