Britain’s newest pro team set for assault on An Post Rás
Marc Potts wins the Shay Elliott 12 months ago. His Neon Velo team is riding the Rás this year, as is new British Continental team Bike Channel Canyon (Photo: Stephen McMahon)
New British UCI Continental team Bike Channel Canyon is set for its An Post Rás debut next month.
The team has been confirmed for the centre piece of the domestic season along another UK outfit Neon Velo.
Bike Channel Canyon plans to field Rob Partridge in the Rás. He is a strong bet of a stage win and a good overall showing.
He has been 4th and 6th overall in the past and has been twice third on stages.
Partridge will be joined by Dexter Gardias, Alex Richardson, Joe Fry and Mitchell Webber.
Gardias was 4th on stage one of last year’s Rás while Fry won the Tour of the Reservoir in the UK last year.
Richardson is a surprise packaged in that he is new to the team and the sport of cycling. He quit his job as a stockbroker in London less than two years ago for a full time cycling career.
The Bike Channel Canyon riders with take in the Rutland Melton Cicle Classic, Lincoln GP, Tour de Yorkshire and the Dutch Ronde van Overijssel in the build up to the Rás.
And sports director Simon Holt feels his charges can do a very good rider in Ireland.
“The team objectives will be predominately to try to win a stage and to target a top 10 on GC,” he said.
The Neon Velo squad has named its team for the race. It includes Elliott Porter, Mike Cuming, Jeremy Durin, Ireland’s Marc Potts and Will Bjergfelt.
Porter is a former king of the hills in the Tour of Korea, a race that was won overall by Cuming four years ago. Cuming is also the for British U23 road race champion and was placed 5th halfway through the 2015 Rás when a crash forced him out.
Potts is a member of the Irish international track team and won the Shay Elliott Memorial race in 2016. He has a lot of international road and track experience and is definitely in that group of Irish riders in the race capable of taking a stage on his day.
Durin is from the US and was part of the USA squad at the World Cyclocross Championships in February.
Bjergfelt has come back to race again after he was almost killed when hit by a car out training two years ago.
Team manager Gabby Durrin said she was confident she had a great team for the Rás.
“We have five determined guys who are very motivated and excited. We have a few approaches for the race,” he said.
“We have good potential for top stage placings if we play our cards right and there is also potential for a great overall GC position as both Mike and Elliott are great climbers.”
British teams and An Post Rás
Race direction Tony Campbell said he expected the teams to put up a great fight for the honours next month.
“British squads have always been an important part of An Post Rás, taking overall victories and stage wins in the past and also animating the race,” he said.
“We believe the Neon Velo and Bike Channel Canyon teams will play important roles in this year’s event.”
The 2017 An Post Rás will begin in Dublin on Sunday, May 21st, and features stage finishes in Longford, Newport, Bundoran, Buncrana, Dungloe, Donegal, Ardee and Skerries.
An Post Rás 2017 – 1,199.8km
- Stage 1, Sunday May 21: Dublin to Longford (146.1km)
- Stage 2, Monday May 22: Longford to Newport (142.9km)
- Stage 3, Tuesday May 23: Newport to Bundoran (149km)
- Stage 4, Wednesday May 24: Bundoran to Buncrana (151.8km)
- Stage 5, Thursday May 25: Buncrana to Dungloe (181.2km)
- Stage 6, Friday May 26: Dungloe to Donegal (132.1km)
- Stage 7, Saturday May 27: Donegal to Ardee (167.3km)
- Stage 8, Sunday May 28: Ardee to Skerries (129.4km)