May 24, 2013
1976 – The year a stage of the Rás finished in…Carlow
This article is the fifth in a series which will be published daily throughout the 2013 edition of the Rás. I’ve taken the finish town of each day’s stage and looked back through the history books to a time when the Rás previously raced into the same town. Other stage towns in the series are:
Longford – 1962
Nenagh – 1958
Listowel – 1993
Healy Pass – 1984
Today it’s Carlow in 1976…
1976 Rás Tailteann – 18th June – Stage 7 – Mitchelstown, Cahir, Clonmel, Callan, Kilkenny, Paulstown, Leighlinbridge, Carlow (135km)
What was going on in Irish cycling?
Sean Kelly, Pat McQuaid and his brother Kieron were all handed seven month bans by the Irish cycling federation. The trio, along with two Scotsmen, travelled incognito to South Africa to take part in the Rapport Tour. At the time, due to Apartheid, there were various sporting bans being placed on South Africa. Taking part in a cycling race in South Africa was prohibited. But the five riders assumed fake names and took part anyway, seeing the race as an ideal way to get in some extra racing miles over the winter.