An Post team race in Belgium this week

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Updated: March 24, 2011

AN POST TEAM AIM TO CONTINUE FINE EARLY SEASON FORM

Two races in Belgium next up for flying Eeckhout

The An Post Sean Kelly team will be aiming to maintain their excellent early season form at two races in Belgium this week, starting with the Dwars door Vlaanderen (1.1) tomorrow and followed by the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke (1.HC) on Sunday.

Veteran rider Niko Eeckhout, who will be partaking in both races, has shown no signs of his advancing years by delivering some excellent results of late. Already this month the 40-year old won the final stage at the Driedaagse Van Vlaanderen, followed by a 4th place finish at the Omloop van het Waasland and a fine 3rd place at last Friday’s Handzame Classic.

He will be joined by Irishmen Philip Lavery and Mark Cassidy in Wednesday’s team line up. Lavery is also fresh off a good result, where he finished 34th at the Handzame Classic, having put in the hard work to allow Eeckhout to sprint for the race win.

Team manager Kurt Bogaerts is positive Eeckhout and the team can keep chasing stage wins.

“Niko’s form has been exceptional recently and last Friday he just missed out on the stage win. His fitness is spot on, so if he manages to avoid injuries and gets good rest in between races I don’t see why the good results won’t continue.”

“However, it’s a team sport and even though Niko has been getting the podium finishes, it is the other guys’ performances that have allowed him to be involved in the sprints at the end.”

“At the moment the conditioning amongst the squad is excellent, and as a result we are involved most of the breakaways, which in turn allows us to set up and prepare for the sprints. Then all we need is a little luck to win the race.” Bogaerts added.

Team for Dwars door Vlaanderen (1.1) 23rd March

Philip Lavery (IRL)
Mark Cassidy (IRL)
Niko Eeckhout (BEL)
Pieter Ghyllebert (BEL)
Kess Heytens (BEL)
Dries Hollanders (BEL)
Mark McNally (UK)
Gedimis Bagdonas (LTU)

Team for E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke (1.HC) 26th March

Sam Bennett (IRL)
Mark Cassidy (IRL)
Niko Eeckhout (BEL)
Pieter Ghyllebert (BEL)
Kess Heytens (BEL)
Dries Hollanders (BEL)
Mark McNally (UK)
Gedimis Bagdonas (LTU)

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