Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsSean Newington - Ready to Move Up a Level

Sean Newington – Ready to Move Up a Level


‘Whatever happened to Sean Newington?‘ says me to Vik. The next day, Vik’s back on the phone: ‘he’s in Belgium – I saw his name in the results.’ Time for that detective work!

Sean Newington
Sean’s enjoying his racing in Belgium.

How long since you raced in Scotland, Sean?

“Oh, a long time – three years, I think.”

Why leave the UK?

Sean hasn’t raced in the UK for several years.

“I got some good results in Premiers and fancied trying it abroad; racing with the best, to see where I could go.

“Initially, I got help from Braveheart, I stayed at the Sean Kelly house and eventually got an invite into a team.”

Why Belgium, not France or Italy – more suited to your build?

“I thought about France but I’m not a great linguist and you have to speak French and have contacts to race there; whilst in Belgium a lot of people speak English.

“There’s more racing in Belgium too; there are still a lot of local kermesses which you can just turn up and ride.

“And in Italy, it’s more complicated, I think you can only have one foreigner per team.”

How long is that you’ve raced here?

“This is my third season, and my second full year.”

How did you get set up?

Sean Newington
Sean’s team, Heist-Zuiderkenpen.

“Brian Smith helped me, three seasons ago when I was just 21. I stayed in the Kelly house but moved on to living with a family.

“Initially it was with Braveheart but they changed the criteria and I had to make my own way.

“I made some contacts and stayed with Tim Harris (ex British pro champion).  I arrived with just my bank card, clothes, bike and bag, and that was two years ago – eventually I was approached by a club.

“I changed clubs twice, the first time because they were going for younger riders and the second time because the team I was with didn’t have as good a programme as they said they would.

“I’m with Heist-Zuiderkenpen now. it’s a good set-up, as far as riding as a team and race programme goes. We’re in the ‘Top Comps’ riding against the Pro Tour team feeder teams – Davo for Lotto and Beveren 2000 for QuickStep. I was racing against Adam Blythe last year, for instance.”

Does the club supply a bike?

“No, but tyres, equipment, all the clothing and you get frames at a really good price. We don’t have a specified bike for the team, but like I say, you get help.

“The team car picks me up to go to races – but the family I live with me are happy to give me the car for travelling to races, if I want.”

No help from Braveheart now?

“No, they changed the criteria for providing funding.”

Sean Newington
Sean is getting to ride a good programme.

Will you be racing in the UK?

“I plan to come back when there are breaks in our team schedule; but the programme is getting fuller all the time – we have events in Germany and Holland, but I want to come back for the Nationals and some Premiers.”

How long do you think you’ll stay?

“As long as I can! I plan to live here, I’ve had so much fun.

“I’m going to language school in September to learn Flemish, properly.”

Were you home for the winter?

“I was back home for a month, but I spent most of the winter here.

“I got a job in a window manufacturing factory – I couldn’t get a job back in the UK.

“It’s a good thing because it means you spend more time training with the squad and get to know then better.”

Sean Newington
Sean (in blue) takes an easy left.

What’s been your best result?

“I’ve had a top 20 in a Top Comp. But I haven’t had great results this year so far, I was sick for three weeks in the winter.

“The form comes though, if you’re riding 150 kilometre races with 200 rider fields.

“The racing is very aggressive; it’s not like Scotland where you can sit at the back then surge to the front when you feel like it.”


“To see how far I can go – eventually, hopefully to turn pro.

“I’m at this level, riding Top Comps – and now I want to move up to the next one.”

Turn pro or not, respect to Sean for getting himself out to the Heartland – and thanks to him for talking to us.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Joe Dombrowski – Proving to be Well Rounded

'Stars of the future ?' Here's one - please just remember where you read it first. After the toughest stage of the Tour of California - traversing brutal Mount Baldy, many were asking 'who's Joe Dombrowski ?'

