Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tour Of Wales

Hi Guys and Girls,

Still not having been home to my warm and comfy bed since days before the trip away to Belgium, on the August bank holiday me and three team mates were tackling the Junior Tour Of Wales.

After traveling down to Wales straight after returning from two weeks in Belgium, i would be staying in the caravan up until the start of the junior tour. I would be able to ride some of the parcours that we would be tackling over this lead up time which was invaluable when coming into the race.

The first day would feature a tough time trial in the morning and a hilly 45 mile stage in the avo. The TT was pretty tough, taking in the supposedly easier side of the infamous tumble. I had checked out the course a couple of times previously so i knew what to expect. After a long warm up, i attacked the TT. Legs burning and lungs exploding i posted a 13.01 which put me in 22nd after the stage. Not too shabby i thought.

Stage 2 was more to my liking! After a discussion over some crunchy nut cornflakes, with Pete, we decided to try and get me and Josh into a break. Only I made it into this break with 5 others which quickly gained a large gap. Not long after, Chris Lawless from Maxgear bridged across making it two from Maxgear and Haribo-Sports Cover. With around 15 miles to go we were caught by a small group of chasers. We rode hard throughout the 45 mile stage carrying a gap in excess of 3 minutes at the bottom of the climb of Llangynidr with me picking up some strong placings in the green jersey sprints to end up 2nd in the classement.
At the base of the 3 mile climb i took the last sprint of the day but was soon shelled out of the driving break on the lower slopes. Thanks to Mark Barry in the Haribo car, i regained a rhythm to finish up 10 th on the stage. Placing me 10th overall in the tour looking forward to day 2.  

Day 2 of the tour was to present us with two super flat stages, not to my liking. Spinning the 14 up and down dual-carriageways at 35 mph for most of the day and two punctures in the mornings events. Both stages today won by Sam Lowe in bunch finishes. I lost a few seconds with the puncture and on the second stage even if it was a bunch finish!?

Day 3 had to be one of the toughest days of this season. Still lying top 20 on GC i wanted to hold this to the finish, although it wasn't what i had been aiming for. From the off, me and Josh were fighting to get a break going. We got away pretty much straight off and gained up to 20 seconds. This was short lived and we were brought back. I was then suffering all the way up to the moors of Pendyrn in the grim Welsh weather when i was blown out of the back. I soon lost minutes and was glad to see Mr Knights in a lay by to pick me up. I was distraught at not finishing one of my big target races. Although this day wasn't all to bad as my team mate James Knox won the last Tumble stage.

Thanks for reading,





Thursday, 23 August 2012


Hey Guys,

Heve'nt blogged in a while, feels like i havent spent much time in the country for the last month or so. But this is mainly thanks to Gary Sadler, Pete Kay and all of the other sponsors and support we have had throught the season. Without these guys  i wouldnt have been able to race, yet have all of the great opertunities that ive had. One of the best of these, was our recent trip to Belgium.

When Gary suggested a trip away to Belgium late July i took his hand off. I would be joined on this trip with my team mates Tom Armstrong and Josh Knights and the all important Peter Kay to manage us. Me and Tom stayed over at Peter's house on the Monday night ready for an early drive to the Dover ferry port where we sailed over to Calais where Pete would drive us to our hotel in Borlo. Which to add was deffinetly the nicest place i have ever stayed in, the people there and the rooms themselves vere unbelivible.

Our first race of the stay was on the Wednesday night just 30km away from Borlo. None of us knew what to expect so it was of paramount importance that Danny Stevens; part owner of the hotel and pro cyclist coach was with us. We signed on, got our number and frame number and got ready to race. The race would take place over 20 laps of a really tough circuit. We were more active than neccessary with Josh finishing up 12th, me 17th and Tom snapping a chain with 10 to go.

Unfortunately we had to wait untill the Saturday untill we could race again. We arrived at this race to find a larger field with the Belgian champion featuring in the start list. We started of this race with much more experience under our belts. The lap was larger than what we had experienced on the Wednesday and featured some strong crosswinds on the wide open main road. The race split to pieces with Tom making the first split with 6 other top riders. He finished up 6th with me taking the bunch sprint for 8th and Josh not finishing with a puncture 2km into the race. Bad luck for him but lots learnt for all of us.

