SEAN FLYNN has two objectives on his maiden visit to Australia. The first is to help the Great Britain under-23 cycling team bring back gold in the world road race championships. The other is less sport-focused.

“I haven’t seen a kangaroo yet which is a bit disappointing,” he reveals. “So if I haven’t seen one before I race I’m going to spend the two days we’ve got here afterwards looking. There’s a golf course next to our hotel and every morning I open the curtains and look out but no joy yet. So that’s my focus after the race.”

This is Flynn’s first appearance on the road at a world championships but his back story includes mountain bike and cyclocross experience at the highest level. The 22-year-old is content to be a team player tomorrow as competitors whizz round the 17km Wollongong city-centre circuit 10 times. Having won the fight against jet lag, he is ready to get back on the bike.

“The flight was a different experience for me, so long, but I’ve dealt with it pretty well,” he adds. “I was expecting to struggle to get to sleep some nights but it’s actually been okay. There were a few days trying to keep the eyes open until bedtime! Apart from that it’s just been putting my feet up, having a massage, and eating well and now I’m ready to go.

“It’s my first time at the road world championships. I’ve done it in mountain biking and cyclocross but it’s obviously a bit different on the road. I feel that over the last couple of years I’ve worked hard so being here feels like a nice reward for that.

“It’s a city-centre course. There are no long climbs but there’s one pretty steep climb of about 1km that will be pretty attritional across the 10 laps. I expect that to become the focal point of the race.

“City-centre courses are always hard even if they’re flat as there are lots of corners and everyone knows the roads really well and when to be in position. It’s a fight all the time and makes it full-gas racing all day. It will be exciting.

Sean FlynnGetty

“I’m expecting to play a more supporting role but it just depends on how the race pans out. If we can execute our best plan there’s no reason why we can’t come away with a win.”

This has been a successful season so far for the Edinburgh rider. 

Part of the Swiss Tudor Pro Cycling team, Flynn claimed a first UCI win in Croatia as his reputation grows as a road racer to watch out for.

“I’m happy with how it’s been going,” he confirms. “The season has been solid. We started well with a win in Croatia which was good for the confidence. Since then I’ve just been consistently up there and learning all the time as well.

“This season I’m based in Chambery in France, close to the Swiss border, in one of the team apartments. It’s allowed me to have a close relationship with the coach and it’s been nice to experience a different way of life. There’s an element of 
having to be quite independent but I don’t really think about that side of things too much. It’s just part of what I want to do.”

Helping team-mate and good friend Finn Crockett claim Commonwealth Games bronze is also up there as another experience to remember.

“That’s definitely one of the highlights of my year,” he adds. “It’s special to represent Team Scotland and the nice thing about Commy Games is how it brings all the sports together. And people who aren’t usually that interested in cycling the rest of the year got really into it for those few weeks.

“So it was a cool experience in that sense and the fact that the race went really well was another big factor. It was one of my best days ever on the bike. Doing it in front of the home fans in Birmingham was another bonus.”

It will be a similar feeling at next year’s world championships when Scotland hosts the first ever combined event for all cycling 
disciplines. Flynn will be too old for the under-23 team by that point but is determined to earn his place on the senior team.

“We’re going from a worlds in Australia which is about as far away as you can get to one right on our doorstep,” he adds. “Next year I’ll be in the elite category so I’ll need to work hard to get selected. So that’s going to be a goal of mine for next season, to be part of the first one with all the disciplines together. And having that global spotlight on us can only be good for cycling in Scotland overall.”