The An Post Rás organisers have announced that JLT Condor, one of the race’s most successful teams, will be returning to the event this year. The JLT Condor squad is managed by former pro John Herety, who has guided his riders to four overall Rás victories in the past 15 years.
The team will be led by Ian Bibby, who won stage six into Ballinamore in the 2015 An Post Rás and finished fourth overall one year earlier. Bibby is in impressive form, having recently finished second overall in the Istarsko Proljece – Istrian Spring Trophy in Croatia.
The Englishman will be joined by James Gullen, Ed Laverack, Tom Moses and Irishman Robert-Jon McCarthy. Gullen is a former An Post Rás stage winner, having taken stage three last year into Dingle. He placed ninth overall and then went on to a superb second behind World Tour pro Alex Dowsett in the British national time trial championships.
Like Bibby, Gullen has also shown strong form this year. He took a stage last month in the Tour de Taiwan. Laverack is another rider with strong Rás experience, having finished third behind Bibby on stage six in 2015. Moses won the UCI-ranked Cicle Classic in 2014 and is also a past stage winner in the Tour de Normandie.
Irishman Robert-Jon McCarthy is a previous stage winner of the Rás, having won the first stage of the 2014 An Post Rás when competing with the An Post Chain Reaction Team. Born and raised in Cork, he competed for Australia for several years but has now declared for Ireland. As a result, he will be highly motivated to shine in the eight-day race.
“Ian Bibby will be the leader, but the goals will be stage wins from anyone in the team,” said Herety. “All are capable of them. After a few days we will decide if the general classification is still possible. Five man teams make it extremely difficult to control the An Post Rás for just one team.”
The squad will ride a strong programme of events as part of its build-up. Bibby, Gullen and Moses will compete in the Tour de Yorkshire this week.
“The JLT Condor team is always one of the most aggressive in the race,” An Post Rás director Tony Campbell states. “John Herety has helped a number of riders to overall victory in the past and his team has the experience to do so again this time around. It will definitely be one to watch.”
Today’s announcement brings the number of confirmed overseas teams to ten, with several others yet to be announced. Those confirmed thus far include squads from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the USA and Great Britain.