Rás na mBan 2012: The Warm-up

The LMNH dream team rode the An Post Rás na mBan again this year http://www.rasnamban.com. The Rás is Ireland’s premier cycling event for women, and possibly the only 5-day international stage race in Europe for amateur riders (though professionals also ride it, it is not (yet) UCI ranked). It is raced on the tough terrain of south Kerry and based at Sneem Hotel http://www.sneemhotel.com, who along with the Irish Post Office An Post are the main sponsors.

Five of the Look Mum squad raced – Lydia (riding for the Irish National Team), Elise, Helen, Siobhán (our newest recruit) and me, Louise. Along with Mum support squad of baby Erin, Elise’s mum and Doctor Dave. And in the team car: Ger Madden D.S. and Tim O’Regan mechanic (more on their racing later … !).

Team Mum almost ready to roll …

We arrived in plenty time for the race and did a great warm up ride on Friday prior to race start on Sunday. We recce-ed the third stage, which visits Valentia Island.

Checking out a QOM … which would prove very helpful

and … what better introduction to Kerry than Coomanaspaig … the hardest, steepest climb in the area heh heh 🙂 One of the girls asked me how much of it were we actually able to see (the top was lost in the mist) – halfway? hmmm no what you’re seeing is almost one third of the way up I reckon …

Luckily, what goes up also gets to go down! One fantastic descent later, down to the beach … (for a swim, good for the legs ya know)

… and to the Skelligs Chocolate Factory for recovery drinks.

Helen poses with molten chocolate

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