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An Post Sean Kelly Team Announced For The Rás
Mark Cassidy, An Post Belgium
Sam Bennett, An Post Belgium
An Post Sean Kelly team manager Kurt Bogaerts today named his team for the 59th edition of the Rás, which starts in Dunboyne this Sunday. Three Irishmen have been named in the side; Sam Bennett, Mark Cassidy and Ronan McLaughlin, while Mark McNally and Gediminas Bagdonas complete the squad.

The Belgian based side are in excellent form going into the eight day stage race following two wins last weekend. Lithuanian Bagdonas won the Verrebroek - Beveren on Sunday, with Bennett taking fourth place, while Belgian veteran Niko Eeckhout won the Houthalen-Helchteren the previous day.

Team manager Kurt Bogaerts maintained it was a very difficult decision to pick the team, though he was happy this was the case.

“It was hard to pick the squad for the Rás, but it is a good problem for me to have. I am lucky that the guys have been racing well recently and they all wanted to be part of the team” Bogaerts said. More>>>

Cycling Ireland Announces Line Up For An Post Rás
Paul Griffin, Ireland
18th May 2011. The Skoda Ireland team for the 2011 AN Post Rás was announced today. It will be led by experienced Rás campaigner Paul Griffin, while three U23 riders, Sean Downey, Felix English and Belgian based duo, Conor Dunne and Peter Hawkins complete the squad.

Performance Director Phil Leigh outlined the make up of the team. “Griffin will be the team captain, and as a recent stage winner in the tough Rás Munham in Kerry over Easter he is looking forward to passing on his vast knowledge of the Rás to the younger riders.”

“Apart from Griffin it is a young team that is still developing. We have three U23 riders and two of them, English and Dunne, are first year U23’s. English, who also rides the track, is a double stage winner from the Junior Tour of Ireland last year. While Dunne will be making his debut in Ireland” Leigh added More>>>

Four Strong British Teams To Chase An Post Rás Glory
Simon Richardson, Sigmasport Rás Winner 2009
Pete Williams, Motorpoint 2nd Rás 2010
Fresh from a dominant showing in the Tour of Ulster, the Motorpoint cycling team is one of four British-registered teams heading to the An Post Rás with big ambitions.

The team will be led by Pete Williams, who was hugely impressive in Ulster. He won two stages plus the overall classification in the race, while his team-mate James Sampson was third on the general classification. They will be joined by Will Bjergfelt, Marcin Bialoblocki and Tobyn Horton, who already has the experience of being part of a winning team on the race. Last year he competed with the Sprocket Pro Cycling team, helping team-mate Alexander Wetterhall to win overall.

Williams finished second overall then, 59 seconds back, and the team believes he can take the yellow jersey this time round. “Pete nearly won the race last year and we are coming back to try to take it this time,” said manager Chris Truett. “The team goals are to win the An Post Rás, as well as taking stage wins and the King of the Mountains jersey.” More>>>

An Post Sean Kelly And Giant Kenda Teams Add Strong An Post Rás Line Up
Sam Bennett, An Post Belgium
Mark Cassidy, An Post Belgium
With just over a fortnight remaining before the start of Ireland’s most important cycling event, two very strong international teams have been unveiled for this year’s An Post Rás.

The Irish-sponsored, Belgian-registered An Post Sean Kelly team and the Taiwan-registered Giant Kenda squad will both be travelling to the prestigious eight day race, and will each have a strong Irish representation.

Although the An Post squad is yet to be finalised, the provisional lineup of eight riders – from which five will be selected – features four Irish competitors.

Ronan McLaughlin, An Post Belgium
Mark McNally, An Post Belgium
These are 2010 stage winner and King of the Mountains Mark Cassidy and Ronan McLaughlin, as well as the talented young duo Philip Lavery and Sam Bennett.

Bennett turned heads when he became one of the youngest stage winners ever in 2009, outsprinting some very strong riders into Clara at just 18 years of age. Lavery has gained a reputation for his aggressive style of racing and was crowned best young rider in last weekend’s Tour of Ulster.

Italian Team Joins Strong Line Up For 2011 An Post Rás
Henry Frusto Italy
Giuseppe Muraglia Italy
One year after making its debut in the race, the Italian – D'Angelo Antenucci Team Nippo squad will return to An Post Rás with an eye on overall success and stage victories in UCI 2.2 contest.

The powerful Continental-level team will again be managed by Alberto Elli, who held the yellow jersey for four days in the 2000 Tour de France. He will be one of the most experienced team directors in the race and is regarded as a very astute race tactician.

Elli states that the team’s general classification hope is likely to be Henry Frusto, with Alexander Zhdanov also a contender. “Henry is a climber and has already achieved good results in South Africa and in Taiwan,” he said, referring to his eighth on a stage and 17th overall in the Tour de Taiwan. More>>>

Strone Ulraine - ISD Lampre Team To Make Debut In An Post Rás
Dmytro Grabovskyy Under 23 World Chamipon 2005
Former world under 23 champion Dmytro Grabovskyy is one of five riders provisionally scheduled to ride this year’s An Post Rás in the colours of the Ukraine- ISD-Lampre Continental team. The squad looks certain to be one of the strongest in the race, and will line out on May 22nd determined to ride aggressively from the off.

Grabovskyy is regarded as a real enigma in the sport, marking himself out as a big talent early on when he won multiple European championships on road and track. He then won the world under 23 road race in Madrid in 2005, beating Ireland’s Philip Deignan and others to the line.

