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Canadian National Champion And Former Junior World Champion Lead Powerful American And Dutch Teams Into An Post Rás
Kai Reus Park Hotel Valkenburg Holland
Zach Bell Smart Stop USA
Former world junior champion Kai Reus and Canadian national champion Zach Bell are amongst a strong line-up of riders confirmed this week as competing in next month’s An Post Rás, with Reus and Bell leading powerful Dutch and American teams in the world-ranked race.

Reus will spearhead the Netherlands Parkhotel Valkenburg selection and will seek to take his second big stage race success on Irish roads.

Back in 2003, months before he took his world championship title, he won the Junior Tour of Ireland and is fired up to take more success here.

Reus’ world championship victory marked him out as someone who could go on to a very big future in the sport but things haven’t followed the expected trajectory. He crashed during his first pro season in 2007, with the-then Rabobank rider suffering head injuries and ending up in a coma. He bounced back from that to win a stage and finished fourth overall in the 2009 Tour of Britain, but then contracted mononucleosis and struggled to find his best form.

Those frustrations caused him to leave the sport and while he returned in 2011, he later took another hiatus away from cycling. Now he’s in action again and, according to team manager Paul Tabak, he’s on course once more.

Ambitious An Post Chain Reaction And Azerbaijan Synergy Baku Teams To Chase Victory In An Post Rás
Conor Dunne An Post Chainreaction
The 2013 An Post Rás runner-up Connor McConvey, last year’s Post office sprints champion Owain Doull plus former stage winners Shane Archbold and Conor Dunne are amongst those shortlisted for participation by their teams for this year’s race, which will begin in just over one month’s time.

The quartet are in the running for inclusion on the Azerbaijan Synergy Baku and An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly teams, both of which confirmed today as taking part in Ireland’s biggest cycling event.

The Azerbaijan Synergy Baku team competed for the first time last year and notched up two stage victories, with Kirill Pozdnyakov winning stage four into Glengarrif and Rico Rogers taking stage six into Carlow. Both riders are with different teams this year, but the squad is returning with some very strong alternatives and big ambitions.

“As a goal, the team would always like to have a shot at the overall jersey,” states general manager David McQuaid. “That’s most likely with Connor McConvey if he hones his form. Looking at the squad we are putting forward, stage wins are more likely.”

Connor McConvey Synergy Baku
Three Irish riders are amongst those in line to make up the final five man team. These include McConvey, who last year finished on exactly the same time as overall winner Marcin Bialoblocki, only missing out on the final race victory due to his rival’s better stage placings.

Placing fourth in 2010 and seventh two years later, he’s psyched to finally take the winner’s yellow jersey and to add his name to the list of An Post Rás champions. The other two possible Irish participants are the four-time national champion – and current title holder - Matt Brammeier and the rider who finished second to him in that race last June, Philip Lavery.

The riders from Azerbaijan who are on McQuaid’s shortlist are national time trial champion Elchin Asadov, Tural Isganadarov and national road race champion Samir Jabrayilov, while the Ukrainian Maksym Averin, the Austrian Markus Eibegger and the German Christoph Schweizer are also being considered.

The team will be directed at the race by Arvis Piziks, who finished second to-then USSR team-mate Dainis Ozoles in the 1989 Rás. More>>>

Defending Champion Bialobiocki And 2013 Race Leader Hawkins Confirmed For An Post Rás
Marcin Bialobocki Champion 2013 With The George Plant Trophy
Twelve months after he took a nail-biting victory in the An Post Rás over Irishman Connor McConvey, winning the race by virtue of better accumulated stage placings, Marcin Bialoblocki will return to the event once again in a bid to make it two victories in a row.

The powerful Polish rider will spearhead an ambitious Velosure Giordana squad next month, with that outfit being one of three British teams announced today by the An Post Rás race organisers. Bialoblocki is likely to be joined by the 2012 Tour of the North winner James Moss plus Steve Lampier, who was a top twenty finisher last year in the Tour of Britain. The final two places on the team will be finalised closer to the event.

