The An Post Sean Kelly team have concluded a deal to sign New Zealand track riders Shane Archbold and Aaron Gate on one-year contracts.
Archbold, who spent part of last season with Marco Polo Cycling Donckers Koffie, is a former World Cup omnium winner and competed for team New Zealand at the London Olympics
The highly rated 23 year-old also won the points classification at the 2011 Rás.
Gate capped off the season in style by winning a bronze medal as part of the team pursuit at the Olympics.
An Post Sean Kelly team manager Kurt Bogaerts is delighted to add the new riders to the Belgian based team and thinks both riders will find the transition from track to road racing quite smooth.
“I’ve always felt that the track is a good base to become a strong road racer. It takes time to settle in to a new team but with the ability these two riders have, I have no doubt that Shane and Aaron will start contributing straight away.
"I saw Shane for the first time at the Rás last year and was immediately impressed with his ability. He is a very fast classic rider with bags of potential so I am excited we have got him on board."
Bogaerts added: "Aaron has a great track record. I watched him at last year’s Rás also and at this summer’s Olympics and his level of performances were very high. I’ve been keeping my eye on him for a while now and I think he will be a great addition to the team."
Meanwhile An Post Rás Route Director, Tony Campbell, will take over as organiser of the eight-day international cycle race following Dermot Dignam’s decision to retire from the position within the next few weeks.
Campbell has vast experience at different levels in the race and worked closely with Dignam for many years.The man with the mammoth task of arranging accommodation for the huge entourage each year, Eddie Dawson, will continue to look after accommodation as well being assistant race organiser.