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The peloton heads through the Burren towards Lisdoonvarna in stage three of Rás Tailteann. Photograph by Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Clare club shows up well in first foray into Rás Tailteann

Burren Cycling Club secured some notable finishes as the club competed in the Rás Tailteann for the first time.

With Burren CC being the first representatives from Clare to compete in the prestigious event since 1991, there was pressure on the team to deliver.

They rose to expectations as the team of Mark Shannon, Danny MacDonald, Simon Kelly, Paul Kennedy, Richard Meaney and reserve Ger Troy all played their role in a terrific team effort.

Burren CC finished as the sixth county team overall after five days of tough racing. Meanwhile, Lacey Cup winner Danny MacDonald showed his potential by securing a seventh placed finish in Stage Four, which started in Lisdoonvarna.

The Clooney man also grabbed a top 10 finish in the final stage as he highlighted his growing reputation on the circuit.

The Clare club certainly ended their first ever Rás campaign on a positive note with MacDonald the third county rider to cross the finish line while Burren CC were the second county team home.

With the third stage heading to the spiritual home of the Rás in Clare, Lisdoonvarna, the team were able to enjoy home comforts in what was a gruelling five days of competitive action.

Mark Shannon finished inside the top 50 riders overall. The Bellharbour man was aggressive in his racing throughout the Rás as he alongside Kevin McCambridge of Trinity Racing held the lead over the chasing pack through Loughrea during Stage Four.

Richard Meaney was the second highest placed rider overall for the team over the five days. The Limerick man, who has previous experience of the Rás produced some consistent racing over the course of the event.

Danny MacDonald finished the campaign on a high and certainly enhanced his reputation as a rapidly developing young cyclist. The Lacey Cup winner has certainly displayed his talent and will be hoping to maintain his fine form in the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, Kennedy and Kelly’s experience helped the team over the course of the gruelling event in what was an all round strong display from Burren CC.

With teams from the Netherlands, England and the Isle of Man competing, The Rás has a worldwide reputation for providing a gruelling challenge to all competitors. Burren CC will hope that their riders competing against amateurs and semi professionals can aid the team’s development.

The Burren Cycling Club was set up on November 28th 2003 by cycling enthusiasts John Nilan and Patrick O’Donoghue. The club has continued to grow in numbers over the years with current membership running at over 110 members.

To cater for a growing racing cohort Burren CC set up a racing side to the club to assist racing riders develop.

The racing side of the club was formed in 2016 and has gone from strength to strength. Burren CC have had its best racing year to date with multiple victories and placings in races across the country so far this year.

Burren CC will be hoping this is a new chapter in the club’s history as they gear up for a strong second half of the year.

About Ivan Smyth

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