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Dates For 2010 FBD Insurance Rás set

2009 FBD Insurance Rás winner Simon Richardson (Rapha Condor)

2009 FBD Insurance Rás winner Simon Richardson (Rapha Condor) (Image credit: Stephen McMahon)

The FBD Insurance Rás will return for its 58th anniversary on May 23-30, 2010. The Irish stage race will again be included in the calendar of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), as a 2.2-category event.

Upon announcing the dates, Dermot Dignam also confirmed that following the 2010 event, he will be stepping down as race organiser, a voluntary position he has held for the past 31 years. Dignam had indicated that this year's race would be his last, but after discussions with Cycling Ireland and FBD agreed to stay on for the 2010 event.

The race, which will be in its 27th year of being sponsored by FBD Insurance, attracts a mix of professional, international, and national riders battling it out on the roads of Ireland each May.

Dignam praised the race's Irish riders. "It's unbelievable the level of fitness the county riders achieve to compete in a race of this calibre and in actual fact, it's these riders who put it up to the international and pro teams by aggressive racing."

Dignam said he'll leave the race in a good spot. "The race is in a very healthy state. There are more requests for invitations from teams all over the world than ever before, and there is a superb team of volunteers who devote themselves unstintingly each year to making sure it runs off without a hitch. The race receives great co-operation from the Gardai and with the continued financial support of FBD, and the Irish Sports Council, the race should continue to go from strength to strength."

The 2010 route is presently being finalized, but it is expected to emphasize climbs and long, hard stages. Details are expected early in the new year.

The 2009 edition was won by Great Britain's Simon Richardson (Rapha Condor).

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.