Monday, January 24, 2022
HomeInterviewsSean Flynn - on a Dual Road/MTB Program with SEG Racing

Sean Flynn – on a Dual Road/MTB Program with SEG Racing

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What do Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep & The Netherlands) with two Scheldeprijs wins to his name, Cees Bol (Team DSM & The Netherlands) with a Nokere Koerse win under his belt and Edoardo Afini (Team Jumbo Visma & Italy) chrono specialist with Italian and European u23 iTT titles on his palmares all have in common?

Apart from being riders of quality on World Tour teams? 

They all came up through the Dutch SEG Racing Academy development team.

A team like SEG doesn’t just take on any old rider; there has to be a spark which might light up into a pro career – and an acceptance by recruits of the sacrifices that being a professional rider entails.

Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn, resplendent in SEG Racing Academy kit. Photo©supplied

Step forward, 20 year-old Sean Flynn from Edinburgh; four times a British Champion at youth and junior level, he’s on the SEG roster for season 2021; an achievement in itself… best ‘have a word.’

How did you get into the sport, Sean?

“My parents cycled a bit and I used to go mountain biking in the Scottish Borders, I did other sports but liked cycling best and joined the Edinburgh Road Club in my early teens, it’s all gone on from there.” 

And you are four times British Champion?

“Yes, I was youth criterium and MTB champion in 2018 then junior ‘cross and MTB champion in 2019.”

Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn is a multiple British Champion in the younger categories. Photo©VeloUK/Brother

A ride with SEG, that’s impressive, given their standards.

“I’ve been talking to them for a while; they’re interested in getting into mountain biking so we’re hoping to progress in line with each other and I was confident about accepting the place.

“I have the best of both worlds because I have SEG support for the road and for MTB – because it’s SEG first venture into the MTB scene – I’ll have backing from the GB team for the big races such as World Cups.” 

Have you got your team bike yet?

“Yes, I’ve been riding it for about a month and it’s a nice machine; a ‘Dare’ frame, high end carbon from Taiwan.

“I still have to get my time trial bike.” 

Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn’s lovely Dare bike. Photo©SEG Racing

Where will you be based?

“Ideally I’d like to be based in Girona, Spain – I’ve stayed there before and like it but at the moment there are the travel restrictions so it’s hard to make firm plans.

“During the season it’ll be The Netherlands.”

How does a dual road/MTB programme work?

“In March, April, May my focus will be on the road, u23 Classics in The Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France, they’re what the team wants me to target in the spring.

“Then, as the MTB World Cups start I’ll cross over to riding them – but also stage races on the road.

“Towards the end of the season, if I have the results, I’ll be hoping to ride the Road and MTB Worlds.

There’s also a slight chance of an Olympic ride but GB only has one confirmed spot and Tom Pidcock has expressed his desire to ride…”

Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn has represented Scotland in MTB racing. Photo©Keith Valentine

Do you have any international cyclo-cross ambitions; you were top six in the junior European Championships in 2017?

“I do, it’s a discipline I like and have had some success with in the past but I’ve had to choose what I want to do.

“Unless you’re ‘special’ like Mathieu Van Der Poel or Wout Van Aert it’s difficult to do all road, MTB and ‘cross.

“However, it’s something I may get back to in the future.”

Will your coaching be ‘split’ too?

“Yes, it’ll be a combination, depending on the time of year; SEG will look after me for the road and GB for the MTB.

“I’ve been working with both for the last couple of months so that’s already begun.”

Sean Flynn
A year ago Sean Flynn had a solid start to the MTB season with 4th in the u23 and a top 30 in the elite race at Banyoles. Photo©Keith Valentine

You rode the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire, tell us about that experience.

“It was one of my best experiences on the bike, it was great and one of the reasons that I want to do more on the road.

“To be in the same peloton as the guys I looked up to when I was younger, riders like Cav and Chris Froome, was humbling.

“It was inspiring and demonstrated to me the level these World Tour guys are at; I spent much of the first day in the break and realised that I didn’t know as much about bike racing as I thought I did.”