Three-day Chonamara Ras in Oughterard

Oughterard hosts one of the biggest cycle races in the west this Easter weekend when the seventh annual Ras Chonamara takes place.

Run in association with Galway Bay Cycling Club, the Ras has gone from strength to strength since it began as a day event seven years ago with competitors vying for the Gerry Clancy Memorial Cup.

This year’s race takes place over three days, with 100 cyclists competing in the four stages, taking in some of the most scenic routes around Connemara - Lough Corrib, Maam Valley, Killary Harbour,Lough Inagh and the Twelve Bens.

Saturday will see the cyclists head westwards from Oughterard at 11am along the N59 passing through Maam Cross, Recess, Inagh Valley, Leenaun, Maam Cross and back to Oughterard. On Sunday the cyclists will have an early start at 9am with a time trial of 8km around the village of Oughterard, while at 12 noon stage 2b will see the cyclists complete the reverse of Saturday’s route.

Monday provides spectators with a close-up of the action as the competitors complete five laps of a 10km circuit around Oughterard, commencing at 10am.

Traffic restrictions will be in place and motorists can expect short delays around the start and finish times of the Ras.

The organisers are seeking volunteers to help marshal the event - see www.Raschonamare.ie for more details.

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