May 15, 2014
Last Year’s Runner-Up McConvey Aimin To Go One Better For 2014 An Post Rás
|Connor McConvey Last Year’s Runner-Up Aimin To Go One Better For 2014 An Post Rás|
Last year’s runner-up Connor McConvey has been confirmed as spearheading the Azerbaijan Synergy Baku team for the 2014 An Post Rás, which begins in Dunboyneon Sunday.
The 25 year old rider has a strong history in the event, netting fourth overall in 2010, seventh in 2012 and then clocking up three top five stage finishes last year plus an excellent second overall. He finished deadlocked on time with the Polish rider Marcin Bialoblocki, who took the general classification victory by virtue of better stage placings.
The Synergy Baku team has two more Irish riders within its ranks but both of those will unfortunately miss the race due to illness. National champion Matt Brammeier had been pencilled in to ride the race for the second time in his career but while he has been in fine form this season, he has had to withdraw due to chicken pox.
Also out is the rider who finished second behind him in last year’s championships, Philip Lavery. He currently has an infection and has told the team he will not have recovered in time.
The team will include four overseas riders, namely the Germans Christoph Schweizer and Daniel Klemme plus the Austrian duo Markus Eibegger and Jan Sokol.
All have good results to their credit: Schweizer won a stage in the 2013 Tour of Azerbaijan and was second this year on a stage of the Tour of Taiwan while Klemme clocked up a stage win in the Tour of China last season. Eibegger won a stage in the recent Tour de Bretagne and Sokol was second and third on stages of the Mzansi Tour.
McConvey had been below his usual level earlier this year but general manager David McQuaid states that he has turned things around. More>>
May 13, 2014
Strong Irish Presence In Ambitious An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly Team For An Post Rás
Selecting a team that he believes can chase both stage wins and the overall classification, An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly manager Kurt Bogaerts has named a strong lineup for the An Post Rás in advance of Sunday’s start.
|Sean Downey An Post|
Bogaerts has today named two Irish riders, another with strong Irish connections plus a Briton and a New Zealand competitor to the team.
The Irish duo are Jack Wilson, the national under 23 champion, plus the 2010 Commonwealth Games team pursuit bronze medallist Sean Downey.
Also in the lineup is the talented young rider Robert Jon McCarthy, who grew up in Ireland but changed to Australian nationality after moving to that country with his family.
The team is completed by two riders who have already had success in the race; the Briton Owain Doull and the Kiwi Shane Archbold.
Doull won the points classification twelve months ago while Archbold was first on stage two and third on the final stage to Skerries.
|Jack Wilson An Post|
“The team will start with similar goals to last year,” states Bogaerts. “I have looked at the route and I think it is a tougher one than last year. You have three category one climbs close to the finale of stages, and so I don’t think we will have many bunch sprints.
“The riders I have selected should ride well on the course. We will start with the aim of winning stages. I think we have guys who can also take the overall, but things need to fall into place for that to happen. I’m not going to say which guys I think can ride for general classification as then they’ll simply be marked by the other teams, but I know who they are.”
Bogaerts explained the selections, saying that he believes Downey is showing good progress and is at a higher level to last year. He said that Wilson had a tough start to the season but that his form is building well and that he believes his participation in the Tour of Azerbaijan will see him start the An Post Rás in good condition. More>>
May 8, 2014
Irish County Teams Announced For An Post Rás
|Ciaran Power Comeragh|
After the announcement of fifteen international and professional teams for this year’s race, the Irish county teams to be part of the line-up of the 2013 An Post Rás have today been confirmed for the event.
|Andy Roche Comeragh|
These include the strongest squads in the country, as well as a highly interesting Waterford Comeragh Race the Rás squad which includes two past winners of the event.
Former professional Ciarán Power is returning to try to add another stage win to his list; he’s also got two overall victories to his credit, while Andrew Roche won in 1997. Power and Roche will likely target stage wins. The team also includes another comeback rider, Michael McNena.
Their team is publicising the Race the Rás campaign, which completes the same route as the An Post Rás and which raises funds for the National Breast Cancer Research Institute.
As to the other teams, last weekend’s Tour of Ulster gives pointers to riders in strong form. Overall winner Damien Shaw has been in superb form this season and has impressed in many races; apart from winning the Tour of Ulster, he also triumphed in the Shay Elliott Memorial and other events.
