By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
Chances of an Irish victory in this year's FBD Insurance Rás look uncertain following the announcement that six professional teams will take part in this year's race. David McCann and David O'Loughlin, first and third last year, are set to miss the 2005 edition due to commitments with their pro teams, while other Irish professionals are also thought to be tied up at the time.
Race organiser Dermot Dignam confirmed today the participation of pro teams from Britain, Europe, North America and Scandinavia. There will also be a record six American amateur teams, plus squads from France and Germany amongst the 200-rider lineup.
The identities of the six pro teams are expected to be confirmed soon, as is the lineup for the Irish national selection for the eight day, 2.2 ranked race.