Pinergy-Orwell Wheelers will have two of its riders racing the Rás 2024.


Joe-Nathan Matar has been selected by Cycling Leinster. If you’ve been following the weekly racing round-up articles posted by Dick O’Brien and Ivan O’Brien, you’re already familiar with Joe-Nathan. He won the White Jersey at Rás Mhaigh-Éo in March and was promoted to A1 within a few months of becoming a Senior. He was selected for the Cycling Leinster team at Rás Mumhan. Rás Tailteann is the next logical stop on the whirlwind of a season.


Cahir O’Higgins will guest ride for the Spanish team Brocar-Rali-Ále. Cahir is back for his third Rás in a row. His build-up got off to a flying start this year winning two world championship qualification races back to back in his category and top ten on the overall GC in UCI Gran Fondo Jordan. Other races included the Gorey 3 day and a 5th in the Carn Classic. Given the hills of Cork, Kerry and Tipperary, Cahir thinks he picked the wrong year to bulk up in the gym over winter (to improve his sprint) and says this will be his toughest Rás yet. Cahir is the oldest rider in this year’s Ras at 49, and if he finishes will beat his own record of being the oldest Orwell rider to complete the race. He hopes to build form and go in to the world championships later this year in peak condition. He says his main ambition on this year‘s Ras is to do a solid job as a domestique for the stronger riders on the team to get a big result.


Cahir at the 2023 Rás. Image courtesy of SportPhoto Ireland / Sean Rowe.


Also in the Peloton, will be some of our former members.


Conor Murnane, of UCD is back. It’s Conor’s fourth crack at the Rás. Conor’s first two Rásanna were back in the days when it was an eight day race. In his most recent Rás, he picked up a fifth and an eighth place. Conor was the mechanic for the Pinergy-Orwell team last year.


Eoin Kelly, of Brocar-Rali-Ále, returns for his third Rás. His previous two Rásanna have been with UCD. Eoin has been racing in Spain this year.


Ruarí Byrne, of UCD, is selected for Cycling Leinster. Ruarí is starting his second Rás. Stages two and four of this year’s Rás are hilly. So hopefully this will be to his advantage. Ruarí is in ripping form after he bridged a minute, unaided, to the break in the Shay Elliott and finished sixth.


Ronan O’Connor, of Global 6 United, is selected for Cycling Leinster. It’s a Rás debut, but he’s no stranger to this level of competition. He’s been racing in Italy for two years, and will be jetting in fresh from the Tour of Hellas 2.1 for Irish Cycling’s showpiece.



Off the bike, but in the action, will be multiple time Man of the Rás, Stephen O’Shea. He’s back in the Rás cavalcade after a year away. Stephen will be driving the team car for the Mexican outfit of Canel’s-Java. The team of last year’s runner-up, Cormac McGeough.


Luke GJ Potter will be attending his second Rás, after helping with the Orwell Team’s Feed Zones last year. Luke will manage the Spanish team Brocar-Rali-Ále. Cahir and Eoin are on the team. As is Ewan Warren, who was on the Irish National Team in last year’s Rás. Also on the team is Spanish rider Josep Tomas and Aussie Jack Marshall.


If you wish to come to watch the Rás:

On Saturday 25th, there's a stage finish in Kildare town, at 14:00. Location: Tully Street.

On Sunday 26th, we'll be in the Carpark of Maynooth Post-Primary School from 10:00. The fifth, and final stage will have a Ceremonial Start from Maynooth square at 11:54. It’s a 60km round trip on the bike. The stage finishes with loops at Bective Stud and Tea Rooms (south of Navan) from 14:12 to 15:14. Location: Bective Cottage finish line.


Unfortunately, Luke's snack pack won't be making an appearance this year.