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by Shane Stokes
October 31, 2017
Mareczko best again with stage 3 victory in Tour of Hainan; Critic of Bahrain alleges torture after family members are jailed; An Post Chain Reaction/Sean Kelly team to take year out, sponsor talks continue; UCI President Lappartient wants team sizes to drop to six riders; Martina Ritter Steps up to Wiggle High 5; Demi de Jong moves to Lotto Soudal Ladies; Doris Schweizer stays with Team Virtu; Video: Teaser Worst Retirement Ever – Mt. Evans; Video: Tour de France Shanghai Critérium 2017; Video: Preview of the UCI world indoor championships.
Searching for a new title sponsor since the Irish An Post company announced in May that it was leaving cycling, the Sean Kelly continental team – which competed in recent seasons as An Post Chainreaction – announced on Monday that it would not be part of the peloton in 2018.
The team owners Sean Kelly and Kurt Bogaerts had been chasing new sponsorship for several months but, with the UCI deadline for Continental team registration looming and current equipment sponsors needing to know if the team would continue or not, they have accepted that they have run out of time. Bogaerts said that the squad’s current riders also needed clarity about whether they should search elsewhere.
However the intention is to use the coming months to secure the backing to return at a higher level in the sport. “We continue to look towards 2019 and the goal of advancing to the Pro Continental level with enthusiasm,” said Kelly and Bogaerts in a statement.
The team has been one of the most successful Continental squads, winning stages in races such as the Tour of Britain, Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, the Étoile de Bessèges, the Tour d’Azerbaïdjan, taking victory in the Grote Prijs Stad Zottegem, the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen, the Ronde de l’Oise, Schaal Sels and the An Post Rás, and also helping many riders to WorldTour and Pro Continental careers.
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