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Ireland’s Pro Team And Dutch U-23s Complete International Line-Up For FBD Insurance Rás
By Rás Adm.
May 10, 2007

Mark Cassidy
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.

 

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.

 

Glenn Bak Belgium
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.

 

Ricardo van der Velde is also 20 years of age and usually races for the Rabobank Continental team in the Netherlands. 22 year old Alain van der Velde rides for an Italian amateur team and has taken top ten results in Italian national races this season.

 

Stephen Gallagher
Completing the Dutch line-up is 21 year old Yvo Kusters and
19 year old Robin Chaigneau. Winner of the  Omloop van Lek en Ijsel, one of the six races which make up the Dutch under 23 classic series, Kusters  is also world student games champion. 2006 national junior champion Chaigneau is currently third overall in the Dutch under 23 classic series, and was previously eighth in the 2005 world junior championship.

“At this moment our National under 23 Team is 5th overall in the UCI Nations Cup, which is the highest level of under 23 competition for national teams,” said national coach Egon van Kessel. “They have
Simon Kelly
been going well. That said, this is a team with very young riders and that means it won’t be easy for them to get results in the FBD Insurance Rás. Our goals are to have one rider in the top 10 of the GC and to also get a stage win.”

The 2007 FBD Insurance Rás will get underway next Sunday week, May 20th, with a 157 kilometre stage from Naas to Templemore. The riders will cover almost 1200 kilometres of highly competitive racing as they travel anti-clockwise around the country, taking in additional stage finishes at Loughrea, Sligo, Dungloe, Buncrana, Derry, Newcastle and Skerries.

The race is sponsored once again by FBD Insurances and also receives important backing from the Irish Sports Council. 


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