Irish cycling fans will be looking to a continuation of early season form when the season resumes this weekend, in Belgium.
All of the Irish contingent within the ‘An Post Sean Kelly’ team will be in action over the next few days as the team takes part in two domestic races in Belgium.
Meathman Mark Cassidy, who has started the season in flying form, is part of an eight man team that will take part in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen (2.1). The three day stage race starts tomorrow (Friday 4th March) with a 7 kilometre time trial.
Cassidy, who celebrates his 23rd birthday later in March has as his hero the great Belgian , Eddy Merckx ‘ an incredible cyclist who could do anything on the bike’
His Irish compatriots Sam Bennett, Philip Lavery and Ronan McLaughlin will all be on the starting line for Saturday’s (5th March) one day race, the De Vlaamse Pijl (1.2).
Team manager Kurt Bogaerts was delighted with last week’s results, which included new signing Dries Hollanders podium finish at the Beverbeek Classic. He also singled out Cassidy for praise following a good performance at the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.
“We continued our good start to the year with two strong races last weekend. Dries (Hollanders) was unlucky not to win the Beverbeek – in the end it came down to a two man sprint and the other guy was just a little bit faster.”
“I have been really impressed with (Mark) Cassidy’s start to the season; he has been very consistent, which is usually his biggest problem! Last Saturday he was involved in all the big breakaways and I really think it was one of his best races for us. He has another opportunity in tomorrow’s race, so I really hope his fine form continues” Bogaerts added.
Team for Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen (2.1) 4th – 6th March
Mark Cassidy (IRL)
Niko Eeckhout (BEL)
Pieter Ghyllebert (BEL)
Maxim Debusschere (BEL)
Kevin Claeys (BEL)
Andy Fenn (UK)
Mark McNally (UK)
Gediminas Bagdonas (LTU)
Team for De Vlaamse Pijl (1.2) 5th March
Sam Bennett (IRL)
Philip Lavery (IRL)
Ronan McLaughlin (IRL)
Darijus Dzervus (LTU)
Dries Hollanders (BEL)
Kess Heytens (BEL)