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Strong Irish Presence In Ambitious An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly Team For An Post Rás
By Rás Admin.
May 13, 2014, 10:16


Owain Doull An Post
Selecting a team that he believes can chase both stage wins and the overall classification, An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly manager Kurt Bogaerts has named a strong lineup for the An Post Rás in advance of Sunday’s start.


Bogaerts has today named two Irish riders, another with strong Irish connections plus a Briton and a New Zealand competitor to the team.


The Irish duo are Jack Wilson, the national under 23 champion, plus the 2010 Commonwealth Games team pursuit bronze medallist Sean Downey.


Also in the lineup is the talented young rider Robert Jon McCarthy, who grew up in Ireland but changed to Australian nationality after moving to that country with his family.


The team is completed by two riders who have already had success in the race; the Briton Owain Doull and the Kiwi Shane Archbold.


Doull won the points classification twelve months ago while Archbold was first on stage two and third on the final stage to Skerries.


“The team will start with similar goals to last year,” states Bogaerts. “I have looked at the route and I think it is a tougher one than last year. You have three category one climbs close to the finale of stages, and so I don’t think we will have many bunch sprints.


“The riders I have selected should ride well on the course. We will start with the aim of winning stages. I think we have guys who can also take the overall, but things need to fall into place for that to happen. I’m not going to say which guys I think can ride for general classification as then they’ll simply be marked by the other teams, but I know who they are.”


Bogaerts explained the selections, saying that he believes Downey is showing good progress and is at a higher level to last year. He said that Wilson had a tough start to the season but that his form is building well and that he believes his participation in the Tour of Azerbaijan will see him start the An Post Rás in good condition.


He said that he considers McCarthy as essentially Irish due to his background and his roots here, and that his stage win in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour showed his speed. “He broke his hand at the start of his time with us and that made things tough, but he showed a lot of character in getting back on the bike soon afterwards and is improving every day.


“Doull was  the points winner last year and is a very regular rider. He’s in good shape this year and I think he can do well. So too Archbold, who won a stage in the past and who has been riding very well lately.”


Shane Archbold An Post
Bogaerts adds that one of the other Irish riders on the team, Ryan Mullen, has deliberately decided to do the Olympias Tour instead due to the prologue and team time trial in the event. He is strong against the clock and will line out in that event aiming high.


An Post Rás race director Tony Campbell believes that Bogaert’s selection will be one of the strongest in the race. “The team is always one to watch and that will be the same this year. It has very good riders, Kurt has a lot of experience managing teams in the event and knows what it is like for his riders to take the overall and stages. The team should ride very well.”


The 2014 An Post Rás will begin in Dunboyne on Sunday May 18th and will feature stage end finishes in Roscommon, Lisdoonvarna, Charleville, Cahirciveen, Clonakilty, Carrick on Suir, Baltinglass and Skerries.


It will once again be a 2.2 ranked event on the UCI world calendar, and will feature a large number of international and professional teams.

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