Obituary: Rab Wardell

Obituary: Rab Wardell


Everybody at British Cycling was deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the passing of Scottish rider, coach and friend to many, Rab Wardell.

Rab first burst onto the racing scene in the early 2000s, winning the Scottish junior mountain bike cross-country title in 2002 before progressing into the senior ranks, where he made his first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup appearance in 2004. He then represented Team Scotland in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, in both the mountain bike and road events.

While also enjoying racing cyclo-cross, BMX, on the road and on the track, Rab was ever-present in the mountain biking community both at home and overseas, consistently riding to podium and top 10 finishes in national cross-country and marathon events – and most recently winning the Scottish national championships on Saturday.

Rab Wardell

He represented Great Britain at this year’s UEC MTB Marathon European Championships, and was looking forward to representing his country once again at this year’s UCI MTB Marathon World Championships next month.

Outside of racing, Rab was also a highly-valued and respected coach to many riders, working as a Go-Ride coach in Scotland, a BMX pathway coach and supporting a host of riders across the disciplines to fulfil their own ambitions.

Meanwhile, an enduring love of adventure saw him embark on a number of challenges including the Cape Epic, setting a new record time on the West Highland Way, and bikepacking to cyclo-cross races in Belgium – the latter done to raise awareness for mental health charity CALM, which Rab was a long-standing and passionate advocate for.

Rab Wardell

While his achievements on the bike are many, his greatest impact and legacy is in the memories of those who knew him best, who enjoyed chatting with him at bike races, sharing a joke and benefitting from his wisdom and experience.

His passing leaves an indelible hole in our community, and the number of tributes to him over recent days is testament to the highest regard and admiration in which he was held.

Our thoughts at this incredibly difficult time are with his family, with his partner Katie, and with his many, many friends, both at home and across the world.