With the countdown to the 2017 An Post Rás now on the home stretch, a further two British teams have been confirmed; Team Wiggins and Madison-Genesis have both announced their entries, adding to the ten strong international squads already taking part.
|Andrew Tennant Team Wiggins|
Talented Irish under 23 rider Michael O’Loughlin will be part of the powerful Team Wiggins team for the event, joining the Britons Andy Tennant, Chris Latham, Joey Walker and Nathan Draper.
This will be O’Loughlin’s first An Post Rás and he has already illustrated his talent by finishing third in last year’s National Road Race Championship despite being in his first year as a senior rider. The performance earned him the national under 23 title. In 2015 he won a stage and finished second overall in the Nations Cup event Trophée Centre Morbihan.
|Richard Hanley,Madinson Genesis|
Joining him will be Andy Tennant who won a stage of the Fleche du Sud in 2015 and has been part of the Great Britain track squad for many years. Chris Latham recently took a bronze medal in the scratch race at the Track World Championships, while Walker and Nathan are two promising second-year senior riders.
“The team will ride the Lincoln GP and the Ronde de l’Isard before the Rás,” states Team Wiggins manager Andrew McQuaid. “The road [how the Rás plays out] will then decide team tactics and the leaders.”
The second team confirmed this week is the Madison Genesis squad. The team have had success in the race before, with Liam Holohan winning the penultimate stage of the 2014 edition. Manager Mike Northey states that the line-up will be confirmed closer to the event, but gives a provisional squad. Taking to the Irish roads will be Matt Holmes, Erick Roswell, Taylor Gunman, Alex Blain and Joe Evans.
Roswell and Holmes have both ridden An Post Rás in the past and will be able to draw on that experience of what is a very unpredictable and unique race. Holmes was third on a stage and seventh overall last year. He recently finished fifth overall in the Tour de Yorkshire, faring well against riders on World Tour teams. Roswell took a fine third place on stage five of last year’s Tour of Britain.
|Alex Blain,Madinson Genesis|
Kiwi rider Gunman was Oceania Continental Championship Road Race champion in 2015 and also won the New Zealand Cycle Classic the same year. Frenchman Blain was winner of the Tour de Normandie in 2011
and the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic the following year.
"As a team we don't want to come to the Rás as just pack fillers,” says Northey. “We want to animate the race and go for stage wins or the overall general classification. The latter will depend on how the next few weeks goes for us, including any possible injuries. Both Erick and Matt Holmes have done well in the Rás before so we would be looking to them for the potential yellow jersey. The remaining guys will hopefully be hunting stages.”
An Post Rás race director Tony Campbell is looking forward to seeing the teams in action and, so too, O’Loughlin. “Michael O’Loughlin is one of the most talented young Irish riders and will have a bright future. He is a natural attacker so An Post Rás should suit him very well.”
|Matt Holmes,Madinson Genesis|
“Today’s announcement brings the number of confirmed overseas teams to twelve, with others yet to be announced. Those confirmed thus far include squads from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the USA and Great Britain.
|Joe Evans, Madinson Genesis|
“The 2017 An Post Rás will begin in Dublin on Sunday May 21st and features stage finishes in Longford, Newport, Bundoran, Buncrana, Dungloe, Donegal, Ardee and Skerries.
It comprises eight gruelling days in duration, totalling 1200 kilometres in distance and includes 21 categorised climbs.
Team Wiggins (Britain) - provisional:
Michael O’Loughlin (20, Ireland)
Andy Tennant (29, Britain)
Chris Latham (23, Britain)
Joey Walker (19, Britain)
Nathan Draper (19, Britain)
Madison-Genesis (Britain) - provisional:
Matt Holmes (23, Britain)
Erick Roswell (26, Britain)
Taylor Gunman (26, New Zealand)
Alex Blain (36, France)
Joe Evans (20, Britain)
An Post Rás 2017 (Total: 1199.8 kilometres):
Stage 1, Sunday May 21: Dublin to Longford (146.1 kilometres)
Stage 2, Monday May 22: Longford to Newport (142.9 kilometres)
Stage 3, Tuesday May 23: Newport to Bundoran (149 kilometres)
Stage 4, Wednesday May 24: Bundoran to Buncrana (151.8 kilometres)
Stage 5, Thursday May 25: Buncrana to Dungloe (181.2 kilometres)
Stage 6, Friday May 26: Dungloe to Donegal (132.1 kilometres)
Stage 7, Saturday May 27: Donegal to Ardee (167.3 kilometres)
Stage 8, Sunday May 28: Ardee to Skerries (129.4 kilometres)