Everybody at British Cycling would like to extend our warmest congratulations to John Barclay, who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.
Over the past five decades John has played a key role in the development of some of Britain’s most well-known and decorated professional cyclists; planning race trips to Belgium, Holland and France to provide talented young riders with invaluable experience of riding against the best riders on the continent.
Since John first started his pioneering race trips he has given hundreds of young riders their first opportunity to race abroad. The trips are largely self-funded and John has undertaken this role voluntarily, giving up countless hours each year to prepare for the weekend’s racing.
Those who first learned their trade under John’s guidance include Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, David Millar, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Adam Blythe, to name just a few.
Speaking of John’s impact, 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas said:
“John played a key role in my early racing career. As a junior he would take a group of us over to Belgium most weekends. It opened my eyes to what racing was truly about. Not just with the intensity of the races but the tactics and whole atmosphere of them. In those days you couldn't compare the racing abroad to that back in the UK.
“He did it all off his own back, with rarely any thanks. It was purely for the love of the sport and helping us out. Those races as a junior really brought me on as a bike rider and set me up for later in my career. He deserves every bit of the recognition he gets.”
John’s vision, passion and commitment have undoubtedly been a key foundation of the unprecedented British success of recent years, and we are all truly grateful for all of his efforts.