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New Organiser For An Post Rás
Tony Campbell Race Director
Eddie Dawson Assistant Race Director
An Post Rás Route Director, Tony Campbell, will take over as organiser of the 8 day international cycle race following Dermot Dignam’s decision to retire from the position within the next few weeks.

“it’s the next logical step to a process we started two years ago” Dignam explains “we very successfully set up a working group with a view to attracting younger people into the race organisation and now with the benefit of experience they are ready to assume greater responsibility”.

Tony Campbell has vast experience at different levels in the race and worked closely with Dignam for many years. The man with the mammoth task of arranging accommodation for the huge entourage each year, Eddie Dawson, will continue to look after accommodation as well being Assistant Race Director. More>>>

Craven Crashes In Ireland Back In Training
Dan Craven IG Sigma Sport
The crash came 50km before the end of the third stage when Craven was lying in fourth place in the peloton. Two of his team-mates slipped on the greasy descent and Craven saw his rear wheel slide from under him. With nowhere to go, the rest of the peloton ploughed into Craven, leaving the road strewn with bikes and bodies. “My team mate who was in second position said his back wheel slid and he was only just able to keep his bike up. I was not so lucky and no one behind me had a chance either.

I have no memory of it but people say there was oil on the road, with the rain and as it was so narrow and twisty it was just an accident waiting to happen,” he said. “Considering that we did the first 50km of the race in 1 hour and 1 minute I suppose it is no surprise that crashes would happen,” he added. Craven suffered a deep gash on his chin and on his cheek and also suffered memory loss, but he immediately got back onto his bike to complete the race. “This crash was the first time I’ve suffered from memory loss. More>>>

Apres Ras 2012 – Don’t Change A Thing !
Barry Meehan
The An Post Ras is over for another year and the withdrawal symptoms have set in. In years gone by it was only the hourly Roy Willoughby radio report and the 30 second clip on the RTE evening news that had us all enthralled. However, nowadays we have Shane Stokes’ live updates on Irishcycling.com, Sticky Bottle live updates on Facebook and Fiona Cooke on twitter as @anpostras to keep up with the action as it happens. Then in the evening before any tv station gets a chance to screen its clip the TV3 4 minute clip is up on youtube and sticky bottle. Shane Stokes then gives great synopsis of what, when and how it all happened up front whilst Richard Hooten, Paddy Clarke and the KING of all Cycling reality writers Myles McCorry gave a fantastic insight into what was really going on within the bunch for all the Men of the Ras.

For the past few editions there has been a lot of talk about the Ras nowadays being too hard for amateurs and county riders who have day jobs and families to fit their training around. Suggestions include having a separate Ras for amateurs and to leave the current Ras to the professionals who are in search of UCI points.

Powerful Lineup And Tough Route Point Towards Dramatic An Post Rás
Gedlminas Bagdonas 2011
Simon Richardson 2009
With four former race winners and seventeen foreign teams lining out in Dunboyne this Sunday for the start of the sixtieth edition of the An Post Rás, a very high standard is guaranteed for the race, as well as an unpredictable and suspense-filled outcome.

Last year’s champion Gediminas Bagdonas proved he is in top shape for the defence of his title by winning the Puivelde Koerse in Belgium this week. The Lithuanian will compete again with the An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team, and with the race also being sponsored by its chief backer An Post, he will be very highly motivated to succeed.

Bagdonas will be joined by four strong Irish team-mates, namely Ronan McLaughlin, Sean Downey, Connor McConvey and Sam Bennett, who became one of the youngest stage winners ever when he triumphed into Clara three years ago.

