One of the biggest races on the Irish race calendar, Rás Mumhan (Tour of Munster), has confirmed its route for 2008. The four day stage race takes place over the Easter weekend (March 21-24) and the route travels over some of Ireland's best scenic areas. Previous winners include top Irish riders Paul Healion and John Dempsey alongside British riders Kevin Dawson and former British road race champion Russell Downing.
There may be even more British teams heading to Ireland hoping to take home over 1,000 Euro in primes on offer for the Saturday and Sunday stages. All the stages start at or near the town of Killorglin famous for the annual Puck Fair festival. Local man Paul Griffin (Giant Asia) from Tralee will know the route intimately and will be one of the pre-race favourites. Brian Keneally has also confirmed his return to defend the title he won last year which helped him gain Irish team selection for the Tour of Ireland later in the year.
2008 Rás Mumhan route:
Stage 1 - Killorglin to Killorglin: A 34-mile stage via Killarney and Tralee with a category one climb
Stage 2 - Caherciveen to Caherciveen via Valentia Island: There is a special prime outside the home of former fifties Rás winner Mick Murphy in the 82-mile stage.
Stage 3 - Waterville to Waterville: This is the hilly stage taking in three category one climbs of Coomakista, Ballaghbeama and Ballaghasheen. The riders will be following some of the route of the 1987 Nissan Classic won by Sean Yates during the 60-mile stage. There is 100 Euro prize on each of the three top category primes.
Stage 4 - Killorglin to Killorglin: The traditional final stage of three large laps and 5 local laps each taking in the steep hill in Killorglin town. This 60-mile stage will be lung bursting and action packed.