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Louis Rolfe

Based
Cambridge

From
Cambridge

Date of birth
21/07/1997

Team

Louis Rolfe made a spectacular start to his cycling career, enjoying a breakthrough year in 2015 at the tender age of 17 and establishing himself as a top prospect in the world of para-cycling.

Even more impressive, at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy, Rolfe was drafted into the team sprint line-up after team mate Kadeena Cox was reclassified and unable to compete in the event.

Riding as man one alongside Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy, Rolfe not only won his first gold medal at that level but also helped set a new world record of 49.268 - before repeating the result at that summer's Rio Paralympics where the same trio would win gold by over a second from China, setting another world record.

Career in numbers

2

Total Paralympic Games medals

3

Total UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships medals

Biography

Like so many British youngsters, Rolfe, who has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus after being born 10 weeks premature, was inspired by the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London and in December of that year attended a para-fest where he was tested by Great Britain Cycling Team coaches.

After impressing the coaching staff, Rolfe was accepted onto the Para-cycling Development Programme in May 2013 at the age of 15.

Riding in the C2 category, Rolfe quickly proved himself a versatile all-rounder, equally at home on the track or on the road.

That versatility served him well at his first major international success, the 2015 Newport Para-cycling International in January when Rolfe announced his arrival with a hat-trick of medals - gold in the omnium, silver in the mixed team sprint with Jaco van Gass and Jon Gildea and a bronze in the individual pursuit.

That was enough to win him selection for the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, where he managed a fifth place in the team pursuit with Cundy and van Gass; seventh in the kilo and 10th in the individual pursuit despite being the youngest member of the Great Britain squad.

Switching his attention to the road, and the first UCI Para-cycling World Cup event of the season in Maniago, Italy, Rolfe finished a creditable eighth place in the time trial.

Taking to the team sprint

There was also a glimpse of a potentially exciting team sprint line-up to come at the 2015 British Cycling National Track Championships when Rolfe joined Butterworth and Cundy to ride for Team-Para - T, finishing eighth out of 12 teams in the able-bodied section of the competition and coming close to breaking the Paralympic world record that they would eventually eclipse at the 2016 worlds.

Rolfe then rounded off what was becoming an increasingly impressive debut track season by adding more silverware - a silver individual pursuit medal and bronze in the mixed team sprint with van Gass and Gildea - at the Manchester Para-cycling International.

The highlight of his young career to date undoubtedly came in March 2016, at the Para-cycling Track World Championships where Rolfe set a personal best in the individual pursuit, won bronze in the C2 kilo and, after team mate Cox was unable to ride due to classification issues, Rolfe took a place in the team sprint trio that qualified fastest before winning gold in a world record time in the final.

Born and based in Cambridge, where he is a student at Cambridge Regional College and trains regularly with the local Cambridge Cycling Club, those performances proved that Rolfe, in just his third year as a cyclist, has the talent to be a major force on the international stage for years to come, a point illustrated when he was selected for the Great Britain team for the Rio Paralympics.

There, Rolfe did not disappoint, winning a bronze medal in the individual pursuit in the C2 class before playing his part in a superb team sprint effort which saw the trio of Rolfe, Butterworth and Cundy twice break the world record on the way to beating China for the gold medal in a stunning time of 48.635.

Rolfe made his UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships return in 2018 in Rio de Janeiro and won his second world title - claiming team sprint gold alongside Butterworth and Cundy once more in a repeat of their Paralympic success in Brazil in 2016.

GREAT BRITAIN CYCLING TEAM KIT

Great Britain Cycling Team kit

Louis Rolfe
Louis Rolfe

Palmarès

2018
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Team sprint Gold
2016
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Team sprint Gold
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Individual pursuit Bronze
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy) Team sprint Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy) 1km time trial Bronze