|Competition||UCI Europe Tour 2.2|
|Race director||Tony Campbell|
|Editions||62 (as of 2014)|
|First winner||Colm Christle (IRL)|
|Most wins||Sé O Hanlon (IRL) (4 wins)|
|Most recent||Clemens Fankhauser (AUT)|
Rás Tailteann (pronounced [ˈɾˠaːsˠ ˈt̪ˠ alʲtʲənˠ], "Tailteann Race"), known for sponsorship reasons as the An Post Rás or the Rás for short, is an annual 8-day international cycling stage race, held in Ireland in May. Around Ireland, the race is referred to as The Rás. By naming the race Rás Tailteann the original organisers, members of the National Cycling Association (NCA), were associating the cycle race with the Tailteann Games an ancient Celtic sporting event in Ireland.
The event was founded by Joe Christle in 1953  and was organised under the rules of the Republican-influenced organisation — the National Cycling Association (NCA). At that time competitive cycling in Ireland was deeply divided between three cycling organisations, the NCA, Cumann Rothaiochta na hEireann (CRE) and the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation (NICF) due to the issue of nationalism and the division of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the Republic. The NCA wished for a United Ireland and refused to recognise Northern Ireland or to confine their jurisdiction to the Republic of Ireland. The Rás Tailteann was the biggest race that the NCA organised each year.
As a result of a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) motion, the NCA was banned from international races and all teams affiliated with the UCI were banned from competing in races organised by the NCA. Therefore only teams that were not affiliated with the UCI or who were willing to take the chance of serving a suspension for competing in the Rás Tailteann competed in the Rás Tailteann. During this time the NCA cyclists achieved prominence in the Rás with Gene Mangan, Sé O'Hanlon and Paddy Flanagan being several legends of the race. Mangan won only one Rás but featured in the race throughout the 60's and early 70's winning a total of 12 stages while O'Hanlon won the race four times and won 24 stages. Flanagan won the Rás three times and had 11 stage wins.
The NCA and the CRE together with NICF began unification talks in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a result, a CRE team which included Pat McQuaid, Kieron McQuaid and Peter Doyle was able to enter the race in 1974. Doyle won the race and the McQuaids won two stages each. The first Rás open to the two associations CRE and the NICF was in 1979 and enabled Stephen Roche to compete the event as part of the Ireland team. Roche won the event.
The race has developed into a much sought after event by professional and amateur teams from many parts of the world. As part of the elite international calendar it is eligible to award qualifying points that are required for participation in Olympic Games and World Cycling Championships.
The first edition was held in 1953 as a two-day event but quickly developed into a week-long event. It has run every year since uninterrupted.
The official name of the race has been changed many times over the years, usually named after sponsors. An Post are the current title sponsors for three years starting with the 2011 edition. The race is a UCI 2.2 event.
|No.||Year||GC Winner||Nationality||Team||Points class||KOM||U23|
|1||1953||Colm Christle||Ireland||Gate C.C.|
|2||1954||Joe O'Brien||Ireland||National C.C.|
|9||1961||Tom Finn||Ireland||Dublin Team||S.Dillon|
|12||1964||Paddy Flanagan (2)||Ireland||Kildare|
|13||1965||Sé O'Hanlon (2)||Ireland||Dublin|
|14||1966||Sé O'Hanlon (3)||Ireland||Dublin|
|15||1967||Sé O'Hanlon (4)||Ireland||Dublin|
|18||1970||Alexander Gysiantnikov||Soviet Union|
|23||1975||Paddy Flanagan (3)||Ireland||Kildare|
|25||1977||Yuri Lavrushkin||Soviet Union|
|29||1981||Jamie McGahan||United Kingdom||Scotland|
|33||1985||Nicola Kosiakov||Soviet Union|
|36||1988||Paul McCormack (2)||Ireland||Ireland|
|37||1989||Dainis Ozols||Soviet Union|
|40||1992||Stephen Spratt (2)||Ireland||Dublin|
|41||1993||Eamonn Byrne||Ireland||Dublin Wheelers|
|46||1998||Ciarán Power||Ireland||Team Ireland|
|47||1999||Philip Cassidy (2)||Ireland||Team Ireland|
|48||2000||Julian Winn||United Kingdom||Wales team||David McCann||David McCann|
|49||2001||Paul Manning||United Kingdom||Great Britain team||David Kopp||Nicholas White|
|50||2002||Ciaran Power (2)||Ireland||Team Ireland-Stena Line||Chris Newton||Julian Winn|
|51||2003||Chris Newton||United Kingdom||Great Britain team||Jonas Holmkvist||Maxim Iglinskiy|
|52||2004||David McCann||Ireland||Ireland-Thornton's Recycling Team||Malcolm Elliott||Tobias Lergard|
|53||2005||Chris Newton (2)||United Kingdom||Recycling.co.uk||Malcolm Elliott||Mark Lovatt|
|54||2006||Kristian House||United Kingdom||Recycling.co.uk||Morten Hegreberg||Ciarán Power|
|55||2007||Tony Martin||Germany||Thüringer Energie Team||Dominique Rollin||Ricardo Van der Velde|
|56||2008||Stephen Gallagher||Ireland||An Post–Sean Kelly||Dean Downing||Kit Gilham|
|57||2009||Simon Richardson||United Kingdom||Rapha Condor recycling.co.uk||Niko Eeckhout||David O'Loughlin||Mark McNally|
|58||2010||Alexander Wetterhall||Sweden||Team Sprocket Pro||John Degenkolb||Mark Cassidy||Connor McConvey|
|59||2011||Gediminas Bagdonas||Lithuania||An Post-Sean Kelly||Shane Archbold||Oleksandr Sheydyk||Aaron Gate|
|60||2012||Nicolas Baldo||France||Atlas Personal-Jakroo||Gediminas Bagdonas||David Clarke||Richard Handley|
|61||2013||Marcin Białobłocki||Poland||Team UK Youth||Owain Doull||Martin Hunal||Simon Yates|
|62||2014||Clemens Fankhauser||Austria||Tirol Cycling Team||Patrick Bevin||Markus Eibegger||Alex Peters|
- Daly, Tom (2003). The Rás – The Story Of Ireland’s Unique Bike Race. The Collins Press. ISBN 1-903464-37-4.
- Daly, Tom (2012). The Rás – The Story Of Ireland’s Unique Bike Race — paperback edition. The Collins Press. ISBN 978-1-84889-148-7.
- Traynor, Jim. THE RÁS A Day by Day Diary of Ireland’s Great Bike Race. The Collins Press. ISBN 978-1-905451-71-5.
- Riordan, Christy (2009). A Special tribute to Mick Murphy: Winner of 1958 Rás Tailteann. C.R. DVD & Video production.
- http://www.independent.ie/sport/death-of-former-cycling-supremo-joe-christle-447034.html/news/art_4467.shtml "Death of former cycling supremo Joe Christle" Publisher: Irish Independent.com Accessed date: 2009-05-30
- http://www.irishcycling.com/publish/news/art_5255.shtml "AN POST TAKES OVER TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF RÁS " Publisher: Irish Cycling.com Accessed date: 2010-09-27
- "1961 Rás Tailteann results". fbdinsurances.com. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
- "2009 FBD Insurance Rás results". irishcycling.com. Retrieved 2009-05-24.