News – Success for McNally in Europe


A win and several top tens, never mind a lot of kilometres in breaks, Mark McNally of Madison Genesis is in top form for the Tour of Britain

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News – Success for McNally in Europe
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In the space of six days, Mark McNally of Madison Genesis rode two UCI 1.1 races in which he placed 9th and 3rd overall and then took a win in the prestigious Erpe Mere professional Koers Grand Prix Lucien Van Impe over a distance of 168 kilometres taking the scalp of the current Belgium National Champ in the process!


Mark also rode the Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic (UCI 1.1) race over 198 kilometres on August 21st in between the other races giving him plenty of racing prior to Britain’s biggest stage race.

It has been quite a spell of racing and if you add into that, the aggressive ride he did at the Leicester Castle Kermesse over the much short distance of 80 kilometres, it all adds up to a rider in good shape for the Tour of Britain.

Mark is one of the many riders who is coached by Trainsharp who have been helping him with his training for a few years now and, along with his team, which is having a spell of racing in Europe pre Tour of Britain, it’s all helping the Merseysider to be in a good shape for a race he did so well at in 2014 when he won the King of the Mountains.

During last years Tour of Britain, McNally backed up day after day early in the race, getting in the breaks and fighting his way along the road each day to get as many KoM points as he could.

His performances in the last week have reminded me of that performance in the Tour of Britain after he’s got in moves race after race in the past week and from that, got a lot from the races besides just good training.

Here’s a diary from Mark of his racing in Europe in the last week


Mark undergoing testing at Trainsharp when with AN Post.

August 18 | UCI 1.1 | GP Stad Zottegem | 190km – 9th
Mark writes “my first UCI race in a while and I made the days break of 14 guys which stayed away all day. Unfortunately, four guys slipped away with about 15km to go and I missed it and then we were riding for 5th when another guy chipped away with 2km to go and in the sprint for 9th I was hooked quite badly by another rider and so had to check my speed finishing up in 9th.”

August 20 | Erpe Mere Prof Koers GP Lucien Van Impe | 168km – 1st
“It was an aggressive race from the start with a move of roughly ten guys going in the first couple of laps. I had three team mates in there already before I then bridged across with two others making the lead group swell to 14.

It was a typical Belgian Kermesse where we were the Hare for the hounds in the peloton to chase. In the last few laps, the gap closed just to under a minute and after most people in the move committed to riding, we steadied the gap and then we began to race for the win on the final lap of 8.7km.

I had the luxury of having three team mates with me in a 14 man move so we took it in turns to attack. I took my turn with about 3km to go and was in a group of four guys including the current Belgian national champ.

There was quite a fast sweeping right hander into the last 200m. Ideally, I wanted to be first into that last corner but one guy attacked just before it giving me the perfect gap to close and accelerate out of the last corner. I opened up out of the bend giving it everything I had.

It was my first win since the Pro Kermesse in Ninove in 2012. It is strange that one of the first emotions I felt was that of relief which was quickly followed by joy. These moments are few and far between for most bike riders but when they do come they are unforgettable”.


August 23 | UCI 1.1 | GP Jef Scherens Rondum Leuven 186km. 3rd
“This is one of my all-time favourite races around a town I have drank many a coffee in amongst other things! It was a leg sapping 14km lap with two short sharp climbs each time which we tackled 13 times.

To keep with the theme from this week’s racing, a big break of 42 guys formed on the first few laps and every lap, the group got smaller and smaller until about with six or seven laps to go, I made a split of six. We worked well and over the closing laps, the break whittled itself down to only four riders; Bjorn Leukeman and Marco Marcato from Wanty, cyclo crosser Wout Van Aert and myself.

Last time up the final leg breaking climb, Marcato attacked and I followed him. He slowed a little and Leukemans went straight over the top. I tried with all I had as we crested the climb but unfortunately he was too strong. He opened up a ten second lead. Behind I was left with Marcato who wasn’t going to ride to bring his team mate back then Van Aert came back to us and in the final few kilometres, two guys from Verandas Willems bridged to us making it a group of five fighting it out for second place.

The finishing straight was about 700 metres and it was a punch drunk sprint with Marcato going for a long one which Van Aert followed. I then had to chase my sprint and was dying as I reached the 250m to go mark but there was only myself and one of the Verandas Willems guys left in contention.

Unfortunately he had the luxury of coming from behind and he rolled me for second but looking back on a hard day out, I don’t think I could have done anything different so I was happy to get on the podium and finish off a good week.

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