David McCann 2004
Andrew Roche 1997
Aside from Bagdonas, three other past Rás champions have confirmed they will take part. 2004 race winner David McCann is the second most recent Irish victor and, after recovering from a bad crash in the Tour of Korea, will lead the Taiwan RTS Racing team. 1997 champion Andrew Roche will compete on the Isle of Man Bikeline p/b Microgaming team, while 2009 winner Simon Richardson will be part of the British IG – Sigma Sport squad. More>>>

Irish Sports Council Supports An Post Rás.
John Treacy Irish Sports Council
When the final stage of this year’s An Post Rás finishes in the Skerries on Sunday 27th May one of the riders most likely to win a professional contract in the coming months will be the one to don the Irish Sports Council's white jersey as the most promising young rider of the race.

The coveted jersey will reflect the Sports Council's financial support for the race, which is one of the select group of world races eligible to award qualifying points for World Championships and Olympic Games.

Commenting on the funding, Irish Sports Council Chief Executive, John Treacy, said “The Irish Sports Council is delighted to continue its long relationship with the An Post Rás, one the outstanding sports events hosted in Ireland annually. The Council is delighted to be associated with the Young Rider jersey, a prestigious and important element of the Rás that has seen some top quality winners in recent years”. He also praised An Post’s support for Irish cycling

Mayo Centra Team Launched For An Post Rás
Padraig Marrey
For the first time ever Mayo cycling will get a big boost with 2 teams competing in the An Post Rás.

The Mayo Centra team to compete in the An Post Rás was announced after months of hard preparation and racing.

The squad of seven, comprised of Western lakes and Covey Wheelers Westport club members, have gone through a full transformation from normal club racers who competed locally to full fledge elite racers. As part of the training the squad has already stepped up to compete at International level races like Rás Mumhan (Kerry 4 day) and the Tour of Ulster (Ulster 3 day). Having the opportunity to race in the 60th edition of the 8 day An Post Rás is the reward for all their hard work.

The team will be led by the experienced Padraig Marrey who headed up the project as coach and organiser and will under take to complete his 10th Rás. More>>>

Bagdonas Returns To Defend Title As Four Irish Riders Selected
Gediminas Bagdonas Rás Winner 2011
An Post Sean Kelly team manager Kurt Bogaert today named his team for the 60th edition of the Rás, which starts in Dunboyne next Sunday, 20th May. Four Irish riders have been named in the side, namely Sam Bennett, Conor McConvey, Ronan McLaughlin and Sean Downey, while Lithuanian strongman Gediminas Bagdonas returns to defend his 2011 title.

The Belgian based side have been in good form coming into the race with Bagdonas taking second place at the Omloop der Kempen (1.2) in the Netherlands last weekend and all four Irish riders putting in solid team performances to ensure a second place finish for teammate Kenneth Van Bilsen at the Circuit de Wallonie (1.2) in Belgium.

Sam Bennett, National Under 23 Champion
Team manager Kurt Bogaerts admitted that the promising form that some of his riders have shown in the last few weeks made his team selection a very tough decision.

“Deciding on the team for this year’s Rás was not an easy task. It is a race in which all of the riders want to be involved in, but unfortunately I can only select five to compete”, Bogaerts said.

While he also felt that the team’s experience in Bagdonas’ overall win last year will be a huge boost ahead of this year’s race.

“I think experience will play a vital role in the outcome of this year’s Rás. Bennett and McLaughlin were both involved in Bagdonas’ overall win last year, while McConvey finished top U23 rider and 4th overall in 2010 and Sean Downey was the highest placed Irish rider last year.”

Strong Teams From Denmark, Norway And Morocco For An Post Rás
Magnus Borresen Norway
Christian Jersild Denmark
With time ticking down to the start of the 2012 An Post Rás in sixteen day’s time, three more strong international teams have been announced for the race.

Pro teams (UCI Continental) Denmark Blue Water Cycling and Norway Team ONECO Mesterhus and the first-ever appearance of a Moroccan national team raise the number of international squads announced to fifteen, and point towards this year’s race as being an extremely competitive and unpredictable one.

Norway Oneco Mesterhus will be led by Magnus Børresen, the 2010 Norwegian under 23 champion, who was second last year in the 1.2 ranked Rogaland Grand Prix.

