Sean Downey finishes second in Circuit du Mené

This week I’m back in France, back to base from my time away! I will be here for the next week, then will be going home for the Ras.

Monday: Today was a recovery spin , unpacking and just getting settled back in again. Nothing very exciting, but was good to get a wee spin. It was around 20 degrees ,so it was shorts and short sleeve jersey. That itself makes it a great day!

Tuesday: Similar to yesterday, nice and relaxed in the morning. I was doing things round the house and gave my bike a good clean and changed it a little. I’ve got it set up more like the bike I was riding in the Nations Cup so it feels really good now. In the afternoon I did another easy 2 hours. This time it was 25 degrees- it was the warmest part of France! Who needs the south of France? Brittany is the place to be ha-ha

Wednesday: This morning was an endurance coffee spin with one of my team mates. Good to catch up and hear the craic, and then just chill for the rest of the day. I start back into training tomorrow, so it’s best to make the hay when the sun is shining!

Thursday: Back to good old hard training today. It was a split session. The morning session was zone three work, so 1hour 30min pushing hard which I split it into two parts, 45min each, then the rest easy recovery. The pm session was time trail training. I just got my bike and got it set up, so today was just about getting the feel of it. It feels pretty good, so it will do the trick for the next race.

Friday: Back on the time trial bike today, and back over to the circuit to do an effort on the course – see what it feels like. It’s a short time trial, only 7k, but it’s an all out 7k! Up and down with no flat so I need to be careful I don’t push too much at the start. I like the course it’s very similar to one at home. The pm session was a light spin on the road bike to get all the bad feeling out of my legs, but they were feeling very good and I am hoping for a good ride in the race on Monday!

Saturday: Today is recovery: a nice easy spin with two of my team mates and two Euro car pros that live in the area. It started easy, but once the pace went up I said ‘ok guys, bye bye – I’m on a recovery spin. You can kill each other all you want. I know what I have to do!’ so I finished the spin by myself. When I got home I washed my bikes then chilled the rest of the day!

Sunday: Another easy day today. We are heading over to the time trial circuit again to ride it and make sure I was on the right roads. An nice easy spin to finish the week off and get me ready for tomorrow. Let’s hope it is a good one!!

Monday: Circuit du Mené, this is a 2 stage event with a short time trial in the morning and a hilly road race in the afternoon. It is a very big under 23 race here in France, and many of the top pros have ridden it: people like Franck Schleck and Thomas Voeckler.
Things got off to a very good start: I did a very good warm up and came in 5th in the time trial – only 6 seconds off 1st, so I was still in with a chance. In the afternoon it was a 140k road race. I got into the early break with around 16 guys, but a few of them were team mates of the yellow jersey so they were just sitting in. I was working all day and pulled the gap out to 3min which put me into the yellow jersey. I kept on fighting, but coming near the finishing circuit the group started to mess around with people sitting in and people attacking, so the gap started to come down. We were caught on the finish circuit by another big group, but 1st, 2nd 3rd were not in it. I tried a few times to break free, but the effort in the break before took its toll, so it was a spent group. I rolled in 19th, but moved up to 2nd over all and won the points competition! I was picking points up on the road without even knowing it, so was a little surprised. Things are starting to look good now. As my mum has been saying, I have been knocking on the door the last wee while and it had to open. Now I know what I can do, hopefully the results will keep coming!


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