Netting second overall in the 2006 Baby Giro and winning a stage sealed the interest of several pro teams and he began a trial with the Quick Step team, soon securing a two year deal.

However things didn’t run smoothly for the Ukrainian, who failed to perform and then had a rather anonymous first year in 2009 with the ISD team. He revealed in 2010 that he had been battling a drink addiction, and resolved to get his career back on track. Taking the mountains classification in Tirreno–Adriatico promised much, but a bad crash hampered him once again. More>>>

German Thuringer Energie And France AVC AIX En Provence Boost An Post Rás Line Up
Marcel Barth Thuringer Germany
The Germany-Thuringer Energie team, which has played a very significant role in two recent editions of the Rás, has announced that the squad will be returning to this year’s race and they are determined to once again land success in May.

In 2007 Tony Martin won the overall classification, one year before going on to begin a very successful top-flight career with the HTC Highroad team. He won Paris-Nice last month and has developed into one of the sport’s very best young talents. Martin is now being spoken of as a possible future Tour de France contender, and also one who could win world championships medals in the time trials.

Last season, the team unveiled another hugely promising German rider, with John Degenkolb picking up two stage wins and the points classification. His team-mate Maximilian May also topped the podium on a stage. After that success, Degenkolb took two stages in the Tour de l’Avenir, a form of youth Tour de France, and was also second in the world under 23 championship road race. Like Martin, his performances
Matthieu Converset France
earned him a place in the HTC Highroad team, the most regular winning squad in the sport.

Race director Dermot Dignam is delighted the team is returning this year and is convinced that they will shape the final outcome of the race. “The Germany- Thuringer Energie squad has been one of the strongest in recent years, and seems to have a good way of developing some really strong young riders,” he said. “With riders like Tony Martin and John Degenkolb riding very strongly here in the past, we expect another good showing this May.”

The final selection will be made closer to the May 22nd start, however the team has pencilled in some very strong riders including Johannes Kahra, who was second overall and second in the time trial at last year’s Tour of Berlin. Marcel Barth, is a past winner of a stage in the Mainfranken Tour, while Jakob Steigmiller was second on a Rás stage last year and 11th overall. More>>>

KTM-Murcia Team To Send Strong Line-UP To An Post Rás
Javier Benitez KTM-Murcia
Oscar Garcia KTM-Murcia
The fourth international team for this year’s An Post Rás has been confirmed, with a strong pro squad travelling from Spain for the race.

The KTM-Murcia squad has been competing in some big events this year, including the Tour of Andalusia and the Tour of Murcia, and should be one of the strongest teams in the Irish event. It includes very experienced professionals, including some who have competed in cycling’s Grand Tours in the past.

KTM-Murcia joins the previously-confirmed Drapac Professional (Australia), Wonderful Pistachios (USA) and New Zealand teams in the lineup for the 2.2-ranked Irish tour

The squad for the An Post Rás is due to be led by the promising climber Marcos García, a 24 year old who has previously competed in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. Last year he was second in the prestigious GP Llodio event in the Basque Country, as well as placing third in the Vuelta a La Rioja. He was also seventh in both the Subida al Naranco and the Tour of Slovenia. More>>>

American Wonderful Pistachios Pro Team Announced For An Post Rás
Tim Farnham U.S.A
A week after the announcement that the Australian Drapac Professional team and the New Zealand national squad will be competing in this year’s An Post Rás, the third international team has been confirmed for the world-ranked event.

The Los Angeles-based Wonderful Pistachios pro squad will travel from the US for the Sunday May 22nd start of the race, and is determined to ride well. Team director Josh Horowitz competed in the event ten years ago and said that he is very much looking forward to bringing his riders to the well-known contest.

“In 2001, the Rás was my first international racing experience as a neo pro and to this day it is still my favourite stage race,” he enthused. “I really like this race for the Wonderful Pistachios team because our roster consists of strong, gritty riders who will excel at the kind of in-the-gutter, on-the-rivet riding that the Rás has to offer. I think they will bring a lot of energy and excitement to the race.”

The lineup is yet to be finalised but Horowitz names the two leaders of the team. “Tom Faiers raced the Pro Tour last year with Footon Cervetto and brings a wealth of talent and experience to the squad,” he said. “Neil Coleman is a two time UK national time trial champion and at 6'4" he can not be missed in the pack.” More>>>

Drapac Professional Cycling Team And New Zealand Squad For An Post Rás
Peter McDonald Drapac Australia
Shane Archbold New Zealand
With less than two months to go until the start of this year’s An Post Rás, two strong teams have been revealed as the first international squads confirmed for the prestigious race.

Both are from the southern hemisphere, with the Australian Drapac Professional team and New Zealand national squad returning a year after competing in the 2010 edition.

The Drapac riders were amongst the strongest last year, with the team working well together to help Joe Lewis net a superb second on stage four to Tipperary, sixth on stage six to Gorey, and a fine eighth overall. Stuart Shaw was also fourth on stage eight to Skerries.

Lewis has since moved to the Trek Livestrong under 23 team, but Shaw is expected to return at the helm of the squad. He is likely to be joined by former Australian road race champion Darren Lapthorne, who rode the race with Rapha Condor in 2009 and took an excellent fourth overall. More>>>

Last Updated: Jan 27th, 2022 - 06:14:09

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