The British Madison Genesis team and the French Pays de Dinan squad are the latest teams to announce that they will compete in this year’s An Post Ras.
The British squad is likely to feature the Irishman Dom Jelfs, who was sixth in the National Road Race Championships last year, as well as Liam Holohan, Matt Holmes and Erick Rowsell.
Holohan won the penultimate stage of last year’s An Post Rás, taking it with a superb solo effort. Holmes is a past silver medallist in the British Under 23 Championships, and Rowsell showed strong form, taking the Tour of the Reservoir this year. He is also a past stage winner in Tour de Normandie.
A fifth rider will also take part and will be selected closer to the event. “This year’s cold and wet start to the season has taken its toll, we have a few riders with injuries and illness at the moment,” said team manager Roger Hammond, a former top professional who was third in the 2004 Paris-Roubaix.
“There is still time to recover before the Rás, but we are playing the waiting game.”
Hammond said that Rowsell will lead the team. “He has the capacity to go for the overall win in the Rás, but as we all know it is a really hard race to control. We will approach it with a day-by-day mentality and see how far he can get.”
The team had two training camps this year and recently participated in the Tour de Normandie, placing third overall. It will be riding the new Tour of Yorkshire as part of its build-up and will be lining out against some of the world’s top teams there.
The Pays de Dinan squad will feature this year’s Fleche d’Armor winner Aurelien Daniel as well as Elie Gesbert, who won the 2013 French Junior Road Race and Time Trial Championships and is regarded as a big up and coming talent. He was also second in the European Time Trial Championships in the same year.
Tour de Lesneven winner Axel Journiaux, Benjamin l’Hermitte and Rodolphe Marie will also be on the team.
According to directeur sportif, Francois Journiaux, Daniel and Journiaux will target stage wins while Gesbert will be their rider for the general classification.