How Wales became a cycling powerhouse

A look at the rise and rise of Welsh cycling

Track success

The last 18 months have seen Welsh cyclists play a key role in Great Britain’s phenomenal track success.

Geraint Thomas led the way; the Cardiff-born ace joining Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh and Steven Burke to defend the team pursuit gold medal he first won in 2008, doing so in world record time.

Welshwoman Becky James in the rainbow jersey of World Champion at this month’s Manchester Track World Cup event (pic: Alex Broadway/

Thomas was one of just three Welsh Olympic gold medallists – rower Tom James and Taekwondo star Jade Jones the others – but Welsh success has flowed on the track since.

Becky James – who won silver and bronze at the last Commonwealth Games – stormed to the sprint and keirin world titles in Minsk in February, aged just 22, and has continued her impressive form since in an ongoing battle with German sprint queen Kristina Vogel.

James is the not the only Welshwoman currently in possession of a rainbow jersey either, as teenage sensation Elinor Barker, born in Cardiff, joined with Dani King and Laura Trott to win team pursuit gold.

Barker has gone on to become a vital part of the all-conquering team pursuit team as the discipline changed from a three-person event to four riders, joining Wiggle Honda team-mates King, Trott and Jo Rowsell to repeatedly smash world records.

Also enjoying team pursuit success is Owain Doull, the latest addition to the men’s squad, while Welsh trade team Team USN have enjoyed success at recent World Cup events – Jon Mould’s bronze medal the latest such achievement.

With medals and world records flowing for all of their athletes on the track at the moment, it is easy to see why Mould has boldly predicted a fruitful Commonwealth Games next year.

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