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No more Sean Kelly....academy

Jul 14, 2009
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There have been a few posts about racing in Belgium, where to go? How much does it cost? Lots of standard questions that are a little easier to answer once you have done it. Young riders need places like the SKA to get an instant home base in Belgium. The Irish federation saying the place was always underused is true and it's a shame. The US fed does the same thing with a quirkie formula, 1st you get picked from an application and then you pay your own way($3000-4500) for a few weeks. The Irish fed should reach out to Aussies and Americans that would love to load there bike into a car and driven directly to a race and return to take a hot shower without figuring every detail for themselves. The application could be as simple as asking are you a Cat2 with 10 top ten results this year and can you pay 3000 dollars for food,car and lodging. I was given the name and number of a old guy that worked for 2 pro Belgian teams, His daughter got on the phone and said" Are you good?You like to race bike,in Belgium,yes? Send me 600 dollars". They subscribed to the racing news and told me what races were good for me. I had an instant support group and a new title as"our American" as if they got a poodle. If you are Irish you should write to your fed and tell them to run a cheap ad on CN to see if there is interest. Once it's gone it's hard to get it back. This is a great resource for cyclists it's a shame it was never promoted.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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True champions find their way to the top. The S.kelly Belgium system (as much as im aware) didnt have Roche, Martin or Deignam on a bed list- so what is the point.
 
fatandfast said:
There have been a few posts about racing in Belgium, where to go? How much does it cost? Lots of standard questions that are a little easier to answer once you have done it. Young riders need places like the SKA to get an instant home base in Belgium. The Irish federation saying the place was always underused is true and it's a shame. The US fed does the same thing with a quirkie formula, 1st you get picked from an application and then you pay your own way($3000-4500) for a few weeks. The Irish fed should reach out to Aussies and Americans that would love to load there bike into a car and driven directly to a race and return to take a hot shower without figuring every detail for themselves. The application could be as simple as asking are you a Cat2 with 10 top ten results this year and can you pay 3000 dollars for food,car and lodging. I was given the name and number of a old guy that worked for 2 pro Belgian teams, His daughter got on the phone and said" Are you good?You like to race bike,in Belgium,yes? Send me 600 dollars". They subscribed to the racing news and told me what races were good for me. I had an instant support group and a new title as"our American" as if they got a poodle. If you are Irish you should write to your fed and tell them to run a cheap ad on CN to see if there is interest. Once it's gone it's hard to get it back. This is a great resource for cyclists it's a shame it was never promoted.

I can understand why the Irish federation wouldnt want to fund a facility that also accomodates other nationalities, especially big countries like USA or Australia which have more current pros than there have been in the history of Irish cycling. With the Sean Kelly/An Post team there are enough opportunities for the top Irish riders to compete in Europe. Otherwise, the national team is more than sufficent. If a rider does well enough with the National team, then they will more or likley get a shot with An Post or a bigger team. There is just not a massive pool of top talent in Ireland although we do well for our size.

I dont know if Dan Martin or Nicolas Roche would have used the Academy much, Martin only declared for Ireland before turning pro and Roche lived in France so unless he was there with the national team I doubt it. I think Deignan did avail of the academy occasionally but he was based in France also.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I can understand why the Irish federation wouldnt want to fund a facility that also accomodates other nationalities, especially big countries like USA or Australia which have more current pros than there have been in the history of Irish cycling. With the Sean Kelly/An Post team there are enough opportunities for the top Irish riders to compete in Europe. Otherwise, the national team is more than sufficent. If a rider does well enough with the National team, then they will more or likley get a shot with An Post or a bigger team. There is just not a massive pool of top talent in Ireland although we do well for our size.

I dont know if Dan Martin or Nicolas Roche would have used the Academy much, Martin only declared for Ireland before turning pro and Roche lived in France so unless he was there with the national team I doubt it. I think Deignan did avail of the academy occasionally but he was based in France also.

Ireland has 4 million people. The inner country development if riders is why there are so few quality Irish racers. If you come from a small place with few racers and few races it was nice to have an outlet for the talent that is there. Like all great Irish riders they will have to do it the hard way. Where do you move within Ireland to be near the National team? I have friends in Belfast,Glassgow and Dublin, the housing prices there make even a New Yorker blush. If a guy wants to try his hand at bike racing in Ireland you better come from the Guinness family or hit the lotto. If a good racer every 10 or 15 years is ok with you I won't have much luck changing your mind.