Further boosting the high quality of this year’s field, past race victors Chris Newton and Kristian House will return for another FBD INSURANCE RÁS campaign and spearhead a very strong Britain Team Stena Rapha Condor squad in the big 8 day international cycle race which starts in Navan in a little over two weeks time.

Newton, winner in 2003 and 2005, and 2006 champion House will be joined by Dean Downing, Rob Partridge and either Ryan Bonser or Dale Appleby, with the final place being determined closer to the event. They all have the potential to play a very big part in the outcome of the 2.2-ranked event.

The squad will be backed by Stena Ferry Line for the race, and team manager John Herety is determined to give them a good return. “The team would like to once again thank Stena for their sponsorship during the RÁS,” he stated. “We hope to be able to show off their brand along with those of our other sponsors by winning stages and getting involved with some aggressive racing.”

Newton will be one of the most experienced riders in the FBD Insurance Rás peloton. Apart from his two wins and eight stage victories in Ireland, Newton won the track World Championship points race and team pursuit titles in 2002 and 2005 respectively. The 34 year old’s impressive CV also includes silver and bronze medals in the Olympic team pursuit [2004 and 2000], and 2006 Commonwealth Games victory in the same discipline.

He is also a past winner of the general classification at the Circuit des Mines plus the mountains competition in the Tour de Langkawi.

House has also stood on the highest step of the FBD Insurance Rás podium. Two years ago he won the closest-ever edition of the race, finishing the eight-day event deadlocked on time but ahead of USA’s Danny Pate on points. The 28 year old is a previous winner of the Lincoln International GP, the Tour of Tasmania and has won stages in the Ruban Granitier Breton and the Tour of Southland.

He recently showed promising form by winning the King of the Mountains classification in the Tour du Loir et Cher in France, as well as placing ninth overall.

Downing (33) is another talented British rider. He won the Lincoln International GP last season and this year triumphed in the Bikeline Two Day. He was also fourth on stage one of the Tour du Loir et Cher in mid-April.

If those three represent the experienced side of the squad, Partridge, Bonser and Appleby are the type of promising talent that Herety is helping to develop.

Partridge is 22 years of age and took a stage win plus third overall in both the 2006 and 2008 Girvan Three Day races. He has also twice finished in the top eight on stages of the Tour of Britain. Former Junior Tour of Wales winner Bonser is also 22 and last year was part of the team that helped Chris Newton take fifth overall. Appleby is, at 21 years of age, the youngest member of the provisional line-up. He was bronze medallist in the 2006 British under 23 time trial championship and earlier this year finished third overall in the Bikeline Two Day.

The 2008 FBD Insurance Rás begins in Navan on May 18th and concludes in Skerries on May 25th. It will feature strong international squads plus some of the best Irish riders, and this combination will result in eight days of the very best sporting action.

Stena Line has a long association with the FBD RÁS and is the official maritime carrier for the world-ranked 8 day race, being responsible each year for the massive task of bringing teams from Scandinavia, Britain and continental Europe. Mr. Eamonn Hewitt Communications & PR Manager for Stena Line’s Irish Sea Organisation said “Stena Line is delighted to support the FBD Insurance RÁS again this year. The Company has a relationship that goes back many years not only with this great event but with Irish cycling in general”.


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: