Former world champion Rachel James believes that recent Welsh cycling success can only serve to inspire more people onto bikes – making the country greener, fitter and healthier.
James is one of an incredibly successful generation of Welsh riders: Olympic champion Elinor Barker recently claimed Wales’ first Commonwealth Games track cycling gold in almost 30 years, while the likes of Geraint Thomas, Owain Doull, Nicole Cooke and Rachel’s sister, double Olympic silver medallist Becky James, have also flown the flag with distinction on the world stage.
Speaking as she promoted the HSBC UK Let’s Ride Cardiff event at the city’s Danescourt Primary School last week, James said:
“Elinor winning her title at the Commonwealth Games was amazing to watch. Welsh cyclists have won countless titles in the last few years, and I really think that the success of this golden generation will help to inspire young kids across the country.
“While so many Welsh riders have gone on to achieve great things in their career, we all had to start somewhere and that’s why events such as HSBC UK Let’s Ride Cardiff are so important.
“They’re a great environment for those who are just starting out on their cycling journey or looking to build up their confidence, and who knows, there might even be a budding world champion pedalling along the route!”
HSBC UK Let’s Ride Cardiff, which takes place on Sunday May 13, will see city centre roads closed to traffic to allow people to get on their bikes and enjoy a free, fun, family-friendly festival of cycling.
The event – one of 14 in major cities up and down Britain this summer – is part of British Cycling and HSBC UK’s aim to harness the inspiration of medal-winning elite cyclists to get more people onto their bikes, creating a lifelong habit cycling habit and, in turn, transforming our cities into greener, healthier environments.
James, who claimed two UCI Para-cycling Track World Championship titles in 2014, continued:
“As athletes, of course winning medals and titles is crucially important, but you’re also very aware of the impact that your success can have. British and Welsh cycling has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and there’s a real desire that this now translates into genuine benefits for the country as a whole.”
HSBC UK Let’s Ride Cardiff will get underway at King Edward VII Avenue, with the 5km course taking participants past local landmarks such as City Hall and Cardiff Castle. People can register for the event and find our more information at www.letsride.co.uk.