An Post Chain Reaction rider Sean McKenna is lining up in his first Tour of Britain and the Dubliner will be providing an insight to the race in a diary which we will be publishing during the week.
Sean McKenna’s Tour of Britain Diary – Stage 1 – Edinburgh to Kelso
Today was a bit of fun to say the least but it was hard. The start in Edinburgh was pretty cool. There always seems to be a very big turnout in Britain.
The race wasn’t too bad at the start actually. We were all jumping in the moves and eventually one of the lads in the team – Jacob Scott – got in the move. We were saying in the camper van beforehand that whoever gets in the move from our team, we all owe a beer because there was a lot of pressure for us to get in the break as that’s pretty much our best way of getting a result this week.
Jacob got in the move with seven others. One lad from ONE PRO pretty much rode through a tree to get in the break. He did cause a crash but fair play to him for trying.
They only let it go out to three minutes and Sky rode at the front controlling it. It wasn’t like the races we do, the 1.1s or the 2.2s where they let a break go and they let them get a gap and it gets 2, 3 or 4 minutes and then they ride after it but it’s not super hard. If you’re in the bunch you can kind of roll around.
It seems at this level, even the rolling around in the bunch is hard enough. There’s no freewheeling, you’re pedalling all day. It is hard. The Sky robots were at the front all day but with a lad up the front, it kept Kurt happy as he picked up two KOM points.
We weren’t doing much behind, a bit of sightseeing really. However, there were two Cat. 2s in the last fifty kilometres and it got proper hard.
Most of the bunch got over the first one, but on the second one, it really split up and just over sixty lads came in in the front group.
Unfortunately, I got dropped but these things happen. I had a bit of an injury last week so I took it easy. I’m coming into the race a bit stale so hopefully the legs only get better from here. Then again, the standard is class, so I’m not expecting miracles.
I am new enough to this level so it’s not going to happen overnight and when you finish with Taylor Phinney, you can’t be too disappointed. Even the good lads have bad days.
Mark Stewart finished in the top 20 which is a solid result and with a lad in the break in a race like this, it’s a fairly decent result, so we’ll take that. Hopefully things will only get better. So that’s stage one, seven to go.