Mark Downey: “I have to accept this but my time will come”

Posted on: April 14th, 2018

Mark Downey

Mark Downey now has some big developments to digest; missing out on a medal at a major Games but knowing he’s good enough to do serious damage. He’s ridden very well for Team Wiggins in the two races he’s ridden for the squad including Volta Alantejo, above. And he seems to be able to switch from track to road with ease.


Mark Downey: Missing out but making progress


Having pulled major results out of the bag with remarkable consistency on track and road, Mark Downey did it again at the Commonwealth Games.

However, he was thinking of the bronze medal he missed and not the 4th place he achieved.

Downey was within a few inches of taking the last medal. But he was beaten fair and square.

Clint Hendricks was the man who denied him; a South African 26-year-old who has done virtually all of his racing on the African Continent.

Steele von Hoof, who fractured his spine in six places just seven weeks ago, took gold for Australia by a clear margin.

And in the same time as him Jon Mould won the silver for England. In the end just 11 men were in the group galloping for gold.

And just behind the leading pair Downey and Hendricks were very close. But it was the South African who broke the Northern Irish rider’s heart at the end of 168km.

Cameron Orr, who finished 8th in the MTB race last week, was part of the road race team today. And he rode out of his socks; finishing 22nd in a group just 57 seconds down.

Also in the Northern Ireland team in the road race as Marc Potts, who was 28th at 2:07. Marcus Christie and Xeno Young – who specialized in TT and track respectively – were non finishers.


Mark Downey

Mark Downey

Mark Downey

From the top: In yellow in Portugal for Team Wiggins last month. Winning World Cup madison gold with Felix English in LA last year. Victorious in France in June, 2016, at the Tour Nivernais Morvan in central France.


Mark Downey was disappointed after the race but he said he must come to terms with missing out on a medal this time around.

He has won medals including golds at UCI World Cups and also in European Championships.

He was also 9th last year in the U23 road race at the World Championships.

And despite coming off a track season in recent weeks, he put in a scorching ride for Team Wiggins in the Volta ao Alentejo (2.2).

He was in the top five on all of the six stages bar one. Downey took the youth classification, runner-up in the points and third overall.

But after his Commonwealth Games ride all of his results were cold comfort.

“I’ve mixed emotions right now,” said Downey. “I have to accept it. If I was good enough for third I’d have got my medal.

“I rode a great race today and was in great company racing all the way to the line with them, attacking and so on.”

After finishing 12th in the scratch race last week and being taken out in a crash in the points race heats, he said he wanted to do all he could in the road race.

“I owed that race to a lot of people, after I was left with nothing last week. Obviously, I can’t dwell on not getting a medal though, my time will come.

“I’m happy I’m on the right path and enjoyed my first games experience. I look forward to enjoying my few days around Australia taking it all in. Watch this space.”