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Belgian And German Proffessional Teams For FBD Insurance Rás
By Race Adm.
May 11, 2006


 With the start of this year’s FBD Insurance RÁS now just over one week away two more professional teams, from Germany and Belgium, have announced they are to join Poland, Norway, Canada, USA, Australia and Britain in providing the foreign opposition to the Irish national team and sixteen county teams when the big 8 day race gets under from Dublin on Sunday 21st May.


Jehudi Schoonacker Sean Kelly Racing Team
will be represented by the very strong Stevens Racing Team. Leading the team will be the German national cyclo-cross champion, Johannes Sickmüller, ably supported by Canadian national silver medallist, Greg Reain.  Jens Schwedler who led the King of the Mountains competition in last year’s race will manage the team. Schwedler is confident his experience of the RÁS will prove beneficial to his riders and is looking forward to a good result. Finn Heitman, Fabian Brzezinski and Benjamin Hill complete the team.


The Belgian based Sean Kelly ALCVB M. Donnelly Racing team will include three Belgian riders and two up-and-coming young Irish riders, reflecting the link-up between the team and Cycling Ireland, the controlling body for the sport in Ireland. Tim Cassidy is regarded as one of the most promising young Irish talents, having finished 15th in the junior world championships in 2001 and riding very strongly in France last season, while Mark Cassidy is a promising third year senior who was fifth in the best young rider classification in 2005.


They will be joined by three strong Belgian teammates. Jehudi Schoonacker previously rode with the Chocolade Jacques pro team, Peter Schoonjans is a past winner of the GP Roger de Vlaeminck and Rieno Stofferis is a strong sprinter. The five have been guided by Sean Kelly this season, the former world number one acting as general manager of the team, and will come to the FBD Insurance Rás with extremely high ambitions.


Rieno Scofferis Sean Kelly Racing Team
“I am expecting a good showing from the team,” said directeur sportif Kurt Bogaerts this week. “Tim will be going for the general classification as will Jehudi Schoonacker. I think that Rieno will be strong in the bunch sprints.”



“Both the Belgium - Sean Kelly Racing Team and the Germany – Team Stevens squad are very good additions to what is already a really impressive line-up,” says race director Dermot Dignam. “It looks like this year’s race will have the best field to date, setting the scene for what should be an exceptional edition of the FBD Insurance RÁS.


It is expected one other professional squad will confirm its participation early next week.


This year’s race will begin with a 121 kilometre stage from Tallaght to Enniscorthy on Sunday May 21st, and finish over a thousand kilometres later in Skerries on Sunday May 28th. The world-ranking race will also feature exciting stage finishes in Cobh, An Daingean, Listowel, An Cheathru Rua, Westport and Clara. FBD Insurance once again sponsors the world-ranked race.



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