The day after claiming his first-ever European victory during stage 4 of the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, Mannion repeated the feat in the race’s final mountain time trial to Mont Revard.
Mannion dominated the 22 km stage and averaged over 24 kilometers per hour en route to his second consecutive stage win. He finished over one minute clear of yellow jersey Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM) and skyrocketed up the overall standings to finish fifth on GC.
“This stage was always the one I knew I could win but to go back to back after yesterday was really something special,” said Mannion. “I knew I was on a good day from the first minutes of my warm-up. I had the confidence that if I stayed within my limits in the first half I’d be tough to beat.”
Mont Blanc marked the team’s return to competition
after over five months at home.
Much of the peloton prefers to have a few races under their belts before chasing victory but Mannion always shows up prepared. “I’m really good at training,” laughed Mannion. “That’s probably my biggest strength as a rider. So when we had the long layoff from racing I looked at it as an opportunity to push my body more than I ever had without having to be rested for races all the time.”
Team director Patrick McCarty was at the team’s last race in March when they had to fly home early due to the pandemic. All of the time and effort they had put in to be ready for the season was put on hold. The team’s results in Mont Blanc this week helped reestablish the energy they had lost. “This is a great way for us to restart our season,” said McCarty. “We’re picking up right where we left off before the pandemic and I have high hopes for the rest of the year.”
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