Muff native Ronan McLaughlin was confirmed as one of the four Irish men on the An Kelly Sean Post team for the upcoming Rás.
The event gets underway on Sunday week, May 20, in Dunboyne, Co Meath and McLaughlin will join , alongside Sam Bennett, Conor McConvey and Sean Downey, while Lithuanian strongman Gediminas Bagdonas returns to defend his 2011 title.
McLaughlin expressed his joy at being selected, while he admitted that he is looking forward to racing on his local county roads. There are stages in Killybegs and Buncrana over the eight days.
“I’m delighted to have made the team again for the Rás,” McLaughlin saod. 2t’s a special race for me and this year even more so, with many stages in Donegal. I’m sure there will be great support for the team again this year, so I really can’t wait until the race gets underway.”
Team manager Kurt Bogaerts also stated that he will be counting on the local knowledge of McLaughlin to assist the team, as no less than four stages of the eight day race pass through the county.
“Ronan was delighted when he saw the Rás route this year as he trains regularly on many of these roads, so I’m sure that will be positive for us. A couple of years ago David O’Loughlin won a stage for the team near where he grew up so hopefully Ronan can do the same.
“I think experience will play a vital role in the outcome of this year’s Rás. Bennett and McLaughlin were both involved in Bagdonas’ overall win last year, while McConvey finished top U23 rider and fourth overall in 2010 and Sean Downey was the highest placed Irish rider last year.”