An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly team will ride Vitus frames in 2013

Chain Reaction Cycles has joined with one of cycling’s legends to become sponsor of the An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly road race team for 2013. The team will be riding Vitus bikes, the same make Kelly rode to many of his successes during the 1980s, and which was revived by Chain Reaction Cycles three years ago.

The Belgian/Irish team will ride the Vitesse frame, which is the same as the one used on the Sean Kelly LTD edition model that we had a look at last year, as well as the carbon Chrono time-trial bike. Other suppliers include FSA, Vision, Continental and Prologo.

The online retailer’s move into team sponsorship comes just weeks after competitor Wiggle announced that it was backing the Wiggle Honda women’s pro cycling team and while obviously the two businesses won’t be taking their rivalry onto the road, it says a lot about the stage each has achieved in their growth that they can put a sponsorship budget behind a team, and in both cases ones that have a commitment to bring young talent through.

Team manager Sean Kelly, who besides his role as a commentator at Eurosport is also brand ambassador for Vitus, said: “The team at Chain Reaction Cycles have done a magnificent job of breathing life back into the historic Vitus brand, and this partnership is a natural progression as we aim to deliver An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly riders to the top of the podium – exactly where Vitus belongs.”

Chain Reaction Cycles marketing manager Damien Duggan added: “This is such an exciting time for Chain Reaction Cycles as we embark on our first journey into the world of professional road cycling. The launch of An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly feels like a natural fit, and we can’t wait to see the team racing on our very own Vitus bikes.”

The team will be officially launched next month, and you can follow the latest news about it on Facebook and Twitter.

An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly squad 2013

Sam Bennett
Ronan Mc Laughlin
Sean Downey
Jack Wilson
Mark Mc Nally
Kieran Frend
Glenn O Shea
Aaron Gate
Shane Archbold
Niko Eeckhout
Wout Franssen
Pieter Ghyllebert
Niels Wytinck
Alphonse Vermote
Steven Van Vooren
Laurent Vanden Bak
Nicolas Vereecken

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.