2023 Rás na mBan - Stage 4 Preview

Posted in: Ras na mBan
By Declan Quigley, InForm Sport Media
Sep 8, 2023 - 11:11:23 PM

For the first time in its 17-year history, Rás na mBan has introduced a Waterford stage to its five-day schedule.

The 102.7km stage will begin with a ceremonial start from Tramore Promenade at 11:42, with the race officially getting under way from noon tomorrow. It will then travel through Kilmeaden and Kilmacthomas, on to Dungarvan, before returning along the Copper Coast to the finish line on the Prom in Tramore at approximately 2.40pm.

The route is the final opportunity for riders to gain Queen of the Mountain points, with Sunday’s stages consisting of a 2.5km time trial and the Kilkenny City criterium circuit race. With a Category 2 climb at 14.3km in Kilmagemogue lasting 2.6km at an average of 4.1%, maxing out at 9.6%, the race is likely to see the group start splinter early on in the stage. Rathinure Hill is the next categorised climb, just shy of 80km into the route, lasting only a kilometre but averaging 4.6%, with a peak of 5.3%. Annestown at 85.9km will be the final challenge for those seeking to challenge Manon de Boer’s dominant lead in the Queen of the Mountains competition; lasting 1.5km, averaging 3.7% with a max gradient of 5%.

Riders will then descend down into Tramore for just short of two laps of the fast finishing circuit around Tramore.

Tiffany Keep will start tomorrow’s stage in the Magenta jersey, with seven riders still sitting on the same time in General Classification. However, that group are closely trailed with the top 25 riders separated by only 35 seconds. If a clear lead doesn’t form during Stage 4, we may see the race decided by the 2.5km time trial around Kilkenny Castle on Sunday morning.

Keep also now leads the Points Classification, with Stage 3 winner Emma Jeffers just two points behind, alongside Rixt Hoogland who wore the leaders jersey on Stage 3.

The Best Irish Rider category remains unchanged with Linda Kelly of Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei starting in the Green jersey again tomorrow, with team mate Marine Lenehan still only 10 seconds behind.

The Best Young Rider category also remains unchanged with Team Noord Holland’s Renée van Hout leading the Sport Ireland Young Rider Classification ahead of Shibden Hope Tech Apex’s Ruby Oakes.

You can find the full route at:

Where To Watch

With Stage 4 described by the race organiser as “among the most beautiful and challenging in the history of the race”, it’s sure to be one to remember for riders and spectators alike.” The riders will travel through Kilmeaden and Kilmacthomas, on to Dungarvan, before returning along the Copper Coast to the finish line on the Prom in Tramore. If you’re hoping to cheer them on in more than one place, head to Kilmeaden before they start to climb, and then cut across to see if you can catch them before they descend into Kilmacthomas. The race will finish with a fast, and sure to be exciting, loop and a half circuit in Tramore town.