Our next taste of Belgian racing was to be only a day after on the Sunday. This was only 20km away from our hotel in Borlo so we rode out to this one. This was yet another tough course with some real tough drags and some super strong cross-winds. An Isrelian rider attacked on the first drag and claimed a large gap on his own. I rode across to him with another Belgian rider and another crossed alone. This left the Dutch National Champion isolated in the bunch. We gained a lead of upwards of a minute. I finished up in 3rd with Tom and Josh contesting the bunch sprint claiming 9th and 10th. A dapmener was put on this great result with a visit from the Uci doping control for me and Tom, keeping us from getting home untill early evening, and resulting in me missing the podium. All another experience in the bag.

After a couple more training rides arount the iconic Ardennes and the Mur De Huy, Pete gave us the chance to stay a few more days to allow us to ride more races on the following Saturday and Sunday. This extended stay featured a couple of visits to the Eneco tour and the city of Liege. Really inspiring stuff thanks to Pete.

Saturdays race brought the teams first international win with Josh riding away from a break away group including the Belgian national champion. Me and Tom attacked on the last lap and time-trialled to top ten positions, 20 seconds up on the bunch. Another top result that brought some great publicity and some invites to top races next season.

The race on the Sunday was a bit of a let down from the quality belgian racing that we had been accustomed to. The race took place on a pretty flat circuit and with a range of international riders, including 7 from Garmin Slipstream. It was going to be a fast one. I made it just over half way before the heat and tiredness from the past 12 days cought up on me and i was deopped, my only DNF out here. The boys faired well with Tom securing a top 20 and Josh coming in mid bunch.

On top of all this the trip really was an experience of a lifetime. But this was all thanks to the help and support from; MOUNTIVATION, Gary Sadler, Peter Kay, Onix Bikes, BioRacer, CNP, Schwalbe, and Carrera. Without these people we couldnt have done it.



Tuesday, 22 May 2012



Havent blogged in so long. Me and the team have just finished a long block of racing pretty much every weekend.

During this time we spent a few days racing in the Isle Of Man at the IOM Junior Tour. All the team placed well on the first day in the seafront TT and were looking forward to the Peel road race on the following day. A dangerous break went away about half way through the race leaving me in the gap chasing to get onto the break. This failed and i was dropped back into the bunch. This caused the team to get onto the front of the bunch and bring the break back. We did this but at the cost of the legs of the whole team. I finished off this stage in 13th place which moved me up to 11th overall.

Into the second road stage of the weekend we were in Ramsey. It was a fairly flat course with the finish being on the seafront. I got away from the bunch solo after the first 10 mile lap and gained a lead of up to 2 minutes but was brought back with 3 laps to go. Another break soon formed and we managed to get Josh Knights into it who finished 4th and moved up to 6th overall. A great result for the Josh and the team.

The weekend following was the British National Road Race. We had 3 riders in this including me, Tom and Josh. We were based in South Wales and the Brecon Beacons  National park. An early break went away from the bunch as soon as the neutralised flag dropped. None of the team chose to go with this as it was unlikely to stay away. As the race developed the break gained a lead of over 5 minutes. This was now starting to look dangerous with nobody willing to chase. I tried an attack  as we started to head over the moors to try and break with a select group. As we crested the moors a small group rode away with some big names in it that i couldnt go with. 

This made the break up to 20 riders. With nobody in the bunch very commited to chase, the break went into the final km's with about a 3 minute lead. I attacked coming into the last 10km of the race on a stretch of dual carridgeway where i could ride in the gutter in the crosswind. I managed to hit the bottom of the climb with 5km to go in a group of 3 with Tom Armstrong. I rode away from this group on the climb with some encouragement from Becca Hunt to finish over 2 minutes ahead of the group that i attacked from, passing 2 riders from the break up the climb to finish 18th. Afterwards i wasnt happy at all with missing the break and where i finished but after talking with Gary Sadler i realised that this wasnt too bad for a first year and it just gives a good base for next year.

The week after the National was the Regional Championships where i was looking for a good result to get some morale back after the National. The race rolled away on Saturday morning at 9am. The course was pan flat and near the coast so there was plenty of wind. I put in a little attack on one of the twisty areas on the circuit about 3 miles into the first lap taking team mate Tom Armstrong with me. This left Hugh Carthy to bridge and join us. We worked hard on the first few laps to build a 2 minute lead. Heading into the last lap we had a 3 minute lead and it was clear the winner was coming from the break of 3. I attacked from the break with about 5 miles of the race to go taking the win by 13s over Tom in second and 15s over Hugh in 3rd. The bunch sprint was contested by Josh Knights finishing a strong 5th over 3 minutes behind. Super happy to take that win and collect the jersey, big trophy and flowers. Now looking forward to a sunny week of riding and racing ahead.

Thanks for reading,



Wednesday, 11 April 2012

IRELAND-Gorey 3 day...

