In his sixth year with Team Novo Nordisk, 25-year-old Stephen Clancy kicked off his career by being named Cycling Ireland’s ‘Domestic Rider of the Year’. In 2017, he earned the America First Credit Union’s fan favorite jersey on the opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The general public voted on the jersey, which was based on the rider with the best ideals and professionalism in cycling, community or a charity. His career-best finish at a UCI 2.1 race happened in 2015 when he sprinted to fourth place on Stage 3 of the Tour of China I.
Describe your hometown in Ireland. How are the roads for riding?
Limerick is a city in the midwest of Ireland with a population of around 100,000. It has a lot of history and has a strong link with Irish and Munster rugby. It’s not bad for cycling as the city lies on the estuary of Ireland’s longest river, the Shannon. You can enjoy some rolling hills and lakes, and it’s pretty good when the sun is shining!
How did you get into the sport?
When I was younger, I would always bring my mountain bike on annual family holidays in France. When I was around 16, I decided to buy my first road bike and entered some races. I loved it immediately, so that was the beginning of it all.
Who are you off the bike?
I’m pretty easy going when it comes to life off the bike. I enjoy relaxing and breaking out of the cycling bubble. After training, I like to spend my time listening to music, playing some guitar, and generally hanging out with my girlfriend.
How has the adjustment gone moving to Spain? Where are you now living?
So far, so good in Spain! I’ve recently moved from Girona to Barcelona. It’s a new environment, but I’m enjoying the adventure. I get to explore more new roads and get a taste of big city life, which is cool. I love the climate here and the fact that just outside the city there is a great network of roads for training and a maze of singletracks for mountain biking. It is the perfect balance. The number of cyclists here is great for the motivation, and it forces me to practice my Spanish with them.
You had an injury earlier this season. What happened? How has the healing gone?
At the end of last year, I broke my collarbone. That was my first serious injury of my career. I had just gotten back training when I picked up a knee issue that took me out of action just as the pre-season preparations were underway. After what felt like way too long, I’m back to full health and building my fitness back up again. I’m hoping to find some form before the Irish National Championships in the beginning of July before heading to Canada to race with the team.
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
Reggae is my favorite music genre, which surprises most people to hear.