The organisers of the Rás Tailteann have announced the return of backing from FBD Insurance, 12 years after the company ended its title sponsorship of the event. FBD Insurance will sponsor the daily stage winner’s jersey in this year’s race, which will get under way in just over three weeks’ time.
"Cáirde Rás Tailteann is thrilled that FBD have decided to again support this iconic Irish event," stated race director Gerard Campbell on Monday. "FBD Insurance have played a significant role in the history of this race. FBD's historical contribution and support in the development of the sporting institution that is An Rás Tailteann, was instrumental in lifting the event into a fully-fledged, world ranked UCI grade 2.2 event, befitting its status."
The Rás Tailteann will begin in Dublin on Wednesday, June 15th and will conclude on Sunday, June 19th in Blackrock, Co. Louth.
FBD Insurance co-sponsored the-then FBD Milk Rás between 1984 and 2004 and then took over as full title sponsor the following year. The race was titled the FBD Insurance Rás for six editions prior to An Post becoming the main backer. The latter company vacated that slot after the conclusion of the 2017 event.
The-then race organisers used a reserve fund to run the event in 2018 but an unsuccessful search for a new title sponsor meant that the 2019 edition was cancelled. Covid-19 then put paid to the running of the race in 2020 and 2021.
As the backer of the daily stage winner’s jersey, FBD Insurance’s contribution in 2022 will be on a smaller scale than before, but its return to cycling will be greeted by many within the sport.
"FBD has a proud tradition of supporting communities through our extensive branch network," the company's chief commercial officer John Cahalan said. "As the sport of cycling continues to grow in Ireland, our renewed involvement in such a prestigious event is a further demonstration of our commitment to the communities in which we operate."
Further sponsors will be announced by the Rás organisers in the near future, as well as the identities of the foreign and domestic teams who will compete.
This year's race will feature stage finishes in Horse and Jockey, Castleisland, Lisdoonvarna, Kilbeggan and Blackrock.