On a wet Saturday afternoon in September 1953, 52 riders lined up at the GPO in Dublin, the start of the first Rás. As they took to the roads, the concept of a national Irish bike race became a reality. The Rás quickly became an enormous success and today over 200 contestants – some professional – from many countries compete. It is a race characterised by unconventional practice, spontaneity, grittiness and fierceness of competition.
This book captures the spirit and essence of the Rás, its historical significance and place in Irish sporting history and is interspersed with personal stories of sacrifice, hardship, and epic achievement. Unforgettable are the training methods and diet of Mick Murphy, Kerry’s ‘Iron Man’, in the late 1950s. Early stars, such as Gene Mangan and Shay O’Hanlon, became sporting champions but victims of the wider political situation.
|Publication date||20 Dec 2004|