Bray Wheelers is proud to announce that for the first time in almost twenty years we will be entering a team into the Rás Tailteann, commonly known as the Rás.

The 2024 edition of the Rás Tailteann will take place from Wednesday, May 22nd to Sunday, May 26th. This will be the 69th edition of the race.

For those who don’t know, the history of Bray Wheelers is steeped in racing and some of the greatest riders in the club have featured heavily in the Ras. This year it will be 50 years since one of the club’s greatest ever riders won the Rás. On June 30th 1974 after racing from Carlow to Dublin over a 113km route, Bray Wheelers and native of Bray, Peter Doyle rode into Dublin as winner of Irelands greatest cycling challenge.

This capped off a remarkable list of achievements, the Shay Elliott, the National Championship, the Tour of Ireland and now the Ras. By winning the Ras Peter became the first man to have won both the Tour of Ireland and the Ras. He also won the Tour of Scotland and the Milk Race which was one of the top amateur races in Europe in the 1970’s.

Peter had professional offers and could have even rode the Tour de France in 1969. He rode the Olympics in 1968 for Ireland and again in 1972 all while a member of our club.

As was recorded in the club archives:

“Peter Doyle won the Ras Tailtean (sic) to become the first rider to win both major Irish stage races. But these outstanding results were a real team effort and couldn’t have been achieved without the help of the other Bray riders including Philip O’Brien, Jimmy Doyle, Liam Mc Kenna, Shay Kelly, Noel O’Neill, Denis Kearns, Gerry Pearson, Tommy Campbell Jimmy Clarke, Pat Norton, John D’arcy alongside Peter Crinnion’s direction and Paddy Martin’s back up.” 

This year we are proud to say that for the first time since (when) Bray Wheelers has the talent and will compete at the highest level once again. Conor Verbruggen, Jack Conroy, Craig Byrne, Rob McKenna, Caoilin Considine and Greg Clarke will take to the start line on the 22 of May in Tullamore to take on Stage 1 and ride with the spirit of Peters win in 1974 which we’ll represent on the Bray Wheelers crest.

From Tullamore the first stage finish will be in Kilmallock. This will be the first-ever Rás Tailteann stage to finish in the County Limerick town. The 2024 edition will also have finishes in Sneem, County Kerry on the famous ‘Ring of Kerry’, Cahir, County Tipperary which will see the first finish there since 1967 and Kildare Town, County Kildare with the fifth and final stage of the 2024 Rás Tailteann finishing in Bective, County Meath where the race will take in three laps of a 14.1KM spectator-friendly finishing circuit which is a great opportunity to maybe ride down and cheer the lads on. 784.8KM of Irish roads awaits the lads this year with a total of eighteen categorised climbs over the five stages, including two Category One climbs on stages two and four.

The team is sponsored by Clara Joinery and is registered as Clara Joinery Bray Wheelers for the duration of the race in sponsorship tradition. A great thank you to Danny Conroy for his partnership and help to make this a reality. Danny and Rob Magee will be managing the team and a mechanic, masseuse and a driver will also be joining the team.

More information on the team and logistics coming soon. If you think you can help the team in anyway do let myself or Rob Magee know.

Paul O’Neill, Rob Magee