Dabbing Downey on his epic lone escape to World Cup gold

Posted on: February 19th, 2017


Mark Downey on top of the UCI World Cup podium ahead of European champion Niklas Larsen and Lotto-Soudal’s U23 Belgian Robbe Ghys.


Mark Downey has spoken of his delight at taking another gold medal at a UCI World Cup, saying the crowd in Colombia really got behind his long solo effort.

The 20-year-old won the points race in Cali on Friday having also claimed the same event at the previous round of the UCI World Cup in Apeldoorn, Holland, last November.

And with two points race silver medals to his name from junior and U23 European Championships in recent years, Downey’s palmares is now looking very impressive, especially for one so young.

He said while he was determined to give it his best shot in Colombia this weekend, he was cautious too.

“It was my first time racing at altitude so I needed to be careful,” he said of his winning ride in the points race.

“My pre-race tactic was to chill for 30-40 laps and then to come to the front and turn the gas on.

“I made three key moves in the race; I got away with five riders and took five points in the sprint, then the big guys got away shortly after that and I used the rest of the bunch to bring them back.

“As soon as I got to their back wheel I went, and went hard. It was around 70 laps to go, I picked up two sprints on the way and it took me 23 laps to take the lap – so it was long. The crowd was ecstatic.”

And even after gaining his lap he said it was a case of staying focussed and be willing to suffer.

“After that I sat back and got my breath back and waited for the final 25 laps of hell,” he said of gaining the lap.

“In the last 17 laps a big group of seven got away, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed riders in it.

“So I literally did an individual pursuit against seven riders – it was an unbelievable way to hurt everyone and then just have the legs.”

And while his victory last November was his first at this level and a joy for him, he feels his win in Cali was more significant.

“This one means a lot more to me than Apeldoorn in the fashion that I won it. But yeah, I have a goal, and the plan up to it is going smoothly. All I’m saying is on to the next one!”