Hey guys and girls, 

Haven't blogged in ages and really should have done! Many exiting things going on as usual! 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 7:30 on Friday night and were at the hotel for 9:00. 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.


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 was only 5 that I had any idea of their ability! 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. 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 on 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 6 with 5km to go. I was surprised to find that none of the break was working and I rode straight past it and attacked. I was shortly brought back and 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 2 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 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.


We woke up after a good nights sleep to a big breakfast of porridge and scrambled eggs. 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.


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 2:30. I knew that i wasn't feeling to 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. 


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 coat 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 2 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 1km 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 aslo 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, 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. Aslo 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!

Thanks for reading this, sorry its a bit long!



Friday, 16 March 2012


Hey Guys,

I thought it was about time that i gave you all an update on how the 2012 season has been panning out so far. This blog is going to feature the Eddie Soens and first Salt Ayre Elite series.

Firstly to the Eddie Soens, it was an early start to the day after team mate Tom Armstrong stayed over the night before. We jumped in the car and headed to the Aintree race circuit. Here we signed on and got into our kit (thanks to Ken Jones). We rode out from signing on to the actual race circuit so as to get warm. My team mates James King, Josh Knights, and James Knox setting of in group one had a plan to catch the pro group on the first lap. Because of stupid attacks and poor contributions from other teams this wasn't achieved.

So, onto plan B which was to look after each other and sit tight in the bunch. The wind was really playing a part in the shape of the race and riders were being shelled from the back one after another. With 5 laps to go i knew that as the pace quickened i was going to suffer. Here i took the decision to sacrifice myself for James King and carried him up to the first group with around 3 laps remaining. After that effort i was dropped and climbed off the bike. Happy to see James and Tom finish well up near the front.

Now onto the first of the Salt Ayre series. This is a series of 3 E1234 events run in the spring of this season by Wallis Cycles. I rode down to the event with a few elites from the area including Matt Cronshaw from Node 4 Giordana. We arrived at the Salt Ayre circuit just as a huge rain shower stopped and the sun started to come out. I signed on and headed out for a warm up ride with the lads. Back to the circuit, leg warmers off, heat rub on, and onto the rollers. The plan was then to have a man in every break and to ride with style.

As the race set off, it was really fast with loads of attacks which was exactly as i expected. For the first few laps there was only me and Tom chasing the attacks. But as the rest of the team settled in they started to share the load. James King managed to secure himself a spot in the eventually race winning break. That was job done for the team, just to sit on the bunch now and control the pace. before long a chasing group of around 7 formed with me and Jack Sadler in it. We were matching the pace of the first break but weren't going to catch them. Both breaks lapped the field eventually. Jack was dropped from this break through some less than perfect riding by rival teams. I was left to fight it out in this group whilst James battled it out with Matt Cronshaw to place 2nd by less than half a wheel! Class ride from James. I sprinted it out with my break to roll in at 11th place. All in all a fantastic day for the team which is really starting to gel together well.

Now looking forward to the second race of the series and also my first CDNW RR league i am more motivated than ever!

Thanks for taking the time to read,


Matt Flynn
Mountivation Junior Academy.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Its Here-Clayton Velo Spring Classic

Hi Guys,

I feel like I have'nt blogged in ages and I should have really found more time in amongst the madness to get on here and inform you all of the exiting things that are going on. 

Firstly our team bike was unveiled by Onix Bikes, I think you will agree that the bike looks class and it is obvious to see just how much time and effort the guys at Onix have put into it. The bike has been designed an tested in conjunction with the ledgend that is Rob Hayles. This is a huge boost for the brand and also the team.

With race day looming, a week prior to the Clayton Velo Classic we had our second team bootcamp. This weekend was packed with road rides, race scenarios and drills, turbo sessions, and many lessons learnt.

Now on to the first race of the 2012 season, the Clayton Velo Spring Classic. Throughout the week leading upto the race I was unbelievably nervous. This wasnt even because of pressure from the people around me but pressure from within myself. I hadnt a clue how fast I was feeling leading upto the race because there is only so much you can find out riding alone.

Race day was here, I was up at 6. Nice and early to ensure I was ready to perform. We travelled to the race headquarters in Clitheroe for half 8. We were met there by the rest of the team and the managers. Here we were greeted with a new set of wheels thanks to Craig Middleton from Onix bikes, tyres from Schwalbe and a bundle of kit and a kit bag from Ken Jones. 

