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An Post Seán Kelly team to start in Qatar

The An Post Sean Kelly team plans its strategy.

The An Post Sean Kelly team plans its strategy. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

The An Post Seán Kelly team manager Kurt Bogaerts has announced that the team has been invited to take part in the early season Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman in February.

The races will mark the first events of the season for the Irish team. Tour of Qatar begins on February 6, 2011 and runs through February 11, while the Tour of Oman takes place from February 15-20.

Earlier this month the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced 16 teams had been invited to the events and the An Post team was not on the original list. It has presumably replaced the Pegasus Sports squad which failed to be licensed by the UCI due to financial problems. The team's demise opened up one spot, but it was not offered to Omega Pharma-Lotto, who had hoped to ride, because of the limit on the number of ProTeams allowed in 2.1 category stage races. An Post is the only Continental squad invited to take part in the races.

"We are delighted to have received an invitation to take part in the two stage races, it's a big honour," said Bogaerts "We had an excellent season in 2010, so it's good to see our strong performance acknowledged in this way."

The An Post Sean Kelly team's roster is expected to be finalized in January in time for its two-week training camp in Calpe, Spain.

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Laura Weislo

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.