The final day is, at 133 kilometres, the shortest of the eight stages, but plenty of fast racing and determined attacking is certain. It’s the last chance for the yellow jersey’s rivals to take time back, and the efforts may well go as early as the category three Hill of Allen. This is just 7.2 kilometres after the start in Kildare.
After passing through Prosperous plus the aptly-named Painstown and Dunshaughlin, the riders will race on towards the first of four fourth-category climbs. Pluckhimin (km. 77.7) is followed by Cross of the Cage (km. 97), which comes just before the entry to the 13.8 kilometre finishing circuit.
The riders will cross the finish line twice before the final sprint, scrapping it out on the Black Hills climb after 110.2 kilometres of racing and again after 119.4. Those will be the last of the 29 climbs on this year’s An Post Rás, and will give the general classification contenders the final chance to go clear before the final sprint.
Again, there are five KOMs and 133 kilometres to cover,
No matter how much of a lead the yellow jersey will have, he will need to be very much alert and very much to the front of the bunch. He could lose his lead on this final stage. The outcome is very open until we cross the finish line in Skerries.