BRITS AT THE RAS: MACLEAN GOES TO IRELAND?
The 2008 Rás kicks off in Navan on Sunday with one rider on the start sheet who definitely will not be riding.
The Plowman Craven five man squad lists track star Craig MacLean in their squad for the eight day tour of Ireland, the result of a practical joke gone slightly awry.
“We were joking about with Craig and he said ‘I might sign on for a couple of crits, do a few laps and then pull out,” said team manager Garry Beckett. “I must have put him down on the team sheet by accident and forgotten to take him off.”
MacLean, who has been training in Germany with the GB track squad, will be relieved to hear that Neil Coleman will taking his spot at the Rás, joining Evan Oliphant, Simon Richardson, Tom Barras and Alex Higham.
Rapha-Condor-Recycling field a full-strength team including two previous winners of the race; Kristian House (2006) and Chris Newton (2003 and 2005). Dean Downing, Rob Partridge and Ben Greenwood complete a very strong line-up.
The Kinesis team have impressed in recent Premier Calendar outings and manager Chris Truett has enjoyed working with his young charges. “They have been absolutely superb,” he said. “We have had a cracking year so far. It is a buzz, week after week.”
“Three or four of the lads moved on to other teams this year, but the new riders have been great. Our plan was to try and mix it up with the big three teams – get two or three riders in the breaks – and it has paid off.”
The Rás will be a hard eight days for the Kinesis boys. “We are going to try and get round,” said Truett, “and maybe get in a break. It is costing us a fortune to ride - £3,000 just for hotels – which is a lot for a small team to find. It means we will miss a couple of Premier Calendars, but I think this will be better for the lads to do.”
The opening 142km stage of the Rás on Sunday 18 runs from Navan to Ballinamore.