Keevan rider Finnegan back in the saddle and ready to take on fifth Ras international

Derek Finnegan celebrates success on behalf of Keevan before next week's Ras international challenge.
Derek Finnegan celebrates success on behalf of Keevan before next week's Ras international challenge.

Derek Finnegan will swap Keevan club colours for a Meath jersey next week on his return to the Ras international event following a five-year absence.

The Monaghan-born rider has an entry in place as part of the Navan Avonmore team for the An Post-sponsored eight-day test.

The Ras puts each cyclist into a daily average 120-mile challenge and Finnegan is relishing his first appearance since 2011.

“I married a woman from the Birches, Karly Moore, with the past few years’ focus on family and my physiotherapy practice in Portadown’s Church Street,” said Finnegan. “However, the opportunity came along and this may prove my last chance to ride the Ras, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I recently got a win for Keevan in the Tommy Givan Memorial so that helps my preparations for what is Ireland’s premier cycling event.”

The Ras entry list features 37 teams covering the hosts alongside riders from Great Britain, Austria, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the USA.

The eight-stage route from Dublin to Skerries includes 25 categorised climbs.

“The Ras attracts a field of professionals and amateurs, with this season marking my fifth,” said Finnegan. “I have previously competed in the World Championships and raced for a few years in Belgium.

“I joined the Keevan club after moving to this area and due to a family connection.

“I have been really impressed with the progress made by Keevan since the club’s formation.

“We entered teams in the Tour of the North and Tour of Ulster, so that marks impressive work.

“Although family and work commitments make it more difficult to train to previous standards, I am looking forward to the challenge next week.”

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