|David McCarthy JLT Condor|
Days after arguably the biggest win of his career, Irish professional cyclist, Conor Dunne, has been confirmed to compete in this year’s An Post Rás, at the helm of the British JTL Condor squad.
|Ed. Laverack JLT Condor|
Dunne announced himself in style in his first Rás, in 2013, while guesting with the Carrick Iverk squad, winning stage one and taking the yellow jersey as race leader. He returned to the UCI ranked event last May while in the second year of a contract with the An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly squad. Dunne finished 7th and 8th on stages and 12th overall, then took bronze in the Irish Road Race Championships just over a month later.
Since then he appears to have stepped up a level, netting third in the mountains classification in the Tour du Loir et Cher E Provost in France and then winning the 1.2 Rutland – Melton International Cicle Classic last Sunday. He will be joined by fellow Irishman David McCarthy in An Post Rás, as well as the Britons Tom Moses, Luke Grivell Mellor and Ed Laverack. Moses won the Rutland – Melton International Cicle Classic in 2014, the same year he won a stage of the Tour de Normandie. Laverack was successful on Irish soil last season, winning a stage plus the overall classification in the Suir Valley Three Day. He was also third on stage six of the An Post Rás. Grivell Mellor won a stage in the 2.2-ranked Mzansi Tour in 2014.
Former British national team director John Herety will guide the team in the event. He has managed squads that have taken the overall Rás victory in the past and has the experience to do so again.
|Elliott Poter Neon Velo Team|
“Moses, Dunne and Laverack will share leadership,” he states. “The team will have the initial goal of winning stages and, as the race develops, we will ride for any one of those three guys.”
The team has had a good programme of international racing this year and some of the riders for An Post Rás will continue their build-up in this weekend’s prestigious Tour of Yorkshire. Both Dunne and Moses are likely to be part of the line-up there.
Also confirmed for An Post Rás is a second British squad, the Neon Velo team. The final five will be determined closer to the event but at this point in time, Britons Elliott Porter, Ollie Maxwell, Kieran Simcox and Will Bjergfelt are in the running, along with Ireland’s Marc Potts and the American Jeremy Durrin. Porter has a good pedigree, being the son of former professional Jaanus Kuum and double Olympian Maria Blower.
Directeur Sportif Gabby Durrin said that he should be a challenger in the race. “Elliott is a very strong rider and is very much suited to races with plenty of climbing. He wore the KOM jersey in the Tour of Korea in 2014. He has raced the Rás before and will be a good GC contender for the team.”
Jeremy Durrin, husband of Gabby, rode aggressively in An Post Rás last year for Team Neon Velo. He previously raced for the US team Optum Pro Cycling, helping team leaders in the Tours of Utah and Korea. He also competed for Team USA in the World Cyclocross Championships in February. Potts has ridden several editions of An Post Rás and is a member of the Irish track team. He was fifth in last year’s Irish National Road Race Championships and is aiming to perform strongly in An Post Rás. Maxwell is the team’s sprinter and wants to make his mark on the race, as do Simcox and Bjergfelt.
|Marc Potts Neon Velo Team|
“Our team goals are to be in contention for the general classification and also to be up there in the finishing sprints,” said Durrin. “We want to show a strong presence so will also be aiming to be in the breakaways.”
The two latest announcements bring the number of confirmed international squads up to twelve. Those announced thus far are from Australia, Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. Further international teams will be announced in the coming weeks, and will ensure a very high standard of racing.
This year’s An Post Rás will total almost 1240 kilometres, and will include 25 categorised climbs. The race will roll out from Dublin Castle on Sunday May 22nd, with the venue chosen to mark the 2016 Easter Rising commemorations.
The world-ranked event will feature stage finishes in Multyfarnham, Charleville, Dingle, Sneem, Clonakilty, Dungarvan and Baltinglass before concluding in Skerries on May 29th.
|Luke Mellor JLT Condor|
|Tom Mosses JLT Condor|