The 2010 race looks like yet another epic . Philip Cassidy , 2 time winner looks like he might compete in what will be the 30th anniversary of his first Ras . Malcolm Elliott is another 48 year old who will surely be making an impression on the race if he turns up once again . There will of course be the full foreign contingent as usual but all Irish fans will be on the look out for young Sam Bennett from Carrick on suir . Sam who was injured in a serious crash before Christmas has made a rapid recovery from a broken collarbone and a very deep gash in his leg . The impact of his body colliding with the car was enough to bend the door pillar and drive up the roof of the car . His bike also took a big hit , so big in fact that the forks were never found having flown up over a ditch . He is now doing 2 x 1 hour stints on the turbo trainer each day and hopes to be back on the road this coming weekend . Hopefully he will be able to repeat his fantastic stage win of last year .
The An Post Sean Kelly team will once again be targeting the race and will field their strongest team . Aboard their Principia steeds equipped with the Sram Force groupsets along with DT Swiss wheelsets and Hutchinson tyres they wont be lacking anything in the mechanical department . Will Mark Cassidy regain the yellow jersey that was cruelly taken from him 2 years ago by a train track in Limerick or will Nico Eckhout repeat his opening stage win of last year . Paudie ‘poddler’ O’Brien has always been a consistent podium finisher but will he take that next step up to the number 1 slot . Stephen Gallagher did it for the team 2 years ago but sadly has experienced the biggest blow that life can deliver since then , but his inspirational win still gives hope to other Irish riders .
For the past 4 years everyone is saying that this will be the last Ras . Dermot Dignam cannot go on organising such a huge event for ever , but he has done such a great job that it will be very difficult for anyone to step into his shoes . Hopefully a worthy successor will be found and we can all look forward to many more years of this fantastic showcase of just how good sport in Ireland can be .
Let the training begin !