CYCLING Sean Kelly Professional Team

CYCLING IRELAND LAUNCHES THE SEAN KELLY TEAM

Cycling Ireland, the National Governing Body for Cycling in Ireland, in association with the Sean Kelly Cycling Academy, is today launching the Sean Kelly Team, a UCI registered Continental Racing Team.

The Sean Kelly Team is an extension to the Sean Kelly Cycling Academy which was opened by Cycling Ireland in Belgium three years ago. The aim of the academy is to help the development of young Irish cyclists. Since the Academy’s formation, Cycling Ireland has been sending its riders to Belgium to enable them gain regular exposure to racing on the continent.  This team is the next step for Ireland’s talented cyclists to progress through the sporting pathway.

Sean Kelly, one of the great cycling heroes of the 80’s, will act as Director to the new racing team, lending his expertise to Ireland’s young hopefuls. Carrick-on –Suir’s Kelly said: “If Irish cyclists are to compete and succeed on the world class stage then they need to be racing at a high standard week in week out. Until now riders must have shown exceptional talent to be picked up by other continental teams. The launching of this team will provide a tool to channel Irish cyclists through to the Professional ranks. Competing at continental level will bridge the gap between national racing and professional racing which all Irish cyclists are faced with” 

The team, which is predominantly made up of young Irish riders, also contains some older Belgian members. The Belgians’ aim to use their race experience to work with the Irish boys, riding as a team and helping the Irish cyclists finish as high as possible up the racing ladder.

Kurt Bogearts, who is based in Belgium and currently manages the Sean Kelly Academy, will also be involved in the running of the Team. Bogearts said: “Working with Cycling Ireland for the past few years I have seen the talent that the country has to offer. If these same cyclists were Belgian they would already be racing for a continental team, but it’s harder to get a place on a team if you are not from that country. That’s why Cycling Ireland needs this team in order to help its talented riders progress.”

Among the riders who have been selected for the team are National Under 23 Champion Paidi O’Brien and ex VC La Pomme member Tim Cassidy.  Paidi, who spent the last year out at the Kelly Academy has already benefited from exposure to continental racing securing a 34th place in Europe last season. 

The other Irish team members are Ciaran Kelly, Andrew McQuaid, Roger Aiken, brothers Eoin and Miceal Concannon and Mark Cassidy (no relation to Tim.)

The running of any continental team requires vast amounts of funding and the Sean Kelly Team has been fortunate with the level of sponsorship it has managed to obtain.
M Donnelly & Co Ltd, one of Ireland’s leading distributors of power tools and power tool accessories, is the main sponsor along with Belgian based company ACLVB Liberale Vakbond. 

The sponsorship will be used to ensure the riders have access to world class medical & sport science support. The team’s dedicated doctor has also worked with Discovery, one of cycling’s most prolific racing teams and will be responsible for the testing and medical advice given to the riders.

The Sean Kelly Team will ride Merlin bikes, with Time pedals and shoes. The wheels are sponsored by Mavic and the tyres are coming from Continental. The finishing kits have been provided by Oval Concepts and the saddles are Fizik. The team will wear clothing supplied by Spin 11.

Other sponsors include Stena Line, The Irish Sports Council, Maximise, The Olympic Council of Ireland, XP Power, Almero Meat, De Grauwe werkkledij, Bergini Jeans, Argenta Dirk Pessemier, Oakley and vehicles are being provided by Leaseplan.

Cycling Ireland is pleased with the developments that have been made in cycling over the past few years and sees the launching of this team as a positive step forward. Tamara O’Driscoll, CEO for Cycling Ireland said: “This is an historic step for Cycling Ireland and we are indebted to Sean Kelly for giving his time and expertise so freely. There is now a clear pathway for all young Irish cyclists, to progress from domestic level competition in Ireland to the highest levels of professional cycling on the continent. The establishment of this team also brings a great sense of pride in professional Irish cyclists being able to race for an Irish team and this will play a huge role in the long term future development of the sport in Ireland.”

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For more information please contact Tamara O’Driscoll at Cycling Ireland on 01 855 1522 or email CEO@cyclingireland.ie

SEAN KELLY TEAM UPDATE

THE SEAN KELLY TEAM HEADS TO THE SUN

The Sean Kelly Team, a UCI registered Continental team, is heading to the sun for its first training camp following its launch by Cycling Ireland last Monday.

Paidi O’Brien, from Banteer and ex VC La Pomme cyclist Tim Cassidy are among the team members making their way to Benidorm for ten days intensive warm weather training. The lads have wasted no time in getting ready for the season and will use this training camp as a bonding session as well as an opportunity to put in some valuable pre-season ground work.

 Most of the members of the Sean Kelly Team will have raced and trained together over the last year on an ad-hoc basis but this trip will be their first official outing as a unit.

Sean Kelly, Team Director and one of Ireland’s greatest cycling icons said: “The lads are excited to get this trip underway. The fanfare of the launch on Monday is now forgotten and it’s time for the boys to get down to some serious work. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we have the funding to provide camps like this which are very important if The Sean Kelly Team members are to be given the same opportunities as other continental teams.”

The Sean Kelly Team is an extension to the Sean Kelly Cycling Academy which was opened by Cycling Ireland in Belgium three years ago. The aim of the academy is to help the development of young Irish cyclists. Since the Academy’s formation, Cycling Ireland has been sending its riders to Belgium to enable them gain regular exposure to racing on the continent.  The launching of this team was the next step for Ireland’s talented cyclists to progress through the sporting pathway.

The team, which is predominantly made up of young Irish riders, also contains some older Belgian members. The Belgians’ aim to use their race experience to work with the Irish boys, riding as a team and helping the Irish cyclists finish as high as possible up the racing ladder.

The other Irish team members who have made the team are Ciaran Kelly, Andrew McQuaid, Roger Aiken, brothers Eoin and Miceal Concannon and Mark Cassidy (no relation to Tim.)

Tamara O’Driscoll, CEO of Cycling Ireland said: “Over the past few months, Cycling Ireland, Sean Kelly and a number of volunteers have put in a lot of hard work to ensure the development of this team. The structures are in place, the funding has been sourced and the professional back up is ready. The team has caught the Irish public’s imagination and the lads are aware that the country will be watching them wishing them success. This training camp will give them time to consolidate and prepare for the season ahead - their first as a continental team .”

The running of any continental team requires vast amounts of funding and the Sean Kelly Team has been fortunate with the level of sponsorship it has managed to obtain.
M Donnelly & Co Ltd, one of Ireland’s leading distributors of power tools and power tool accessories, is the main sponsor along with Belgian based company ACLVB Liberale Vakbond. 

The sponsorship will be used to ensure the riders have access to world class medical & sport science support. The team’s dedicated doctor has also worked with Discovery, one of cycling’s most prolific racing teams and will be responsible for the testing and medical advice given to the riders.

The Sean Kelly Team will ride Merlin bikes, with Time pedals and shoes. The wheels are sponsored by Mavic and the tyres are coming from Continental. The finishing kits have been provided by Oval Concepts and the saddles are Fizik. The team will wear clothing supplied by Spin 11.

Other sponsors include Stena Line, The Irish Sports Council, Maximise, The Olympic Council of Ireland, XP Power, Almero Meat, De Grauwe werkkledij, Bergini Jeans, Argenta Dirk Pessemier, Oakley and vehicles are being provided by Leaseplan.

The Sean Kelly Team hopes to make its first competitive outing, in Belgium mid-February.


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For more information please contact Tamara O’Driscoll at Cycling Ireland on 01 855 1522 or email CEO@cyclingireland.ie