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Lavery bidding for National glory

The An Post/Sean Kelly Team will have ambitions to repeat their recent success at the An Post Rás with their quartet aiming to land the top spot tomorrow at the Irish National Cycling Championships in Scotstown, Co Monaghan.

Philip Lavery lines up alongside 109 competitors in a bid to win the right to wear the distinctive National Champion's jersey for the next 12 months, which can add value in the professional ranks. The Dubliner has in recent weeks been absent from the cut and thrust of racing because of an illness. He previously made the podium in 2009, taking third place in the Under 23 category.

"I'm really looking forward to riding in the Nationals and racing in Ireland again," said Lavery. "I was disappointed to miss out on the Rás last month, but I realised that it was the right decision as I hadn't got back to full fitness.

"It's not going to be easy to win the race, especially when you look at the calibre of riders who will be taking part, but we will be giving it our all and hopefully one of the An Post riders will take the Elite jersey home."

An Post riders have a good record in the senior event, as previous team member David O'Loughlin took the honours on three occasions. Matt Brammeier also won the event while riding with the team last year.

Alongside Philip, will be Sam Bennett, Ronan McLaughlin and Mark Cassidy.