He broke clear on the final stage with team-mate Bryan McCrystal, who was first to the line and also took the points classification ahead of Shaw. More>>
Apr 25, 2014
Italian And British Teams Join Glittering Line-Up For Next Month’s An Post Rás
With just three weeks remaining before the start of the 2014 An Post Rás, the identities of the final two international teams to compete this year have been revealed by Race Director, Tony Campbell.
|Christain Delle Stelle Italy|
The Italy Team Idea squad and the Great Britain National team will travel to Ireland prior to the May 18th start in Dunboyne and both teams will field strong line-ups and harbour high ambitions.
Italy Team Idea will comprise Christian Delle Stelle, Mirko Tedeschi, Matteo Collodel, Ricardo Pichetta and Alessandro Pettit, a line-up which team manager Omar Piscina says is its best possible selection.
“They are athletes who have won many races in the U23 category. This season Delle Stelle won two races, the 1.2-ranked GP Izola Butan Plin and the 1.12 Trofeo Balestra. He was also second at the 1.1 GP Nobili. As for Collodel, he won the 1.12-ranked Trofeo Fumagalli and finished second in the Trofeo Balestra.
I think we will be very competitive in the sprints with Delle Stelle and Collodel. As for the general classification, Tedeschi will be our leader.”
In the past Tedeschi has taken top six finishes in the Piccolo Giro di Lombardia and the Trofeo Edil C and will seek to use his climbing abilities in the mountains of the An Post Rás.
Apr 18, 2014
Canadian National Champion And Former Junior World Champion Lead Powerful American And Dutch Teams Into An Post Rás
|Kai Reus Park Hotel Valkenburg Holland|
Former world junior champion Kai Reus and Canadian national champion Zach Bell are amongst a strong line-up of riders confirmed this week as competing in next month’s An Post Rás, with Reus and Bell leading powerful Dutch and American teams in the world-ranked race.
|Zach Bell Smart Stop USA|
Reus will spearhead the Netherlands Parkhotel Valkenburg selection and will seek to take his second big stage race success on Irish roads.
Back in 2003, months before he took his world championship title, he won the Junior Tour of Ireland and is fired up to take more success here.
Reus’ world championship victory marked him out as someone who could go on to a very big future in the sport but things haven’t followed the expected trajectory. He crashed during his first pro season in 2007, with the-then Rabobank rider suffering head injuries and ending up in a coma. He bounced back from that to win a stage and finished fourth overall in the 2009 Tour of Britain, but then contracted mononucleosis and struggled to find his best form.
Those frustrations caused him to leave the sport and while he returned in 2011, he later took another hiatus away from cycling. Now he’s in action again and, according to team manager Paul Tabak, he’s on course once more.
Apr 11, 2014
Ambitious An Post Chain Reaction And Azerbaijan Synergy Baku Teams To Chase Victory In An Post Rás
The 2013 An Post Rás runner-up Connor McConvey, last year’s Post office sprints champion Owain Doull plus former stage winners Shane Archbold and Conor Dunne are amongst those shortlisted for participation by their teams for this year’s race, which will begin in just over one month’s time.
|Conor Dunne An Post Chainreaction|
The quartet are in the running for inclusion on the Azerbaijan Synergy Baku and An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly teams, both of which confirmed today as taking part in Ireland’s biggest cycling event.
The Azerbaijan Synergy Baku team competed for the first time last year and notched up two stage victories, with Kirill Pozdnyakov winning stage four into Glengarrif and Rico Rogers taking stage six into Carlow. Both riders are with different teams this year, but the squad is returning with some very strong alternatives and big ambitions.
“As a goal, the team would always like to have a shot at the overall jersey,” states general manager David McQuaid. “That’s most likely with Connor McConvey if he hones his form. Looking at the squad we are putting forward, stage wins are more likely.”
Three Irish riders are amongst those in line to make up the final five man team. These include McConvey, who last year finished on exactly the same time as overall winner Marcin Bialoblocki, only missing out on the final race victory due to his rival’s better stage placings.
|Connor McConvey Synergy Baku|
Placing fourth in 2010 and seventh two years later, he’s psyched to finally take the winner’s yellow jersey and to add his name to the list of An Post Rás champions. The other two possible Irish participants are the four-time national champion – and current title holder - Matt Brammeier and the rider who finished second to him in that race last June, Philip Lavery.
The riders from Azerbaijan who are on McQuaid’s shortlist are national time trial champion Elchin Asadov, Tural Isganadarov and national road race champion Samir Jabrayilov, while the Ukrainian Maksym Averin, the Austrian Markus Eibegger and the German Christoph Schweizer are also being considered.