“The big goal is clearly for Marcin to repeat last year’s overall victory,” says team manager Malcolm Elliot, a former top pro who won stages and the points jersey at the Vuelta a España in the past. After returning to the sport in his forties he also took stages in the An Post Rás

Norwegian And Canadian Teams Boost Impressive Line-Up For 2014 An Post Rás
Remi Pelletier-Roy Canada
An Post Rás organisers have today confirmed two more international teams for this year’s edition, adding to the already formidable line-up in place for the world-ranked race.

The Norwegian Continental team Motiv3 Pro Cycling and the Canadian national team will join four previously announced international squads in the eight day event, which begins in Dunboyne on Sunday May 18th.

The Canadian team includes Rémi Pelletier-Roy, who last year finished second on stage four and a superb fourth overall. Having ended up just forty seconds off the top of the podium, he will be determined to push for the winner’s yellow jersey this time round.

Pelletier-Roy will be joined by former Junior Tour of Ireland winner Stuart Wight, current Canadian Under-23 champion Alex Cataford, 2013 Canada Games medallist Matteo Dal Cin and the experienced Nic Hamilton.

Sondre Linstad Hurum Norway
According to team manager Luc Arseneau, the riders are building up for the Commonwealth Games later this year but regard An Post Rás as a major objective. “Following last year’s performances at the Rás, we will be looking for some stage wins as well as getting on that final podium.”

He said the riders have already started producing some solid results this year and will have a good build-up. “Rémi Pelletier-Roy just won the season opening Delray Twilight Crit in Florida and Matteo won a stage at the Tucson Bicycle Classic.

“The riders for the An Post Rás will have two programmes in April. Some will be racing in Belgium, while others will stay in America to race the Tour of Gila. Early May, they all will meet in California to ride the Los Angeles Velodrome before going across the ocean to Ireland.” More>>>

Austrian And German Continental Teams Ambitious About Chasing An Post Rás Success
Gregor Muhlberger Austria
Clemen Fankhauser Austria
With less than two months to go to the start of the 2014 An Post Rás, two more strong international teams have been confirmed as talking part in this year’s event.

Tirol Cycling from Austria and the Kuota Pro Team from Germany will join the Belgian and New Zealand squads announced last week, and look more than capable of shaping the final outcome of the race.

Tirol Cycling will feature what its Chief Operating Officer Norbert Dürauer describes as “the best under-23 riders from Austria” on its roster. The team previously helped three others to develop and to go on to World Tour level, namely Katusha’s Marco Haller, Cannondale’s Matthias Krizek and Argos Shimano’s Georg Preidler, and aims to do the same with the next wave of riders.

“This is what our team is about,” states Dürauer. “We want to provide them the perfect platform on their way to one of the big teams in our sport. Top resources, scientific-assisted training and an international race schedule are the main contributions to achieve this goal.”

One of the team’s biggest goals this season is the 2.HC Tour of Austria in July, while An Post Rás is another. More>>>

Top Track Racing Talent Confirm For Belgium And New Zealand Teams In 2014 An Post Rás
Jasper de Buyst Belgium
Kenny de Ketele Belgium
Some of the world’s top track racing riders will draw on their velodrome-honed speed to chase success in this year’s An Post Rás.

Belgium and New Zealand have today been named as the first two teams confirmed for the May 2014 event, and both squads will include riders who have been very successful in track competition.

The Belgian squad will comprise five riders from the Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise team, including the former European and world madison champion Kenny de Ketele. The 28-year old rider will be joined by Jasper de Buyst, who was the winner of the Gent Six last November.

Belgium omnium champion Moreno De Pauw will also feature, returning to the race one year after he won stage five into Mitchelstown. He knows what to expect on Irish roads and will be looking to add to his strong performance in 2013.

An Post Rás Officials 2014

An Post Rås Chief Commissaire 2014
Madis Lepajoe Estonia

2014 An Post Rás Route To Suit The ‘All Round’ Rider
The 2014 An Post Rás Route

Ronan McLaughlin,Conor McConvey,Roger Aiken With Race Director Tony Campbell At The Launch Of The An Post Rás 2014

Stage End Accommodation Officers
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Last Updated: Apr 24th, 2014 - 17:36:13

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