May 17, 2007
Cycling Ireland Announce Team For FBD Insurance Rás
Cycling Ireland has announced SUBWAY Eat Fresh as sponsor of the National Team, for the upcoming FBD Insurance Rás, which starts in Naas on Sunday 20th May 2007.
|Mark Scanlon Former Junior World Champion|
Leading the SUBWAY Eat Fresh Irish Team is current National Champion, and winner of the Rás in 2004, David McCann. He is joined by Paul Griffin, Dermot Nally, Martyn Irvine and former World Junior and double National Champion, Mark Scanlon.
Commenting on the team, National Team Manager, Cian Lynch says “ This team has great strength and depth. Mc Cann has a great record in this race, claiming the overall in 2004 – Griffin, Nally and Scanlon have all scored stage wins in the Rás. The sole Espoir on the team, Martyn Irvine, has impressed with his rides on the U23 Espoirs National Team at Picardie and Liege Bastogne Liege, culminating with a win on the 1st Stage of the Tour of Ulster.” More>>
May 13, 2007
Countdown To The FBD Insurance Rás
A top class field of 150 riders from Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Iran, Netherlands, Britain and the USA will face the starter when the FBD INSURANCE RÁS 8 Day International Cycle Race gets underway from Naas town centre next Sunday, 20th May.
|Chris Newton Double Race Winner 2003 & 2005|
Included in the thirty teams are nine Continental (pro) teams, Australia FRF Couriers NSWIS, Britain’s Stena Line recycling.co., Czech Republic Sparta Praha, Danish Team Vision Bikes, Estonia Kalev Chocolate, Germany’s Thuringer Energie, the USA’s Team Kodak and Team Kelly Benefit Strategies, and of course, Irelands only pro team Murphy & Gunn-Newlyn-M. Donnelly- Sean Kelly.
|David McCann Irealnd Winner In 2004|
The strictly amateur side of the sport is represented by national teams from Ireland, Iran and the Netherlands under-23 squad. Fourteen county teams, three British regional and one German club team are also in the line-up.
Ireland’s David McCann, winner of the race in 2004 and racing in Asia and the USA since, spearheads the home challenge while Britain’s Chris Newton, winner in 2003 and 2005, has the form, class and team support to join the great Sé O Hanlon and Kildare’s Paddy Flanagan in having three RÁS victories on their CV. More>>
May 10, 2007
Ireland’s Pro Team And Dutch U-23s Complete International Line-Up For FBD Insurance Rás
Ireland’s only professional cycling team, Murphy & Gunn-Newlyn-M.Donnelly-Sean Kelly Racing Team, and a powerful Dutch national under 23 squad join Denmark, Germany, Australia, Iran, Estonia, Czech Republic, Britain and the United States in completing the international line-up for this year’s FBD Insurance RÁS, which starts from Naas next Sunday week.
|Paidi O'Brien Irish Under 23 Champion 2006|
Team Murphy & Gunn-Newlyn-M. Donnelly-Sean Kelly will be led by current Under 23 Irish Champion, Paudi O’Brien, and includes Mark Cassidy, Stephen Gallagher, Simon Kelly and Belgian Glenn Bak. With a return to his best form 22 year old Cassidy, son of twice RÁS winner, Philip, will certainly be in the running for a high GC placing. Simon Kelly, a top-class sprinter, should improve on his great 6th place overall last year and will also be in the thick of the action for stage wins. Stephen Gallagher and Belgian Bak can also be relied on the keep the team flag flying high.
The Dutch team features some of the Netherlands most promising young riders who will be well able to hold their own against the more experienced professional and national teams in the race. It will be led by 20 year old Dennis Kreder, who normally competes for the Unibet Continental squad. He has shown strong form this season, taking 4th and 6th in the 1.2 ranked Souvenir Bruno Comini and the Beverbeek Classic respectively More>>
May 6, 2007
Double FBD Rás Champion Newton Leades Stena Line ReCycling .co.Uk In FBD Insurance Rás
The high quality line-up of this year’s FBD Insurance RÁS has been further boosted by the news that two-time winner Chris Newton will lead the Stena Line recycling.co.uk pro team in this year’s race, which starts in Naas on Sunday week. Former World Champion Newton is returning to target stage wins for his young team-mates and a possible third victory for himself in the world-ranked event.
|Chris Newton ReCycling.Co.Uk Double Rás Winner|
“While Chris is capable of recording his third victory” said manager John Herety, ”the team is going to have its work cut out with so many powerful teams in the race, and because we will have such a young squad. Tactics will be very important as a result. Perhaps we will be able to piggyback the efforts of other teams.” Herety also believes that 23 year olds Graham Briggs and Ryan Bonser are on the verge of a major breakthrough to big time international cycling.
Newton is in fine form this season, winning the British Premier Calendar Bikeline 2-day race in March and netting a stage win plus second overall in the Girvan three day. He is currently lying second overall in the Premier Calendar series.
The 33 year old’s FBD Insurance Rás record is arguably the best in recent memory. In 2002 he took second overall, three stage wins and the points jersey in the race. One year later he returned to win the overall title plus a stage, then repeated the feat in 2005 when he took the final yellow jersey and three stage wins. More>>
May 6, 2007
Irish Sports Council Supports FBD Insurance Rás.
Once again this year the Irish Sports Council’s financial support for the FBD Insurance RÁS will be acknowledged with the presentation each day of the Irish Sports Council White Jersey to the leading young rider in the Best Young Rider Classification.
|Bartlomiej Matysiak Poland Winner Of The White Jersey 2006|
One of the most coveted awards for young riders in any major tour the white jersey of Best Young Rider singles the winner out as having the potential to go all the way in the tough sport of professional and world cycling.
