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Women take centre stage next month

Cycling fans in Ireland may be gearing up for this year’s Tour of Ireland – but it’s not the only event for road race fanatics to enjoy in the country. Ireland’s premier international women’s road race, the Ras na mBan, takes place from Friday, September 11-Sunday, September 13.

The four stage event will be a Festival of Women's Cycling for all women cyclists from senior's down to the very young and the races will take place in the beautiful Ring of Kerry, with race headquarters in the Sneem Hotel, who are once again sponsoring the event.

Riders from Germany, Holland and the UK have confirmed their participation in the race and the combination of county riders and overseas competitors ensures great racing, with the Irish riders raising their game, in a bid to score highly in the top county rider ranking.

There will also be girls' youth races following last year's success, and some short fun events in the village green for the youngsters and the event will cater for all riders from the very young to the under 16s.

So while world Tour de France stars like Lance Armstrong and Mark Cavendish are sure to get the headlines at the Tour of Ireland from Friday, August 21-Sunday, August 23, and some of the world’s top teams will be on display, the women will be out in force next month.