An Post ready to deliver
Damien Shaw and Jack Wilson have been confirmed as the Irish riders on the An Post-Chain Reaction team for the An Post Rás, which rolls out from Dublin Castle tomorrow.
National champion Shaw and Wilson will be joined on the five-man squad by Belgians Nicolas Vereecken and Emiel Wastyn and New Zealander Aaron Gate. There's disappointment for Connor McConvey, however, who misses out on selection despite some recent good form.
"I made this selection a long time ago and I feel it's the right one. Connor McConvey is riding really well and is unlucky to miss out. We have a new system on the team with long-term selections and I want to try this new approach, so we will see how it goes," said general manager Kurt Bogaerts.
Shaw enjoyed an excellent Rás last year, with three top-three finishes while racing for the Asea team and he has recovered from a fractured hand in time to make the start line tomorrow.
Wilson came close to quitting the sport at the end of last season, which was ruined by a series of heavy crashes, before being convinced by Bogaerts and team director Seán Kelly to give it one more year.
"Jack has come from a long way," Bogaerts said. "He was basically at the end of his career last year. He stopped cycling but since coming back he now has a renewed motivation and is at a really good level. His consistency has ups and downs but is improving all the time."
The first stage of the eight-day race starts in Dublin city centre and finishes in Multyfarnham. The 1,240km race also features stage finishes in Charleville, Dingle, Sneem, Clonakilty, Dungarvan and Baltinglass before concluding in Skerries next Sunday.