Charleville and its surrounding area is in for a major economic boost following the launch of the An Post Rás 2014 at the G.P.O. in Dublin on Tuesday. Charleville has been nominated as one of two county Cork towns to host a stage finish of this year’s event.

The eight challenging stages, comprising over 1,260 kilometres and including 36 categorised climbs, promise to be an aggressive and exciting An Post Rás.

Stage 3 of this year’s event will end in Charleville on Tuesday May 20th, and the competitors and race entourage will stay overnight in the town. The stage is from Lisdoonvarna, and its 154km will take in Caherconlish, Hospital, Knocklong, Elton and Kilmallock on the way to Charleville.

Stage 4, the longest and most challenging 183.6km stage of the 2014 Rás, will depart from Charleville and pass through west Limerick for an overnight stop at Caherciveen on Wednesday May 21st. Stage 4 is the longest in the gruelling event that starts in Dunboyne on May 18th and finishes in Skerries on May 25th. After Charleville the route will take the cyc-lists through Newtown-shandrum, Milford, Dromcollogher, Broadford, Ashford and Abbeyfeale before crossing the county bounds en route to Farranfore.

The stage features as many as ten climbs, seven of which are classified as category three, two as category two and one as a category one mountain. Three of the category-three climbs are in county Limerick, at Glenduff, Glenquin and Kinlea.

The race stopover will be a major boost to the hospitality and catering sector in the town, as the cyclists, race officials and their support teams will be staying in the area,

Details of the inter-national teams to join this year’s An Post Rás will be released over the coming months. The An Post Seán Kelly team is already committed to participating.