He will be backed up by 2012 Tour of Malta stage winner Andreas Landa, 2011 Amore Vita competitor Kristian Forbord, 2011 Norwegian under 23 championship bronze medallist Christian Hannestad and Krister Hagen, winner last year of the Tonsberg four day race.

“We go to Ireland with a goal to win stages and at least one jersey,” said team manager Lars Junker. “We have very good sprinters and climbers so we really want to get some of the jerseys.

Lassie Norman Hansen Denmark Former Junior World Champion
Adil Jelloul Morocco
“To lead these crazy Vikings we got a good and experienced captain in Magnus Børresen; we want to take some scalps because that’s an old Norwegian Viking tradition!”

After racing in Spain, Malta, Holland, Denmark and Norway, the team will do the 1.1-ranked Rogaland GP on May 13th as its final big preparation event.

Scandinavian neighbours Denmark Blue Water Cycling will feature the experienced 34 year old Jacob Nielsen, who was second in the world junior road race championships back in 1996 and has won many UCI races since.

Former junior world track champion Lasse Norman Hansen is also on the team, and travels here after being up against Ireland’s Martyn Irvine in the omnium event at the world championships in Melbourne. He was third there, sealing his place alongside Irvine in the Olympics, and will seek to ride strongly in the An Post Rás as part of his buildup for London 2012. More>>>

Swiss Team Promise Attacking Role in An Post Rás
Florian Salzinger
As the days tick down to the start of An Post Rás on Sunday 20th May, the Swiss pro (UCI Continental) team, Atlas Personal – Jakroo, has confirmed they will ride in the big 8 day international cycle race. The Swiss out-fit join teams from Britain, Denmark, France and New Zealand, already announced to compete against each other.

The five riders selected by the team management should be in optimum shape as they are currently on a programme of races to prepare specifically for the Rás.

Pirmin Lang
Swiss rider Pirmin Lang (23) and the 27 year old Frenchman, Nicolas Baldo will be the protected riders, having performed well in the past. Lang won the 1.2-ranked Antwerpse Havenpijl last year and was also fifth on a stage of the Tour of China (2.1). Baldo rode well in the 2010 Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour, netting second on a stage and in the overall classification, and also finished second on a stage there in 2011. His runner-up slots also include one in the 2010 La Roue Tourangelle. Those near-misses will sharpen his determination to pick up a win in Ireland.

“Our team captains will be Pirmin Lang and Nicolas Baldo,” said the German Florian Salzinger, who is both a rider on the team and involved in bringing the team to Ireland to race. More>>>

Five Strong Britiah Teams Aim For An Post Rás Success
Peter Hawkins I.G. Sigma Sport
Philip Lavery Node4 Giordana Racing
Winning British squads from two previous editions of the An Post Ràs will race as a strong set of UK registered teams travelling to Ireland for next month’s race.

The Rapha Condor Sharp team, 2009 victors with Simon Richardson are returning and targeting success. So too are the UK Youth Pro Cycling squad, which helped Alexander Wetterhall to success in 2010 (then titled Team Sprocket).

They are joined by the Node 4-Giordana Racing team, IG Sigma Sport and Metaltek-Scott. Together the five squads will be amongst the strongest in the race, and will play a major part in shaping the final outcome.

The Rapha Condor Sharp team will be led by John Herety, a former professional who has guided several riders to Rás victories. UK-based Irish rider Felix English will be one of his five riders. English recently won the final stage of the Tour of the North and is psyched to ride well in his first edition of the top Irish event.

Stephen Halpin Metaltk- Scott
Felix English Rapha Condor Sharp
Luke Grivell-Mellor, who took the Under 23 classification of the Tour of North, will also be part of the team, as well Richard Handley, Mike Cuming and Christopher Jennings.

“It is my intention to bring a young team, which is all part of a change of focus for the Rapha Condor Sharp Team in 2012,” said Herety, who will be one of the most experienced managers in the race. “We will be targeting the Irish Sports Council U23 White Jersey Competition.”

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

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