The best climbers in this year’s An Post Rás na mBan will face nine tough climbs to decide the destination of the Queen of the Mountains competition supported for a third year by the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association (IVCA).

The IVCA has backed Ireland’s top international stage race for women for many years and placed its logos on the coveted Queen of the Mountains jersey for the last two seasons.

Hannah Barnes (DID Racing) wearing the IVCA Queen of the Mountains jersey

Hannah Barnes (DID Racing) wearing the IVCA Queen of the Mountains jersey in An Post Rás na mBan 2013.

Their support is being used to showcase the organisation’s flagship Wicklow 200 event, the oldest and most prestigious mass participation bike ride in Ireland.

This year’s five-day, six stage Rás na mBan includes classified climbs on four of the stages, with only the stage three individual Time Trial and the 40km circuit race later that day not featuring points scoring opportunities for the anti-gravity specialists.

The organisers have backloaded the big climbing challenges for the riders with two category one ascents on stage five and one on the sixth and final stage on Sunday 14th September.

However, there are six other climbs of varying length and gradient that will keep every rider’s attention throughout the weekend, not just those with designs on the IVCA Queen of the Mountains jersey.

Announcing the continued support of the IVCA, race director Valerie Considine paid tribute to the organisation’s continuing patronage of the race and detailed some changes to this year’s competition.

“The IVCA continues to be one of our most important benefactors and their support for us, and indeed other areas of Irish cycling, should not go unheralded,” says Considine. “It’s not an organisation solely concerned with its own activities. The IVCA has the interests of all in Irish cycling and the principals of the association should be commended for that.

“For 2014 the IVCA Queen of the Mountains competition includes nine classified climbs and this year we have weighted the points a little more in favour of the most difficult climbs. This is to make sure the best climber has the best chance of success and, with the category one ascents coming at the tail end of the event, we believe that it is more likely to keep the issue in doubt until the last day.”

Details of further commercial partnerships and route announcements will follow in the coming weeks and months.

For more information please visit the IVCA website.