The team will be directed at the race by Arvis Piziks, who finished second to-then USSR team-mate Dainis Ozoles in the 1989 Rás. More>>
Apr 4, 2014
Defending Champion Bialobiocki And 2013 Race Leader Hawkins Confirmed For An Post Rás
Twelve months after he took a nail-biting victory in the An Post Rás over Irishman Connor McConvey, winning the race by virtue of better accumulated stage placings, Marcin Bialoblocki will return to the event once again in a bid to make it two victories in a row.
|Marcin Bialobocki Champion 2013 With The George Plant Trophy|
The powerful Polish rider will spearhead an ambitious Velosure Giordana squad next month, with that outfit being one of three British teams announced today by the An Post Rás race organisers. Bialoblocki is likely to be joined by the 2012 Tour of the North winner James Moss plus Steve Lampier, who was a top twenty finisher last year in the Tour of Britain. The final two places on the team will be finalised closer to the event.
“The big goal is clearly for Marcin to repeat last year’s overall victory,” says team manager Malcolm Elliot, a former top pro who won stages and the points jersey at the Vuelta a España in the past. After returning to the sport in his forties he also took stages in the An Post Rás
Mar 28, 2014
Norwegian And Canadian Teams Boost Impressive Line-Up For 2014 An Post Rás
An Post Rás organisers have today confirmed two more international teams for this year’s edition, adding to the already formidable line-up in place for the world-ranked race.
|Remi Pelletier-Roy Canada|
The Norwegian Continental team Motiv3 Pro Cycling and the Canadian national team will join four previously announced international squads in the eight day event, which begins in Dunboyne on Sunday May 18th.
The Canadian team includes Rémi Pelletier-Roy, who last year finished second on stage four and a superb fourth overall. Having ended up just forty seconds off the top of the podium, he will be determined to push for the winner’s yellow jersey this time round.
Pelletier-Roy will be joined by former Junior Tour of Ireland winner Stuart Wight, current Canadian Under-23 champion Alex Cataford, 2013 Canada Games medallist Matteo Dal Cin and the experienced Nic Hamilton.
According to team manager Luc Arseneau, the riders are building up for the Commonwealth Games later this year but regard An Post Rás as a major objective. “Following last year’s performances at the Rás, we will be looking for some stage wins as well as getting on that final podium.”
|Sondre Linstad Hurum Norway|
He said the riders have already started producing some solid results this year and will have a good build-up. “Rémi Pelletier-Roy just won the season opening Delray Twilight Crit in Florida and Matteo won a stage at the Tucson Bicycle Classic.
“The riders for the An Post Rás will have two programmes in April. Some will be racing in Belgium, while others will stay in America to race the Tour of Gila. Early May, they all will meet in California to ride the Los Angeles Velodrome before going across the ocean to Ireland.” More>>
Mar 27, 2014
Austrian And German Continental Teams Ambitious About Chasing An Post Rás Success
|Gregor Muhlberger Austria|
With less than two months to go to the start of the 2014 An Post Rás, two more strong international teams have been confirmed as talking part in this year’s event.
|Clemen Fankhauser Austria|
Tirol Cycling from Austria and the Kuota Pro Team from Germany will join the Belgian and New Zealand squads announced last week, and look more than capable of shaping the final outcome of the race.
Tirol Cycling will feature what its Chief Operating Officer Norbert Dürauer describes as “the best under-23 riders from Austria” on its roster. The team previously helped three others to develop and to go on to World Tour level, namely Katusha’s Marco Haller, Cannondale’s Matthias Krizek and Argos Shimano’s Georg Preidler, and aims to do the same with the next wave of riders.
“This is what our team is about,” states Dürauer. “We want to provide them the perfect platform on their way to one of the big teams in our sport. Top resources, scientific-assisted training and an international race schedule are the main contributions to achieve this goal.”
One of the team’s biggest goals this season is the 2.HC Tour of Austria in July, while An Post Rás is another. More>>
Mar 15, 2014
Top Track Racing Talent Confirm For Belgium And New Zealand Teams In 2014 An Post Rás.
|Jasper de Buyst Belgium|
Some of the world’s top track racing riders will draw on their velodrome-honed speed to chase success in this year’s An Post Rás.
|Kenny de Ketele Belgium|
Belgium and New Zealand have today been named as the first two teams confirmed for the May 2014 event, and both squads will include riders who have been very successful in track competition.
The Belgian squad will comprise five riders from the Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise team, including the former European and world madison champion Kenny de Ketele. The 28-year old rider will be joined by Jasper de Buyst, who was the winner of the Gent Six last November.
Belgium omnium champion Moreno De Pauw will also feature, returning to the race one year after he won stage five into Mitchelstown. He knows what to expect on Irish roads and will be looking to add to his strong performance in 2013.