An Post, Grant Thornton and M Donnelly have been unveiled as the new backers of the Sean Kelly cycling team for 2008, ensuring the continuation of the UCI Continental level, Belgium-based squad.

The news is a positive development for Irish cycling following recent rumours that the team was in danger of folding.

Two of this year’s backers, Murphy and Gunn and the Newlyn Group, had indicated that they would not continue as sponsors next season.

Four Irish riders will return from this year’s line-up. Paídi O’Brien, Mark Cassidy, Isaac Speirs and Stephen Gallagher all signed contracts this week.

More foreign riders are expected to be confirmed in the near future.