Rás Tailteann will return to roads of Ireland in 2022

Iconic stage race scheduled to take place over five days in June, for the first time since 2018

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(Image credit: (Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The An Rás Tailteann is set to return to the roads of Ireland for the first time since 2018, with the race scheduled to take place in June.

On Thursday, race organisers Cáirde Rás Tailteann announced that "plans are moving ahead" on bringing the event back, four years after it was last held in 2018.

In a press release, the organisers said: "The intention remains to stage it in a 5-day format from Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th June next, using the same planned route as previously published for 2020 / 2021."

The iconic stage race traces its history back to 1953, but in its current format it has run since 1996. While it was classified as a 2.2 race the last time it was held, it remains Ireland's most prestigious road cycling event.

It was formerly known as the FBD Milk Rás and An Post Rás, before it readopted its original name, An Rás Tailteann, in 2018.

Previous winners have included Stephen Roche in 1979, who went on to win the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, and current WorldTour pro Lukas Pöstlberger. The last winner was Luuc Bugter.

Sam Bennett has won three stages at his home race, and his new Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Ryan Mullen has finished on the overall podium.

It was not held at the same level in 2019 due to sponsorship issues, and then was prevented from returning in 2020 and 2021 due to the covid pandemic.

Back in 2019, race director Eimear Dignam said: “We never envisaged that it would come to an end like this, but hopefully it won’t be an end.”

The press release on the race's return read: "Over the next week the committee will be reassessing the individual elements of the route, accommodation, and safety measures, considering the enforced postponements during the last two years, triggered by the onset of Covid 19. 

"This is necessary to ensure that there have not been and will not be any major obstacles or planned changes along the physical route, that could influence the safe running of the event."

A new race director is in post, with Ger Campbell succeeding Eugene Moriarty to the position. The statement said: "Eugene remains as a key member of the original 6-person group which includes Seamus Domegan, Pat O’Shaughnessy, Colm Rigley and Ciarán McKenna."

The organisers are working closely with Cycling Ireland to bring about the return of the event to Irish roads, and thanked the body and others for their continued support.

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