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by Shane Stokes
August 2, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Ewan wins stage four of the Tour of Poland; Landa takes stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos; Aru to lead Astana team at Vuelta a España; Hermans recovering from concussion and multiple fractures; Kennaugh and Oss ink contracts with Bora-hansgrohe; Movistar signs Argentinian climber Sepúlveda; Dunbar to make pro debut with Aqua Blue Sport; Cookson expresses confidence about re-election chances; Zwift Academy expands to men’s cycling, contract with Dimension Data under 23 team up for grabs; Wahoo Fitness launches new ELEMNT MINI bike computer; Merida announces voluntary fork recall: 2017 Scultura CF2 models; Video: Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever,” Episode 6: Mt. Hamilton
Following two successful seasons with the Axeon Hagens Berman squad, talented Irish rider Eddie Dunbar will step up to the pro ranks in 2018 after agreeing terms with the Aqua Blue Sport team. The 20-year-old rider won this year’s under 23 Tour of Flanders, adding to his second overall in the Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux, his An Post Rás stage win in 2016 plus previous under 23 national road race and time trial titles.
Although Dunbar’s strong season likely led to other offers, he has decided to go with the Aqua Blue Sport team. He hails from County Cork in Ireland’s southwest, which is also where team owner Rick Delaney comes from, and this plus his strong potential fits in well with the team’s long-term plans. It is aiming for WorldTour status by 2019 and a ride in the Tour de France.
“It is a dream come true to ride for an Irish professional team,” Dunbar said. “It is great that I am going to have a chance to be part of this project. I have spent three years at Continental level and I now feel that the time is right to go up a level.
“The programme that Aqua Blue Sport offers, the big Classics, stage races and the chance of a Grand Tour, all made my decision very easy. The team offers a dedicated performance staff and this makes for a great environment. I think, with this in mind, I can continue to make progress.”
General manager described Dunbar’s signing as fantastic news. “From the outset of this project our stated aim has always been to eventually bring the best of Irish talent to the pro ranks,” he stated. “It is great to add to our Irish rider line up of Matt Brammeier, Conor Dunne and Martyn Irvine: an opportunity to sign Eddie is a huge coup for us. We all can’t wait to see him in the blue and gold of Aqua Blue Sport.”