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50 Years Of British Cycling News

We've dipped into the archives to provide you with a whistle-stop tour of just some of the headline news from the 50 years since the British Cycling Federation was formed, in 1959. It's not an exhaustive list by any means, but gives a flavour of the great performances and significant events during a half century that saw the face of cycling change forever.


Part 3 - The Eighties

Images: PA

The eighties saw some remarkable British talent making a real impact on the World scene. Our best Cycle-Speedway riders had always been a match for their Aussie and Polish counterparts and the decade saw numerous successes for our riders. On the Road, the emergence of Robert Millar as a world class Stage Race contender and climber of exceptional ability coincided with the arrival of TV coverage of the Tour de France. Millar's 4th overall in the 1984 has only recently been matched by Bradley Wiggins - whilst his second in the Tour of spain remains our best Grand Tour finish. Malcolm Elliott was also making his mark, both at home, and abroad where he won the Tour of Spain points jersey and the Commonwealth Games title. Mandy Jones' win in the 1982 World Road Race Championships made the event's visit to the UK all the more memorable.

Tony Doyle train in the comfort of his own home


  • Tony Doyle wins the World Professional Pursuit Championship in Besancon, France.
  • The British team pursuit quartet wins bronze to take our first ever medal in the World Junior Track Championships in Mexico


  • BCF HQ moves from Brompton Road, London to Upper Woburn Place, London
  • Phil Pilbrow wins World Cycle Speedway title in Findon, Australia


  • The World Road and Track Championships are held at Leicester and Goodwood. Mandy Jones wins the Women's Road Race title.
  • The 12th Commonwealth Games are held in Brisbane Australia. England win the Road Race (Malcolm Elliott) and the newly introduced 100 km Team Time Trial (Bob Downs, Malcolm Elliott, Steve Lawrence, Joe Waugh)


  • The World Cyclo-Cross Championships are held at Sutton Park, Birmingham
  • Rob Muzio became the first British rider to win an individual medal at the World Junior Track Championsips, taking bronze in the 30-kilometre points race in Wanganui, New Zealand.


  • Robert Millar of Scotland becomes the then highest British finisher in the Tour de France with 4th place. He also takes the King of the Mountains title.
  • Women are included in the Olympic cycling events for the first time, due in no small part to the sterling campaigning of former BCF President Eileen Gray.


  • Jim Varnish wins World Cycle Speedway title in Findon, Australia


  • Stuart Marshall became the first British rider to win a World Cyclo-Cross Title with the Junior Championship.
  • The 13th Commonwealth Games are held in Edinburgh
  • Robert Millar is second in the Tour of Spain - the best ever Grand Tour placing by a British rider

Iconic climber Robert Millar wins a stage of the 1983 Tour de France


  • Martyn Hepworth wins World Cycle Speedway title in Norwich


  • BCF HQ moves to Rockingham Road, Kettering, with Jim Hendry appointed the first Chief Executive
  • Ray Oliver of Scotland wins World Cycle Speedway title in Australia


  • Malcolm Elliott wins points jersey and a stage in the Tour of Spain
  • Robert Millar wins stage 10 of the Tour de france, from Cauterets to Superbagnères

Our look back at the last 50 years is not intended to be an exhaustive list of events and performances, but a flavour of  a half century that saw the face of cycling change forever. If you would like to share your memories of the period with us, please send them to editor@britishcycling.org.uk - we'll publish the best.

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