We got changed, signed on, attended the rider briefing and then I jumped on my Mountivation bike to ride to the start. Me and the rest of the team lined up on the very front of the start line. We set off onto the 4 mile circuit riding through and off for the first 4 laps. 

After the 2nd sprint lap on lap 4 Maxgear rider Chris Lawless attacked. Me and Tom Armstrong responded quickly and were soon riding as part of a 3 man break. We gained a maximum of 1 minute to the other juniors and 5 minutes to the Elite/Pro peleton. Lawless attacked away from me and Tom leaving us chasing until 3 laps to go. We were then caught by the Pro group with Lawless still out front.

Picture By Caitlin Flynn

Me and Tom settled into the group and started to rest. The pace was increasing lap by lap and me being nieve i tried to get into a split with some of the pro riders. As the pace quickened me and Tom were soon dropped after our early efforts took their toll. Lesson learnt we rode steady to the finish.

This was a great experience and a huge learning curve. I think that the team definetly made their mark on the race and were noticed by some big names. The team did an awesome job of shutting down the junior group once we had riders up the road and were active throught the race. James King managed to finish as first junior in 16th place overall. 

Thanks for the continued support from; MOUNTIVATION, Phil Leigh, Gary Sadler, James King, James Knox, Josh Knights, Jack Sadler, Tom Armstrong, Craig Middleton (Onix Bikes), Henry Iddon (Photographer), Ken Jones (BioRacer), Schwalbe (Tyres), CNP (Nutrition). 

Thanks for reading,

Mountivation Junior Academy.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Back to the track and 1st Boot camp!

Hi Guys,

Been a few weeks since I last wrote on here. Been extremely busy times leading up to the 2012 season. Now with all my exams over until the summer I can crack on with my preparation for the season.

This weekend just gone was my first boot camp with the new team, where we were based in Arnside (near the sea!). The Friday night of the boot camp I rode my first track league in over a year! Jumped on a new bike with a borrowed skinsuit and off we go, straight into group 4. My first race was a 20 lap points. Under the experienced instruction of Gary Sadler I took to the track. All I had to do was score in all the sprints. I took the first by a good few bike lengths and went on to win the race. I was just happy to be riding the track again but I went on to win 2 races, a 2nd and a 3rd. 

So, on to the camp. Day 1 we were at the youth hostel kitted up and ready to go for 9am to be out on the road for half past. We headed out towards the Lyth Valley for some specific training. This involved race scenarios, team TT, standing starts and leadouts. All of these sessions allowed us to bond as a team really well. After the 3.5 hours we headed back to the youth hostel where we (the riders) would be making the lunch. We were given our ingredients and told to make something! We managed to make enough pasta salad for lunch and dinner!

After the lunch had settled we were scheduled to jump on the turbo's. A hard session and a shower later we sat down to a kit bag session where we outlined the crucial kit bag contents. Also a talk from Phil Leigh outlining the importance of progression and the 10,000 hours of training. This was a truly fascinating talk and really motivational! Dinner made for the team and then another talk on our expectations of the Clayton Velo and Eddie Soens early season races. Now off to bed.

Day 2 and we were up at 7.30 to make breakfast for the riders and support staff. More quality team bonding and some important cooking lessons, what teams teach riders to cook?! This emphasises the importance of this Academy. Next we tidied up, got kitted out and jumped on the bikes for a 4.5 hour ride. Late down for the ride and a telling off later we had learnt a lesson and  headed out to Capernwray and into the hills! No ride out is just a ride on the bike and every session we do has a specific purpose. We were to be doing torque efforts on the climb, race scenario practice, wheel changes and cornering/descending. All with the support of Phil Leigh, Gary Sadler, Julian Rudd, Ken Jones, Mike Jackson and Henry Iddon. Thanks guys! These sessions completed we headed for a water bottle fill up and then crawled back to the hostel with a 200m sprint in the middle as we got close to home. Totally savage ride! After showering and preparing bolognese for lunch the second turbo session of the weekend loomed. But first we had an introduction into foreign languages with Julian. This was an extremely useful lesson as I hope to race abroad as every cyclist does.

Next, to the turbo. 40 minutes of pain later and we were all on our knees! Straight off the bike to be weighed and have a calliper test done on each rider. Off for a shower and then to a session with team mechanic Mike Jackson. Mike outlined the importance of looking after our team Onix bikes and how they could earn us a living one day. With this session done and dusted we were to make the final meal of the camp and debrief.

A class weekend all round. Feel like I learnt more in this one weekend, than I have learnt in my 18 months as a cyclist, about the sport and my personal capabilities and potential. Couldn't wait for my rest day!

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Hasta Luego,