Feature: Alex Blain’s Love of Britain

Frenchman Alex Blain returns for his seventh season in Britain racing for Madison Genesis for a second season “My heart is English but my blood is from France.”

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Feature: Alex Blain’s Love of Britain

Translated from the article on www.be-celt.com (French)

Alexandre Blain of Madison Genesis has spent most of his professional career racing in Britain and will be returning again in 2017.

Final round of the Tour Series and Alex wins at Portsmouth

Alex started his pro career with Cofidis but after two years, found himself racing in Britain and except for a year out in France in 2015, Alex has raced his cycling career in Britain. In a interview on a French website (be-celt), when asked how he feels approaching the start of a new season, Alex replies “Good very good. The legs are there and the morale is full”.

“I start this season with the same desire that I had at the beginning. We will all meet soon in Calpe for our training and then we will attack the season. I feel good and want to slam a few races and help my team too.”

Alex explains that his season will have the usual menu of events. “The British circuit races of course with the Tour Series, the National races (Prems), the Tour of Yorkshire of course and the classics like the Cicle Classic that I won in 2012. We will also go to the Tour Normandie which I particularly enjoy and many races in Belgium.”

Alex has had his share of wins in Britain pictured here winning at Severn Bridge when racing for team Raleigh

“I hope that we can also go to ‘Tro Bro Léon’ this year (French off road/onroad classic). It will be held just after the Cicle Classic and the two are very similar. The team will be sharp and ready. I have done that race eight times in my career and I would really like to make the podium!”

Alex is one of many riders in Madison Genesis capable of winning bike races as he’s proven over the years. Speaking about his team, he says “We have riders like Matt Holmes who have big engines and who’s only 23 years old as well as guys like Taylor Gunman or Richard Handley and the young promising rider Conor Swift.”

“So yes, it’s a great team. My role is to give the best advice to young people taking their first steps. I’m the team captain and it’s my job to help the riders achieve the team’s goals. Of course, I’ll try to make a few podiums too! We are motivated and we feel the responsibility to do a good job for the team and sponsors. We have the same respect for our partners and sponsors as they have shown in us and so know we need to deliver”.

Winning in Southport a round of the Tour Series 

Alex also spoke about the difference between French media and British media.”Racing is broadcast on television all season. The media exposure is very important in UK, they are there all the time and allow us to show our colors. Then, we constantly give back to our partners on social networks. These networks have a huge visual power too but in France they are very underestimated”.

Alex also added TV for French races is not like it is in Britain. “I am French and therefore I was looking for the results of the Etoile de Bessèges. I was on the sites of the French televisions and I did not find the direct (feed) from l’Etoile. I noticed that they were broadcasting the Herald Sun Tour, the Dubai Tour, the Valencia Tour but nothing on our own French races”.

“I find it crazy that the French media do not follow the tricolor races but rather those from abroad. There were beautiful people not on the Etoile de Bessèges? You’ll never see that in England. Here we even broadcast our elite races!”

Alex is also keen to promote his region in France via a Grand Fondo. “I love my region and I am proud to promote the Mercan’Tour Grand Fondo” he says. “I am well here on the French Riviera. We have an airport nearby which allows me to reach England quite easily. My heart is English but my blood is from here.”

Alex with Gary Sadler on the podium after winning the CiCLE Classic and wearng the Bioracer winners jersey

There are also many British in Nice and I like to talk about our beautiful region in England. Look at the Mercan’Tour Grand Fondo Cycling Café for example. Originally, it was Laurent Elleon and Christophe Menei who set up this beautiful event with Nicolas Fritsch in particular. It is a superb event to be held in May. I am proud to promote this beautiful event of our region in England.”

“They are fans of this kind of event there. There are passes like the Madonna, the Bonette and others that are known throughout the world. It is a superb course and especially a region of cycling. With the association ABS Sport, we are with them and we have to show abroad the beautiful sites of our France, to show that with us there is a potential!”

Finally, Alex was asked about retirement? “Yes (laughs). I have already begun to prepare my retraining. I do not expect my career to end. I do not know yet what proposals will be proposed but I am already prepared. I am a sports coach for the triathlon especially and then I like the world of events and I already have some contacts”.

“I like what the Mercan’tour Grand Fondo does, for example, there is so much to do in France. From here, in England, we look at this and it is a path that interests me very much, it is an enormous potential the bridges between cultures. My retirement, I’m already preparing for it but I still have things to do and prove as a courier with Madison Genesis.”




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