The 2019 Lacey Cup will be held on Sunday, 3rd March hosted by Tralee Manor West Bicycle Club. The Lacey Cup is the grand opener to the Munster racing season with a hot field anxious to show early season form.
The race always draws a large field of riders, with 200 competing in previous years. Some of the top Irish riders will be in action on the day, all intent on taking home the coveted Lacey Cup.
This year in accordance with rulings from Cycling Ireland, there will be a separate race for the A4 category, which will start after the main A1/A2/A3 race.
The course is the usual challenging 75 Km circuit of which always proves to be a very tough race and with past winners such as Matteo Cigala (2018) Sean Hahessy (2017), Daragh O’Mahoney (2016), Seán Mc Kenna (’15), Damian Shaw (’14), Seán Lacey (‘09,’10,’11,’12,’13) Martin O Loughlin (’07,’08), Matt Slattery (’03).
The race will have a neutralised start from Manor West Hotel, Spa & Leisure Club, sponsors of the Tralee Manor West Bicycle Club and will be the main venue and headquarters for the race. Departure from the hotel will be at 12:15 sharp. Racing will officially commence from George Poff’s Garage on the Dingle road at 12.30 and will pass through Blennerville (12.35), Camp (13.00), Upper Camp, Gleann na nGealt (13.10), Annascaul (13.25), Inch (13.30), Boolteens (13.50), Castlemaine (13.55), Sliabh Mish (14.05) and finishing at 14.15 at 60kph signs at Skehanagh Cross on the Killorglin road in Tralee.
Diversions in place to divert traffic away from the finish line (Skehanagh Cross) via the N70 Killorglin road roundabout and Quills Cross/Farmers Bridge N22.
The main race is run on a handicap basis consisting of 3 groups with the first group of Category A3 riders, followed by the A2’s, and finally the group of elite A1 Category riders.
The A4 race will start approximately 5 mins after the A1 riders are underway. This will follow the same route.
The first prime of the race is Gleann na nGealt and will be hotly contested between the A3 riders for the Jackie O’Connor Memorial Trophy.
As in previous years the A1 and A2 groups behind will have merged and will have the job of catching the race leaders as they head towards Inch.
After Castlemaine the riders head for the 2nd Prime, The Teddy Griffin Memorial Trophy, the final climb of Sliabh Mish Mountain where the race has usually broken up into a small group of elite A1 and A2 riders, with the expected winner coming from these groups.
This years pre race favourites are undoubtedly, Matteo Cigala, last years impressive winner along with last years runner up, Paul Kennedy (Newcastle West CC). The hosting club will also be deeply motivated to launch a rider into the top 10.
It all promises to be an exciting days racing with plenty of exciting action along the route to keep spectators entertained.
Sign On will be open from 10.00am to 11.30am sharp at the Manor West Hotel, who will provide parking and facilities for the presentations following the race.