Commenting on Irish Sports Council financial support for the race Chief Executive, John Treacy, said "I am pleased the Irish Sports Council is associated with the recognition of young talent in such a tough international event as the FBD Insurance RÁS." He also praised FBD Insurance for its continuing support for Irish sport.
The final Irish Sports Council White Jersey of 2007 will be presented to the overall winner of the classification when the race finishes in Skerries on Sunday 27th May.
May 3, 2007
Iran For FBD Insurance Rás.
Iran, for the first time ever, will field a team in this year’s FBD INSURANCE RÁS 8 Day International Cycle Race, which starts in a little over two weeks time.
|Mobin Bazherazadegan Iran Cycling Federation|
Speaking from Iran, Ali Zangi Abadi, vice president of the Cycling Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, confirmed that an Iranian national team will be the line-up for the big Irish event.
Iran now joins up with previously-confirmed teams from the USA, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Germany and Australia in the world-ranked Irish tour, which begins in Naas on the 20th of this month.
We are absolutely delighted with the news that Iran has chosen the FBD INSURANCE RÁS as one of its target events for this year,” said race organiser Dermot Dignam this week. “It’s a huge tribute to the race and a sign of the growing popularity of the race throughout the world, it also gives Irish cycling a wonderful opportunity of establishing cycling links with such a vast and powerful nation”.
The Iranian team will be made up of riders Mahdi Fathi, Mohammad Rastad, Amir Shakeri, Mobin Bagherzadegan and Mahmoud Talei.
“This is the good time for our team and its riders to take part in the race,” said Ali Zangi Abadi, double bronze medallist in the 1982 Asian games and current vice president of the Cycling Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. “We hope we can have a good performance this year. We are aiming to finish in the top 10 on several stages, as well as reaching the podium on one of them.” More>>
Apr 26, 2007
Strong US Professional Teams Announced For FBD Insurance Rás
Two more top notch teams have been added to the impressive lineup of this year’s FBD Insurance Rás, with the announcement that Continental squads USA KodakGallery.com-Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and USA Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Pro Cycling will be competing in the race.
|Jesse Anthony Under 23 Cyclocross Nation Champion|
Both teams will travel to the 2.2 ranked Irish tour with high ambitions, and race director Dermot Dignam expects a strong showing.
“Last year the USA-TIAA CREF team went close to winning the event, with former world under 23 champion Danny Pate taking second in the closest-ever FBD Insurance Rás,” he said. “We believe that the KodakGallery.com-Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Pro Cycling teams will also be a major factor, and look forward to see their riders fighting for stage wins and the overall classification.
The USA KodakGallery.com-Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. team will be led by three very experienced riders. Reigning Canadian national champion Dominique Rollin will take part, fresh from his successes in the Comcast Jacksonville Crit (NRC) and Jacksonville Road Race. More>>
Apr 18, 2007
Strong Danish And Australian Teams Confirmed For FBD Insurance Rás
Just one month remains before the start of the FBD Insurance Rás and two more strong overseas Continental (pro) teams have been confirmed for the race.
|Peter Herzig FRF Australia NSWIS in the Mountains Jersey 2006|
Danish riders are making a return after several years’ absence with the entry of the Denmark-Team Vision Bikes squad. Managed by former CSC professional Jimmi Madsen, the lineup comprises Benjamin Justesen, Simon Lerbech, Michael Johansen, Mads Bugge Andersen and Thomas Bendixen.
“The team will be after stage victories,” said Madsen who, during his own career, rode the Tour of Italy and took bronze medals in the Olympic and world championship team pursuit. “Watch out for Michael Johansen in long breakaways, and Benjamin Justesen and Simon Lerbech in the hills and maybe even in the overall classification, if things go that way.”
Justesen is a strong climber and last month placed third in the King of the Mountains classification in the 1.2 Classic Loire Atlantique. He is also a good mountainbike rider, winning four out of the six stages plus the overall classification in the Danish mountainbike winter trophy series. The 27 year old clocks in at just 55 kilos in weight and Madsen feels he will be a contender for the Mountains jersey in the FBD Insurance Rás. More>>
Apr 11, 2007
Estonians To Return In Search Of FBD Insurance Rás Success
Yet another strong overseas team has been confirmed for this year’s FBD Insurance RÁS, which begins in just over a month’s time in Naas.
|Mart Ojavee Kalve Chocolate Estonia|
The Continental (pro) team Kalev Chocolate are travelling to the race from Estonia, two years after making a good impression during the 2005 edition of the gruelling eight day race.
Then, team leader Sigvard Kukk took six top fifteen places en route to 11th overall, including placings of eighth, seventh and seventh on stages one, two and seven. His good form meant that team-mate Mart Ojavee was riding in his service during the event, but he nevertheless placed thirteenth on stage four.
With Kukk no longer with the team, 26 year old Ojavee has an excellent opportunity to chase personal success in the race. He will lead the strong squad, lining out with Andrei Mustonen, Alo Jakin, Silvar Kibur and Markku Ainsalu. More>>
Apr 6, 2007
2000 Olympic Champion Heads German Pro Squad For FBD Insurance Rás
Former Olympic gold medallist and three time Tour de France rider Daniel Becke will lead a highly promising Germany - Thûringer Energie squad in this year’s FBD Insurance Rás, which starts in Naas on Sunday May 20th.
|Daniel Becke Olympic champion 2000|
Becke was part of the German squad which won the Olympic team pursuit in 2000. He is hugely experienced, having raced with the top-level Bianchi, Caisse d’Epargne-Iles Balears and Team Milram squads in recent seasons. He started the Tour de France in the years from 2003 to 2005, and took five top-20 placings on stages.
Becke moved to the German Continental team at the end of 2006 and will be mixing road and track competition during this year. He finished 11th in the individual pursuit at the world track championships in Majorca last Thursday. More>>