Stage 2 of Rás na mBan gets underway at 11:55, rolling out from the Hoban Hotel in Kilkenny on Thursday 7th of September. The opening 1.9km is neutralised before the riders take on the remainder of the 100.9km with over 1,000m of climbing.
The stage will speed through a number of picturesque towns as the road will narrow and widen forcing the riders to really consider their positioning in the bunch before reaching Thomastown where the QOH competition will start to fully come to life.
Riders will take on “The Rower” climb twice, at 53.6km and again at 100.8km. The Category 2 climb is 2.2km in length, averging 5.3% and maxing out at 7.5%. Descending down from the Rower takes riders on to “the Coppenagh” climb 6.2km long at an average of 3.4%.
Ireland’s Mia Griffin enters the Stage in the Pactimo Leader’s jersey, closely followed by Paulien Koster of Team Noord Holland and Emma Jeffers of DAS-handsling. The Cycling Ireland Points Classification will see a similar battle, with Irish riders Marine Lenehan, Ellen McDermott, and Caoimhe O’Brien also expected to challenge.
Emma Jeffers and Caoimhe O’Brien sit top of the table for the Sport Ireland Young Rider jersey, with Maeve Gallagher of UCD CC in close pursuit.
Dutch rider Manon de Beor of NWVG-Uplus will be looking to hang on to the Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains jersey as she faces competition from Hutchinson-Brother UK rider Katherine Sheridan after stage 1. However, with three Cat 2 climbs in the stage there are plenty of strong contenders for the jersey.
Depending on the speed of the peloton, riders are predicted to reach the finish between 14:14 and 14:53.
Provisional forecasts are for more warm weather with moderate head winds throughout large sections of the race.
Neutralised section: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/43817672
Where to Watch:
Thomastown will provide the chance to see the race go by twice. However, the Rower QOH will definitely be a highlight of the day. Should the riders remain largely together, you can be sure this is where the attacks will make a difference. Passing at 53km and finishing on The Rower, you’ll see plenty of action here. The 6.2km climb at Coppenagh will also be another spot on the course that will host some exciting riding and provide a great opportunity to support the riders as they enter the final 30km of the race.