Robert Smail – Winning Belgian Kermises and Top Three in InterClubs

It was last Autumn when we last heard from Robert Smail, one of those ‘forgotten men’ out there jousting with the Eeckhouts, Willems, Smets and Caethovens of this world in the land of the frites, cross winds and kermises. High time we had another word...

Jordan Kerby – New Aussie U23 TT Champion on His Team for 2014: Drapac

As we’re all too well aware, the sport has lost five top line teams for 2014 with no new teams coming in at Pro Continental or World Tour level to replace them; a sad state of affairs. But bucking the trend and moving up from Continental to Pro Continental level – the only team to do so - is Australian outfit, Drapac.

Michael Mørkøv – “Whoever is involved in the lead out, we’re getting it right!”

Quickstep's win total for the year now stands at 24 with the victories not just down to one man but spread across the team – remarkable. How do they do it? To find out, we got in touch with our old friend and key leadout man in the QuickStep machine, Michael Mørkøv - who was instrumental in Jakobsen’s most recent triumph and similarly ‘pilot fished’ Hodeg to a stage win in the Tour of Catalonia – to get ‘the word’ from the horse’s mouth.

Russell Downing – Relishing the Ronde

Having had Michael Mørkøv’s take on de Ronde, we thought we’d chat to a man a bit closer to home about his experiences in what is at least in the top three of the world’s single day races – along with Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix. The Tour of Flanders was one of the few races left on Russell Downing’s ‘to do’ list – but now he can wear the T-shirt.

The Season is Underway!

Back in the heartland and my season is officially underway. It's great to be back racing and despite a disrupted winter the body is feeling surprisingly sprightly. I have defied the norm these past few months. From having much of the winter off the bike with an achilles injury, to starting the season (albeit a little later than originally planned) with testing figures that are higher than could have imagined six weeks previous.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 12: Tonnerre > Vittel, 211.5km

Tour de France! Ca va? What does the '0' stand for in 02:30 ? "Oh my God, it's early!" Four hours sleep, as Barry White would say; "it's just not enough!" It's 14:19 and we're on the motorway, near Metz; we just got lost - no excuses, but the signage is grim. Destination Vittel.

The Glasgow Grand Prix 2008

The Tour of Britain's penultimate stage departed from Glasgow Green today, taking the peloton south to the beautiful setting of Drumlanrig Castle in the Southern Uplands. The Glasgow Grand Prix took advantage of the closed circuit and the watching crowds, with two events following immediately after the ToB departure.

Peter Murdoch – Scottish 25 Mile TT Champion 2015

This piece is about the man who recently added his name to those of Bilsland, Obree and Macintyre on the roll of honour – Mr. Peter Murdoch (Neon Velo). The 35 year-old from East Kilbride’s ‘25’ silver in 2014 surprised us a little but his win this year didn’t; he looked every inch the champion to us as he blasted out to the final turn.

Return To Normal Proceedings; Andre Greipel back on top

After the W Clarke bolt from the blue of yesterday, there was no way that Stage 3 of the TDU was going to be anything but a bunch sprint, and all of the key teams worked together to guarantee this today, with Andre Greipel from Lotto again the winner. The big man can sprint! Will he finally threaten Cav this year?

The VV View: Wiggo’s Fairytale Finish, NeoPros and Retirals

It wasn't just Vik and I who thought the Gent Six Day finale was a tad too obvious to be true - "a Fairtytale" Cycling Weekly said, they got that right - we've had feedback from two men who were there. Our man who lives in Gent said; "It was without a doubt the most historic Gent Six I've attended and I don't think we'll see another in our lifetime ( I did say 10 years ago or so that there will never be a British winner of the Tour - what do I know). It was however the most blatantly fixed Six Day I've seen."

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2011

Sky Procycling just missed the win yesterday with Flecha finishing second in Het Nieuwsblad, but the team stepped it up a notch today, setting up Chris Sutton perfectly for a superb win in the bunch sprint at Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne.