Team News: Success for Mountivation Juniors

Double stage winner Matt Flynn’s report on the Gorey 3 Day in Ireland over Easter saw the Mountivation Junior team winning two stages, the Points jersey, holding the Yellow and 3rd in the KOM ….

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Matt writes… Leading up to the Gorey 3-Day in Ireland, we were waiting upon our team bikes. These arrived before the weekend of the race and Mike Jackson built these up for us, with some of the team on hand to help out. We were meeting up at Lancaster University on Friday and then travelling down to Wales and the ferry port where we caught the fast ferry to Ireland.

We travelled in a rented minibus with 6 riders and 7 team bikes and kit bags on board. Gary Sadler did 99% of the driving over the weekend so a big thanks to him for that. We arrived in Ireland at around 7:30pm on Friday night and were at the hotel for 9:00pm. The hotel that we stayed in was amazing! We arrived long after dinner to find out that we had food waiting for us. After dinner, we prepared for the Saturdays first stage and got to bed.

Day 1 – Stage 1
Stage one was a 110km point to point road race running south from Blessington to Gorey. Pre-race, we set up the bikes and drove over to signing on with Gary Sadler and Peter Kay in the van. We arrived in Blessington, signed on and prepared for the race.

Numbers pinned on and legs greased up, the team rolled out to the start. Looking around the 180 starters, there were only five that I had any idea of their ability – they being my own team mates! We rolled out through the neutralised zone and I rolled down the pavement to get to the front. As soon as we reached km 0, the attacking started one after another, after another.

I was covering many of these early moves before I decided that they weren’t going to stick so early on. Me and all the boys, Tom Armstrong, Jack Sadler, Josh Knights, James King and James Knox, were all getting into the strong looking moves though. The frantic attacking continued throughout the race until a break finally stuck with around 15km to go.

We had no riders in the break. I rode up and down the bunch talking to team mates and asking for their opinions. Jack was pretty sure that it was going to stick. On that, I decided to ride across to the break with around 8km to go. I caught the group of six with 5 kilometres to go.

I was surprised to find that none of the break was working and I rode straight past it and attacked. I was quickly brought back and it became clear that I was going to have to out sprint the other guys. With 200m to go, I took up the sprint in the right hand gutter as the wind was coming from the left, which we found out when we looked at the finish earlier.

I opened up a two second gap on the break and won the stage with my arms in the air. I couldn’t believe what I had managed to do! The 5 other lads set up a late lead out to set up Jack to win the bunch sprint. All the guys were super happy with the result.

After Pete Kay had cleaned me up and got me a fresh Bioracer jersey, I was off to the podium where I collected the yellow jersey. We rode back to the hotel for dinner and a good nights sleep after some CNP recovery.

Day 2 – Stage 2
We woke up after a good nights sleep to a big breakfast of porridge and scrambled eggs. We then walked outside to find our bikes all washed and prepared thanks to Pete and Gary! Stage 2 was a 6.4km time trial on the road heading out of Gorey.

This would be the first opportunity to show off my new yellow shirt. After a structured warm-up with Pete and Gary, we rode to the start. All the lads were starting one after another at 1 minute intervals. I gave the TT all I had but on a mostly downhill course with a tailwind and only a 14 sprocket, I lost the yellow jersey by 11 seconds.

All the lads put in a huge effort in the time trial to finish well up at the top of GC. It was today I found out really how fast and stiff my new Onix RH Pro was! Truly the best bike I have ever ridden.

Day 2-Stage 3
Stage 3 was 4 laps of a 24km circuit with the same finish as the TT, just outside Gorey. We set out on the stage at 2:30pm. I knew that I wasn’t feeling too great but thought I would ride it off during the stage. As it turns out, after putting in a turn on the front to help the boys bring a break back, I cracked on the climb and lost 3:30 on GC which was now well and truly out of reach. The lads put up a class fight to bring the break back but ran out of men to lead out Jack for the Sprint.

Day 3 – Stage 4
This was the last day we would spend in Ireland and we woke up to rain. It was going to be a cold and wet final stage and that made it even more important to get my kit right. We packed up the bags and put them in the van, kitted up and rode out to signing on. My legs felt bad, really bad.

We started the stage in the pouring rain in the centre of Gorey. Before the start, I had Pete cover my back and legs in heat rub and baby oil to keep the cold out. As soon as we reached km 0, a break of 16 riders escaped. I had a word with Tom Armstrong and then attacked and rode across to the break.

It was clear that we were going to be out here for all of the 90km stage! The break was going full gas when I reached it. I did the odd turn but left the majority of the work to the senior riders, knowing that I needed to save my power for later on when I planned to win the stage and put time into everybody else!

The majority of the break was working well and we gained a two minute lead over the bunch where my team mates were shutting down any attempts to catch us. Coming into 30km to go, we hit a small town with an oil spill right through the centre. Glad I had my Schwalbe tyres otherwise that could have been the end of my day!

With 20km to go, we hit a stretch of open road with a cross wind. I attacked and rode in the gutter to break up the group. Only one other rider came with me. We rode all out for these last 20km with me doing the majority of the work but the other rider giving me the rest when I needed it. I rode away from this rider with a k to go and won the stage solo, 1:41 ahead of the bunch where Jack sprinted to 4th after a lead out from the team.

We then rode the 10km to the presentation and changing rooms. Cars were driving past waving at the team. It was clear that we had got some huge publicity for the sponsors during these 3 days.

No matter what I or any of my team mates do out on the road we couldn’t do any of it without the sponsors and support that we have. Tim Schools of Mountivation is responsible for the funding of the team and without him we wouldn’t have been able to ride in Ireland.

Also to Phil Leigh and Gary Sadler who spend every free minute of time they have working with the team and also Pete Kay who accompanied us in Ireland, he was a massive help to me and all the riders and a pleasure to have him involved with the team!

The sponsors are also responsible for allowing us to do what we do, Bioracer clothing, Onix bikes supplied us with the bikes that we rode in Ireland for the first time. The bikes are truly class and allow me and the guys to make the very best of every watt we produce. Also to CNP cycling for producing the foods that kept us going through the 4 stages, and Schwalbe tyres for keeping me upright in the soaking wet and diesel covered stage 4.

Also the the landlady and her family of the hotel because they were class! (hillside B+B)! And also to bioracer, and carrara for keeping me warm, dry and looking pro! Another group of people that us cyclists often forget is our family. They put in huge amounts of time and money into helping us do what we do best, and the success we achieve is only a small repayment for all this!

Also thanks to Liam Ruth and Peter Purfield for the photos.

Also thanks for the help and encouragement from the majority of the Irish over the weekend too!

LINK: Click here to view Matt’s Blog


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