More than just a racer Mark Kendall is a vital cog in the running of Banbridge Cycling Club. As club secretary he has brought about a professionalism to the role which has been to the benefit of all members. Prior to cycling Mark was a proficient runner (sub 3 hour marathon man) so it’s not hard to see where he gets his stamina from.
How long have you been racing?
8 years or so.
What ya riding?
Recently switched to a Giant TCR from a Cannondale.
What type of racer are you? Climber, Sprinter, Rouleur? And what category of racing licence do you hold?
With his inbuild endurance Mark likes lumpy courses and definitely does not see himself as a sprinter. Ideal race for him is to get in the breakaway and push hard. Mark moved up to A2 last season following a string of consistent results.
We are blessed with fantastic roads and have a healthy club racing scene. What is your favourite club circuit and why?
To be honest I like all of the club circuits Banbridge use, but my first club race was Annaclone and although not overly hilly it is a hard circuit when raced properly.
What races or events are on your bucket list that you’d like to ride?
I do like the three-day stage races so would like to do Newry 3 day again this year after missing it for a few years. I’ve also participated in the Irish National Championships Master V40 race the last few years and they’re good hard races. We’ve also established an annual trip to Mallorca (or two if you’ve enough brownie points), and it’s a really enjoyable trip with plenty of laughs and great roads – so maybe in the future I would like to do the Mallorca 312. (For those that don’t know about the Mallorca 312 – it’s a one day event in which cyclists traverse the island of Mallorca summiting most of the iconic cols, covering, you guessed it, 312 kilometres. The annual event sees upwards of 6000 cyclist taking part)
Racing accolades / achievements to date.
Gaining my A2 licence was a fairly significant achievement for me.
Which cyclist inspires you – past or present? And why?
Before I got on the bike as a result of injury I had more or less zero knowledge about cycling – my cycling proficiency was my only badge of honour. The Saturday and Sunday morning club spins are the runs on which I’ve learnt the most, and particularly riding with Neil Teggart and Brian Hannon. Neil’s knowledge of all things cycling , including his guidance and expertise is formidable and coupled with Brian’s zest for riding a bike and life, I count myself very lucky to have the opportunities to ride with and learn from them.
What does your training regime consist of? What are your goals for 2023
Cycling is more than a training regime and fitness for me, we are blessed with living in a superb part of the country to train, ride the bike, enjoy the outdoors by looking over hedges and mostly important – great coffee shops. We’ve also some real ‘characters’ in the club so are always guaranteed a laugh on a group spins. (Could Mark be referring to a certain Marty Fitzpatrick?). My goal this year has been to get established in A2 but haven’t had a great start with some health issues but hopefully I am nearly over them, so looking forward to getting a few races in June.
If you could combine three strengths from other riders in the club to make you the complete rider – what would they be (you must name the riders).
Tricky one to answer this. We’ve a plethora of talent and experience in the club, and I have been lucky to train with some hugely talented cyclists who are only to willing to share knowledge. We’ve a well documented talent train so a mindset of an ‘every day is a learning day’ is also important to me. From a racing perspective and learning from others outside the club, if the Newry lads turn up, you know they’ll always race hard and always be prepared to lose to win.
Cycling is always evolving as is racing. Tell me one thing you would change in relation to Open racing to make it better.
The cost of racing, kit, bikes, components etc is higher than ever and this is having a real impact on race entries, appetite to race and the ability of promoters to put on races. This is now in a very precarious position. We’ve some super talented kids coming through too in Banbridge so would be great to see them given every opportunity to realise their talents.
Many thanks Mark for giving us an insight to your cycling. Best of luck with your racing this season.
Get up the road!