By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
A strong field will line out at the start of the Credit Union Ras Mumhan on Friday, with the Tralee based Earl of Desmond squad leading the charge. Paul Griffin, the Lacey brothers, Vinnie Gleeson and the 2004 FBD Milk Rás champion David McCann (riding as a guest) will be their A squad in the race, while Cycleways will also have two teams. Stephen O'Sullivan, Eugene Moriarty, Aidan Crowley, Philip Finegan plus father and son Philip and Mark Cassidy will take part.
The Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers team is going particularly well at the moment, taking first and second in the Des Hanlon classic league race last weekend. On the basis of that performance, Rory Wyley and double Tour of Ulster winner Timmy Barry must be ranked amongst the favourites.
Mark Quigley will lead a five man Connaught team, while Brian Aherne will do the same for Orwell-Dundrum SC. Both Dublin Wheelers and Bray Wheelers will have two squads in action, with Brian Keane and Brian Taafe representing the first and Derek Cunningham and Mick O'Donnell the latter. Stamullen M. Donnelly will also be in action.
The Foreign opposition will come from the Dutch BRC Kennemerland team and a 6-man team representing Surrey in England.
The race is promoted and sponsored by the Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club. They will have their own team in the race, led by Michael Concannon who finished 10th overall and best under 23 last year.
The race begins with a 52 mile stage starting and finishing in Killorglin and crossing the second category climb of Sliabh Mish. Day two's route is a mountainous 94 mile taking in the same climb, then the first category Conor Pass, Gleann a Gealt (category 3) and Sliabh Mish once more.
Sunday 27th of March sees two stages take place. The riders will first scrap it out in a ten kilometre individual time trial, then tackle the sixty mile Skellig Ring stage in the afternoon. The five climbs of Drom West (category 3), Raheen, Killurley, Coom (all cat 2) and Raheen (category 3) should generate plenty of action.
The race concludes with a 58 mile circuit race on Monday 28th March, beginning with three laps of a 15 mile circuit around Killorglin and Beaufort and then four laps of the Donal McKenna Circuit.
Stage 1 - March 25: Killorglin, 52 miles
Stage 2 - March 26: Killorglin - Killorglin, 94 miles
Stage 3 - March 27: Beaufort - Killorglin ITT, 6 miles
Stage 4 - March 27: Killorglin - Cahirciveen, 60 miles
Stage 5 - March 28: Killorglin - Killorglin, 58 miles