Donegal is to figure prominently in the An Post Rás when the race returns to the county in May for the first time in five years.
In all, five of the eight stages of the Rás, which runs for seven days at the end of May, will take in Donegal.
The Rás will be in the county for five days with overnights in Bundoran, Buncrana, Dungloe and Donegal town. It will take in two of the toughest climbs in Ireland - Mamore Gap and Glengesh Pass.
“Overall, the race is hillier than it has been in these past couple of years but you can expect that when it is in Donegal,” said An Post Rás Race Director, Tony Campbell, at yesterday morning’s launch in the GPO, in Dublin.
The An Post Rás will run from Sunday, May 21st to Sunday, May 28th starting and ending in Dublin.
The first of the Donegal stages is stage 3 into Bundoran, from Newport in Mayo, on the Tuesday evening.
Stage 4 takes the riders from Bundoran to Buncrana on the Wednesday. On Thursday stage 5 takes the riders from Buncrana to Dungloe and from Dungloe on the Friday, it is onto Donegal Town for stage six.
The race departs Donegal Town on Saturday morning for the second last stage, stage seven to Ardee.
The eight day spectacle which covers just under 1,200 kilometres will see Ireland’s top amateur riders
compete against top professional teams and seasoned internationals from around the world.