Six days before the OVO Energy Tour of Britain got underway, Team Aqua Blue Sport announced its closure with immediate effect.
It left the race short of a team – and a last minute call-up for Team Wiggins.
The British development team – disappointed not to have been selected in the first place – accepted the late invitation and selected six riders for the eight-day race, which started in south Wales and had stages dotted around the country, including an innovative uphill team time trial in Cumbria, before finishing in London.
Riding for Team Wiggins line-up were the British riders Gabriel Cullaigh, Joey Walker, whose father Chris won the 1991 Milke Race, and the hugely promising 19-year-old Tom Pidcock, the Irish pair Matthew Teggart and Mark Downey and New Zealander James Fouche.
It was a major challenge for such a young team, with Quick Step, Team Sky and Lotto-NL Jumbo all sending strong teams, and riders including Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Primoz Roglic, Bob Jungels and Julian Alaphilippe.
As well as accepting the challenge of riding the Tour of Britain at short notice, Mark Downey accepted the equally daunting challenge of keeping an audio diary for friends of the cycling podcast.
Mark Downey’s Tour of Britain Diary