Newcastle West cyclists to take the Ras challenge

History will be made next Sunday when a team from Newcastle West joins the best of Irish and international riders at the start line of the An Post Rás. The Newcastle West/Team Rockwell team comprises locals Paul Kennedy, Paul O’Connell and Aaron O’Brien, with Ronan Costello and Lawrence Costello from the Greenmount Racing Academy which is based in Patrickswell.
Paul O’Connell and Ronan and Lawrence Costello are making their Ras debuts, but Paul Kennedy and Aaron O’Brien both took part in last year’s Rás. The manager is Gearóid Costello, and he has plenty of knowledge to impart,  as he was one of the top riders in the country during the 1980s and 1990s. Also helping out are bike mechanic Mark Morrissey and masseur Eoin Cahill, with back-up from PJ O’Riordan, Bobby Coleman, Liam Hurley, Dan McAuliffe and Dan Cahill.
The race is a gruelling test for riders, with eight stages taking them on a 1,160 kilometre tour of Ireland, taking in Dublin, Longford, Newport, Bundoran, Buncrana, -Dunloe, Donegal, Ardee, and Skerries. The Rás began in 1953 and has been held every year since, and to go the full distance is considered a badge of honour in itself. Best of luck to the Newcastle West/Team Rockwell riders as they take on the challenge!