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Sam Bennett, Ronan McLaughlin and Sean Downey commit to An Post Sean Kelly team for 2013

Updated: Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 17:39 | Comments

Sam Bennett bagged three top ten finishes at the Tour of Britain
Sam Bennett bagged three top ten finishes at the Tour of Britain

Irish riders Sam Bennett, Ronan McLaughlin and Sean Downey will sign up with The An Post Sean Kelly team for the 2013 season.

Bennett, who is currently recovering from a knee operation, had a successful 2012 campaign putting in some fine performances, most notably at the Tour of Britain, where he bagged three top ten finishes.

The Waterford native was selected as part of the U23 Team Ireland at the World Championships and also impressed at the European Championships and the GP Zottegem earlier in the season.

“It’s fantastic that Ronan, Sam and Sean have committed to the team for another year" - Kurt Bogaerts

Donegal man Ronan McLaughlin has shown great progression since he joined the team back in 2008, now a key influencer behind many of the team’s successes.

At this year’s Rás he went within 100 metres of a heroic stage win in his home county, earning him huge praise for his distinguished attacking style.

He finished the season in magnificent fashion, putting in a string of impressive performances against the big teams at the Tour of Britain. His exceptional form earned him a place in the Team Ireland squad at the World Championships alongside Nicolas Roche and Daniel Martin.

For twenty one year-old Sean Downey the 2012 season was always going to be primarily a learning process and making the tough transition to the Belgian racing circuit.

The young man from Dromore played key roles in the An Post team’s stage win at this year’s Rás and was called up as part of the U23 Ireland Team at the World Championships.

Downey also made an impressive showing in the time trial event at the European Championships in the Netherlands.

Team manager Kurt Bogaerts is delighted to have secured the trio’s services for another season.

“It’s fantastic that Ronan, Sam and Sean have committed to the team for another year," he said. 

"Sam had some excellent results last season and is back on the bike now following his surgery, so he will be ready for next season which I’m sure will see him progress even further."

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