Damien Shaw and Connor McConvey have been included in the six-man An Post Chain Reaction Sean Kelly team for the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic (1HC) which takes place this Sunday.
The Irish pair will line up against a number of World Tour teams including BMC Racing, Etixx-Quick Step and Team Sky. Amongst the big name riders who are set to take part are Tour de France winner Chris Froome, Tom Boonen and André Greipel.
McConvey and Shaw will be joined by Jasper Bovenhuis (NED), Emiel Wastyn (BEL), Oliver Kent-Spark (AUS), and Jacob Scott (ENG) for the one-day race.
Conceived in 2011 and carried on in 2013 as a legacy of the 2012 London Games, the race departs from St. James’s Park in central London, retracing the Olympic route, taking in eight of London’s boroughs before finishing on the Mall next to Buckingham Palace.
The race features as an integral part of An Post’s race programme and Team Manager, Kurt Bogaerts believes it is the perfect platform for a rider to show what they can do.
“I think this is probably the strongest field ever at the Prudential RideLondon classic. You have five stage winners featuring from the Tour de France and I think that says it all in terms of how tough a test it will be.
But this is where our riders want to be and this is where they have to show that they can perform and compete. You can make a real name for yourself in such a strong field but you have to have that belief and we will go in with that belief.”
After a gruelling training camp, Bogaerts believes his riders will be fit for the challenge on a very demanding route.
“We had a great training camp in Livigno (Italy), and the riders have definitely reached another level. Damien (Shaw) and Connor (McConvey) are looking very strong and I expect them to really put it to the big riders on Sunday. The Sky Team will definitely ride hard in the climb zones and put the pressure on but we will be aggressive to keep in the early break away, and stay with the favourite through to the end. That would be an ideal result for the team.”
Meanwhile, An Post’s David Montgomery (IRL) is looking to be available for selection again soon after recovering from glandular fever while New Zealand National Team rider, Aaron Gate, is focusing towards Rio where he will take to the track in the Omnium and 4000m Team Pursuit.
An Post Sean Kelly Chain Reaction Team for Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic (1HC), Sunday 31st July
Damien Shaw (IRL)
Jasper Bovenhuis (NDL)
Emiel Wastyn (BLG)
Connor McConvey (IRL)
Oliver Kent-Spark (AUS)
Jake Scott (ENG)