Impressive Downey is straight out of the traps for Team Wiggins

Posted on: March 11th, 2018

Mark Downey Team Wiggins

Mark Downey has put in an excellent ride in Portugal on his racing debut for Team Wiggins. He impressed over 170km despite just coming off the track.


Having only hung up his track racing wheels last weekend, Mark Downey has shown impressive road form in Portugal.

Riding his first race at Continental level, for Team Wiggins; Downey took 4th in Classica da Arrabida (1.2).

The 169.6km race was won by Dmitry Strakhov (Lokosphinx) in a long-range solo move. James Fouche, Downey’s team mate, was next at 34 seconds.

He took a sprint from a group of four for the runner-up slot; narrowly seeing off Spanish rider Oscar Hernandez (Aviludo-Louletano).

Downey was next, a further two seconds back. He was followed by Portuguese rider Domingos Goncalves (Radio Popular Boavista).

The racing split to pieces on an undulating course, with a large breakaway going clear and then fracturing on the lumpy run in to Setubal.

Mark Downey told stickybottle he felt he lacked some endurance having just come of the back of a season on the velodrome.

However, he proved one of the strongest in the front move. He was unlucky not to make the podium as he cramped at the finish.


Mark Downey Team Wiggins

Mark Downey Team Wiggins

Mark Downey Team Wiggins

Top, Teggart made the large chase group. Middle, the unpaved sections and rain made the racing more challenging. Bottom, Downey comes in for fourth on the day.


Matt Teggart was also riding for Team Wiggins and finished 25th. He was in a 25-rider group 2:02 down on the winner.

That was a solid rider by Teggart in his first race of the year.  Just 68 riders finished; the last of them 14½ minutes back. Furthermore, 30 riders abandoned and 49 finished outside the time limit.

Downey said that after 30km he made his way into the large breakaway that animated the race.

“Initially I’d missed it but I was able to ride across. Then we put the heads down and with 50km to go the Russian went.

“It seemed like a suicidal move so I bided my time,” he said; though the lone leader would incredibly hang on to win.

In the chase behind, Downey said some late climbs thinned the large breakaway.

As the attacks and the kilometres ticking by took their toll, four riders would break clear of the group Downey was in.


Mark Downey cramped at finish

“So with about 8km to go the Russian was still leading then the group of four. I was able to jump out of the chase group and make it up to Fouche and the other three.

“With two from our team in that split I told Fouche to go long and take 2nd place, which he did.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to close the gap to 3rd in the final metres after cramping up.

“I don’t have a lot of endurance in the tank. But I felt good when I had to turn the power on.

“I’m disappointed after last week’s work,” he said of a testing World Track Championships in Holland.

“But I’m very hungry to put those results behind me and see what happens.”