British Cycling’s president, Bob Howden, has spoken of the organisation’s determination to build on the fantastic medal tally achieved at the Rio Olympic Games.
British cyclists won a total of 12 medals, and once again dominated the track programme, winning six of the ten gold medals on offer inside the velodrome. This is the third consecutive Olympics at which Great Britain has topped the cycling medal table.
There were also numerous individual milestones to celebrate: Sir Bradley Wiggins won his eighth Olympic medal, a record for a British athlete; Laura Trott became Britain’s most successful female Olympian ever by clinching her third and fourth Olympic titles; while Jason Kenny drew level with Sir Chris Hoy as Britain’s most successful Olympian by winning the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin events.
The women’s team pursuit squad also broke the world record three times on their way to winning gold, while the men’s quartet set a new world record time on two occasions.
Howden said: “These Olympic Games have again been nothing short of sensational for our cyclists. To finish up with 12 medals is a fantastic achievement for the riders involved, and for every member of the support staff.
“To watch our established names such as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Jason Kenny cement their status among Britain’s greatest Olympians has been wonderful, but just as pleasing has been the emergence of Olympic debutants such as Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Callum Skinner.
“The fact that this new generation can all now also call themselves Olympic champions is testament to the experience that their team-mates have been able to pass on, but also to the system we have in place at British Cycling, which continues to develop world-class cyclists.
“This establishment and continuation would not have been possible without the funding that we receive from UK Sport, Sport England and the National Lottery. We remain extremely grateful to these organisations, and to Sky, our principal partner for the last eight years, who have also contributed so much to the British Cycling story.”
Two thirds of the cycling squad which travelled to Rio were graduates of British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme, which equips young riders with the skills and confidence needed to ride and race their bikes.
Howden added: “The Go-Ride programme continues to prove incredibly successful. For children to be able to see a clear pathway to the top of the sport, and be able to admire Olympic champions who have followed that path, is inspirational, and gives us a great opportunity to encourage more young people to take up cycling, whether competitively or recreationally.”
The ambition to benefit recreational cyclists, as well as those who race competitively, translates into British Cycling’s campaigning work. The recently launched #ChooseCycling Charter calls upon local authorities to sign up to a three-point pledge which will help transform Britain into a true cycling nation.
Howden continued: “We recently celebrated recruiting our 125,000th member, and we recognise and take seriously our responsibility to represent each and every one of those members, whether they race competitively, ride to keep fit, or commute to work or school on their bike.
“Cycling has once again captured the nation’s imagination over the past two weeks, and it is clear that there is a growing appetite to get more people on bikes, which will make Britain a healthier, fitter, cleaner and greener country. We will continue to campaign for stronger political leadership, smart investment and better infrastructure.”
To celebrate Team GB's 12 medals in the cycling at the Olympics, we're giving away 12 Fan memberships. One lucky winner will also receive a signed jersey from the women's team pursuit squad.