New ‘best British rider’ classification introduced to Rás na mBan

Posted on: September 8th, 2015

The new ‘best British rider’ category is designed as a nod to the support British teams have given the race. But with some Irish riders racing in the UK under British licences, they will also be eligible. Above, the leader’s pink jersey of Hanna Barnes leads the 2013 edition, during which she sprinted in for two impressive stage wins (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan – Inpho)


There are six jerseys up for grabs this week at the An Post Rás na mBan as well as a new classification for ‘best British rider’.

Because anyone with a British licence is eligible for the competition, it could be won by Irish national road race champion Lydia Boylan or any other Irish women who race with a British licence.

Well-known Eurosport presenter Declan Quigley, who works for the race as public relations officer, said the new contest was a way or recognising the contribution the British teams have made to the race.

“It’s to support the many squads come over from the UK,” he explained.

“It’s not the easiest or the cheapest of races to do when you consider they’ve to bring a car, a van, a full squad of riders and support squad.

“So from that side of it; it’s quite nice to give them something else to fight for.

“We get massive support from the British teams every year; there are 10 coming over this year and we were saying we needed to do something.”

There are seven Irish and three Dutch teams as well as squads from France, the US as well as Norway and Denmark.

“It’s not a jersey after each stage, but a prize at the end of the week,” Quigley said of the new competition.

“The funny thing is; you could have a Belgian or Irish winner, as long as the licence they race under is a British licence.”

The riders will also compete for the pink jersey of race leader and winner as well as the National Dairy Council blue points jersey and purple IVCA queen of the hills jersey.

The green Clare County Council best Irish rider jersey will also be hotly contested as will the best U23 rider jersey and Leinster Commission-backed blue jersey worn on each stage by the previous day’s winner.