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The Rás: The Story of Ireland's Unique Bike Race

By Tom Daly


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On a wet Saturday afternoon in September 1953, 52 riders lined up at the GPO in Dublin, the start of the first Rás. As they took to the roads, the concept of a national Irish bike race became a reality. The Rás quickly became an enormous success and today over 200 contestants – some professional – from many countries compete.
It is a race characterised by unconventional practice, spontaneity, grittiness and fierceness of competition. This book captures the spirit and essence of the Rás, its historical significance and place in Irish sporting history and is interspersed with personal stories of sacrifice, hardship, and epic achievement. Unforgettable are the training methods and diet of Mick Murphy, Kerry’s ‘Iron Man’, in the late 1950s. Early stars, such as Gene Mangan and Shay O’Hanlon, became sporting champions but victims of the wider political situation.
The 1970s saw the Rás graced by a new generation of Irish cyclists: the McQuaids, McCormacks, Kimmages and Stephen Roche. It is now part of cycling’s calendar of elite international events. Here all its brilliance and heartbreak are vividly captured.
  • Book Format: Paperback
  • Published: 2012
  • Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
  • Number of pages: 352
  • ISBN: 9781848891487
  • Illustrations note: B&W photos,
The stories and the characters are what make this book such an unexpected treat.
An outstanding addition to the sport's literature.
Truly Unique. A sprawling story that speaks as much about Ireland as bike racing.
The Rás; Ireland's Unique Bike Race is a must have for Irish cycling fans of all ages.
The Rás is worthy of a place on any bookshelf in the land. Once started, it'll be hard to leave it out of your hands and for God's sake don't pass it on. You'll never see it again.