Rás Tailteann organisers hopef...


Rás Tailteann organisers hopeful despite postponement extension

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The organisers of Irish cycling's blue riband event, the Rás Tailteann, have postponed the event once again but remain hopeful it could still go ahead.

The event was originally due to take place this week but the decision to postpone it until after July was made in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the latest guidance issued by the WHO, the HSE the Irish government and Sport Ireland, race director Eugene Moriarty explained that they will still give themselves time to stage the event at a later date.

"It was agreed this week that the most prudent course of action at this time would be to extend our decision of April last and aim to set a very tentative start date toward the latter end of September next, using the same published route," said Moriarty.

"All of this is of course still very heavily contingent upon any restrictions that may still be in place, the availability and support of the Gardai, county councils, the health services, accommodation and the many volunteers upon whom the Rás relies so heavily and which we cannot realistically know for some time yet.

"We were bitterly disappointed that circumstances conspired to prevent the Rás returning to the roads of Ireland this week, but the wellbeing and safety of all our volunteers and athletes as well as the general public continue to remain at the top of our agenda."

It would be a cruel blow for Irish cycling if the event had did not go ahead following last year's cancellation due to the inability to find a sponsor for the race after the decision of An Post to end their title sponsorship in 2017.

Governing body Cycling Ireland have thrown their support behind the promotion of the event this year which Stage End Coordinator, Seamus Domegan, is also holding out hope for it to go ahead.

"We received phenomenal support from all of our stage end committees throughout this difficult period for which we are very grateful," said Domegan.

"Every one of them have provided a commitment from the outset to help ensure that the 2020 edition would go ahead from their end if at all possible.

"That the flexibility and understanding shown by our stage end accommodation providers has been crucial to us still being able to look forward to a potential 2020 Rás at this point."

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Cycling Ireland Eugene Moriarty Irish Cycling Rás Tailteann Sport Ireland

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