Rás na mBan international cycle race has teamed up with top clothing manufacturer VeloRevolution for classification jerseys in this year’s running of the event.
Riders in the 13th edition of Ireland’s top international stage race for women will be competing for classification jerseys provided by the Kilkenny firm which supplies jerseys to races, events, clubs and associations throughout Ireland and beyond.
The Italian-made garments from VeloRevolution have won an enviable reputation for quality and style in recent years and will be worn by the leading competitors in the 2018 edition of the event which was won last year by Olympic Champion Elinor Barker.
There are six separate classification jerseys in Rás na mBan and in consultation with VeloRevolution designers, they carry the design theme from the Magenta Jersey for the overall race leader through the Irish Dairy The Complete Natural Points Classification, the Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains, the WomensCycling.ie Best Young Rider, the Kilkenny CC Best Irish Rider and the All American Launderette Stage Winner’s jersey.
Commenting on the new partnership VeloRevolution CEO Aidan Crowley said: “I’ve been watching with great interest the growth of Rás na mBan in recent years and I’m delighted that the opportunity has presented itself to associate with one of the best and most important bike races in these islands.
“This is the ideal platform for us to display the design and manufacturing quality of VeloRevolution products to bike fans at home and abroad. We’ve produced a design template that embraces the design philosophy of both Rás na mBan and VeloRevolution.
“We’ve produced a range of designs for the various categories and we look forward to presenting jerseys, skinsuits and caps to top international bike riders in Kilkenny in September.”
In welcoming VeloRevolution to the Rás na mBan community, Race Director Valerie Considine said: “We’re delighted to partner with Aidan and VeloRevolution for what is one of the most important visual elements of our race.
“The quality and style of VeloRevolution products is of the highest order and it’s particularly heartwarming that we have been able to associate with a Kilkenny-based company for our event which is centred on the marble city for a third consecutive year.”
Rás na mBan Overall Classification
The overall race leader’s jersey is awarded to the leading cyclists at the conclusion of each stage. It is easily picked out in the fast moving bunch of cyclists each day as the leader on lowest accumulated time for the race to that point.
The Rás na mBan magenta winner’s jersey is awarded at the conclusion of the sixth and final stage is the most coveted accolade in Irish women’s cycling.
The 2017 overall race winner was Cardiff’s Elinor Barker riding with the British National Team.
Irish Dairy The Complete Natural Points Jersey
The Irish Dairy The Complete Natural points jersey is awarded to the rider who shows the most consistency in stage finishes by accumulating the most points on offer for each stage.
Often the preserve of the sprinters, or the strong all rounder with a strong finishing kick, the NDC Points jersey was won in 2017 by England’s stage winning sprint star Alice Barnes.
Past winners include current Alice’s sister and Canyon Sram World Tour rider Hannah Barnes and Ireland’s world championship rider, Cork’s Fiona Meade.
The Rás na mBan points jersey is supported by the National Dairy Council which plays a vital role in driving a sustainable dairy industry in Ireland and in educating consumers on the role of dairy in their lifestyles.
IVCA Wicklow 200 Queen of the Hills
The IVCA Wicklow 200 Queen of the Hills jersey is presented each day to the rider who has accumulated the most points in the Queen of the Hills competition. A number of hills in various road stages have been selected as counting hills in the competition and have been categorised according to difficulty.
The competition is sponsored, as it has been for many years, by the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association which supports cycling at all levels and promotes the Wicklow 200, one of Ireland’s most famous and most challenging challenge cycling events. The winner in 2017 was the overall race winner and reigning Olympic champion Elinor Barker.
Former winners of the jersey include 2016 World Road Race Champion Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark.
Kilkenny County Council Best Irish Rider Jersey
The Best Irish Rider Jersey is the main goal of Ireland’s club riders as they compete with top international riders throughout Rás na mBan.
The Kilkenny County Council Jersey is presented to the first placed Irish-based club rider on the previous stage.
At the end of the event a separate prize list is awarded to the best placed local riders in the overall classification which was won in 2017 by Garda Team star Eve McCrystal. In 2016 Kilkenny County Council supported this award for the first time to celebrate Ireland’s top women’s stage race taking place in their county.
Womenscycling.ie Best Young Rider Jersey
Awarded for the first time in 2014, the white Best Young Rider jersey was worn each day by the highest placed rider under the age of 23 at the start of the year.
Riders such as Britain’s Hannah Barnes, double world junior champion Amalie Diderickson of Denmark and Britain’s Molly Weaver have won the jersey in the past. Emma Norsgaard Jorgensen announced her arrival on the international stage by taking the Womenscycling.ie Best Young Rider jersey in 2015.
The 2017 winner was Mel Lowther of the British National Team.
The distinctive All American Laundrette Stages jersey is presented after each stage to the rider who has taken victory on the day.
The jersey proved a very popular addition to the awards list for the event in 2013 with Hannah Barnes taking no less that three Stages Jerseys back to Northampton while Tayler Wiles took two stage wins on her way to overall success in 2014.
Grace Garner took two stage wins in 2015 as the Leicester rider finalised preparations for the World Championships in Richmond Virginia. The jersey was awarded to three different riders in 2017 including overall race winner Elinor Barker who scored an emphatic solo success on stage three at Mount Leinster.