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An Post delighted with deal for Downey

For the last two seasons, Sean Downey Jr has been on the radar as far as the An Post/Sean Kelly team is concerned.

Evidently, the manager of the team, Kurt Bogaerts, has been keeping tabs on the son of Downey Sr, who in his day represented Ireland on numerous occasions.

The Co Down 21-year-old has signed a one-year contract with the An Post outfit, and the world of cycling could be his oyster.

According to Bogaerts: "It's no secret that we have been after Sean for a while now and I'm delighted that he has joined the team. He's a young rider with huge potential. He's strong in all departments -- a good time trialist and a climber too."

From Dromore, Co Down, Downey has the distinction of being, at 18, the youngest ever winner of the Tour of Ulster.

That put him on the map, plus he added the U23 National Championships to his CV.

Last season he rode for the Cote d'Armor team in France and he was the top placed Irish rider at this year's An Post Rás, finishing in 11th.

Former high performance director of Cycling Ireland, Dr Phil Leigh said of Downey's move to the Belgian-based outfit. "He could and should be one that will make all the headlines for all the right reasons in the future," said Leigh.