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Belis and Mould latest big signings for An Post

Posted 24 November 2011

High profile British riders Jonathan Belis and Jon Mould are the latest recruits to the An Post Sean Kelly team in what was a busy week for the Belgium based outfit which saw Mark McNally re-sign for the team and young Irishman Philip Lavery depart.

Belis rode for Saxo Bank on the ProTour last season following a return to the sport after a serious motorcycle accident in 2009, which saw him in a coma with doctors stating that he would never walk again let alone get back on a bike.

The 23-year old from Douglas in the Isle of Man made a remarkable recovery, although he endured a difficult comeback to cycling last year with further health complications as a result of the crash. Saxo Bank, whom he had also been riding for before the accident, decided not to extend his contract into 2012 and An Post team manager Kurt Bogaerts made his move for the undoubtedly talented rider.

Belis has great pedigree at Junior and U23 level, including winning a bronze medal in the U23 category at the 2007 World Championships, while he competed in the 2008 Olympics for GB and is a three time European Champion on the track. Having declared a clean bill of health recently, Bogaerts expects Belis to be a huge asset to the team next year.

“Belis is a great talent. He raced in the Olympics when he was only 20 and I have no doubts that he would still be riding for a Pro team without his injuries. The challenge for us is to get him back to that level next season and we’re delighted to have him on board.”

Also joining the team this week is another UK rider, Jon Mould. 20-year old Mould hails from Newport in Wales and is another rider with a great track pedigree. He is a member of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy programme and he represented GB at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year. Like Belis, Mould is former Junior European Track Champion and he is another rider who Bogaerts is happy to develop over the coming seasons.

“Jon has a lot of potential and I hope we can develop him into a great road rider. He’s got an excellent track background and as I’ve said before he is the type of young rider which we have been following for a while now,” said the team manager.

Meanwhile Bogaerts announced that Liverpudlian Mark McNally, who grew in stature and confidence while riding for the team last year, has signed a new one year deal. McNally was in line for a move to the professional ranks after impressing throughout 2011, most notably when he won the Mi-Aout en Bretagne stage race in France. Unfortunately the move he wished for never came through and Bogaerts was quick to re-sign him.
 
“I have mixed emotions about Mark coming back. On one hand it’s good to have him back but I really feel with his results last year he deserved to join a professional team. Of course I’m happy he will be riding for us again and he will be very important to the team,” said Bogaerts.

One rider who will not be re-joining the side is Dublin native Philip Lavery. Lavery has decided to move on after enduring a difficult year which was blighted with illness and injury. Bogaerts wished him luck next season and for the rest of his career.

“Philip was unlucky with us last season and he got injuries at bad times. Maybe he will return to us at some stage, but I wish him all the best wherever he goes,” he said.

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