Charleville and the surrounding area is in for a major economic boost later this month when the country’s leading cycling event rolls into town.

The An Post Rás an annual, eight-day, race around Ireland will arrive in Charleville at the end of stage three from Lisdoonvarna on Tuesday May 20th and will overnight in the north Cork town and will depart on Wednesday morning for a 183.6km stage to Caherciveen.

The epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events, bringing world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide.

The Rás has a worldwide reputation of being a gruelling challenge on the elite, international calendar. The open racing style allows amateur county and club riders to pit themselves against domestic and international professionals. Taking part this year are Irish, American, Italian, Dutch and English teams.

With less than three weeks to go until the 2014 An Post Rás arrives in Charleville, the local Chamber of Commerce, the business community and local organisations are frantically gearing up to welcome the race and entourage to the town. It is expected that the race will arrive between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday afternoon and a number of events have been planned for that evening.

In excess of 1,000 extra people are expected in the town and they will be greeted by a wobbly circus and face painting and the organisers are hoping that local Voice of Ireland hero Keith Hanley will perform.

Town traders have agreed to capitalise on the huge influx of visitors by staying open late, having a theme on their shop windows and having special offers.

A ‘Miss an Post’ competition is also being organised for which the organisers are inviting entries. The closing date for entries is Monday next May 5th. (See entry form on page 72)