GB Olympic Track Cyclists

It was quite a fitting end to the Olympic track programme to see Sir Chris Hoy warmly embraced by Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave. Sir Steve Redgrave won five consecutive gold medals at five different Olympics – an unprecedented achievement. Sir Chris Hoy took his final tally to 6 gold and 1 silver from four Olympics. Some enjoy debating who is the greatest ever Olympian. But, with these two great ambassadors there was no competition – only real humility and genuine affection.

chris hoy

Sir Chris Hoy photo Richard Parmiter

I haven’t heard anyone say a bad word about Chris Hoy – a supreme athlete, but a gentleman as well. Softly spoken and generous to other competitors, Chris Hoy shows you can be the fastest man on two wheels but without any arrogance. I know other track stars look up Chris Hoy as the elder statesman of the track, it was also touching to see how much the runner ups celebrated their silver and bronze medals. As Hugh Porter said in his commentary – when you’re racing Chris Hoy – silver is as good as gold really.

It’s great to celebrate a gold winning ride, it’s even better when they are representing your country – it’s perfect when there not just a great athlete but a top bloke into the bargain. Sir Chris Hoy does not need any more accolades, but he deserves all the success that came his way.

By the way, as much as I enjoyed watching Chris win, it was nearly as good watching his mother in the stands on the video replay watching the event. Nervously looking around, she couldn’t bear to look, frequently head in hands, and when it’s all over asking ‘Did he win?’ – We all burst into laughter because that is exactly what my mother would have done!

At 36, Chris Hoy has come to the end of his illustrious career. But, fortunately, as Sir Chris Hoy retires, others are coming through.

Jason Kenny must be the quietest triple gold medallist in Britain. He’s kind of slipped under the radar but ended up with his third gold medal. The coaching staff say that suits his modest character. Always happy to avoid the limelight, but once on the track – he’s  just about the only one quicker than Sir Chris Hoy.

Laura Trott

Laura Trott in action – photo Pistolpeet

Laura Trott is almost young enough to be Chris Hoy’s daughter, but despite her age (20) she rides with tremendous maturity. To win one gold at your first Olympics is great, but to top it off in the hardest event (The Omnium run over 6 different events) was a marvellous achievement. What a fantastic last 500m time trial. I really warmed to her post race interview. Sheer joy and youthful enthusiasm. If the deepest Olympic cynic was watching that – surely even they must surely be moved by her athleticism and joie de vivre. They say Britain is having an Olympic bounce – and that summed it up for me. Just as touching was seeing the joyfyul reaction of her team pursuit teammates in the stands.   What a team they are and will be in the future.

With Queen Victoria Pendleton, you always get the gamut of emotion. She has packed everything into her brief career – the highs and the lows. But fortunately, we have seen that she can be the fastest women on the track and has deservedly finished a double Olympic medallist.

Her Olympic wasn’t the fairy tale finish, you might have written. DSQ for minor infringement in team sprint. Relegation for smallest of line changes in the sprint final. She just didn’t seem to have the confidence in the second sprint. and she was, in the end, clearly beaten by long-term rival Anna Maeres in the final. But, somehow it didn’t matter.


A day ago, a very good Australian friend wrote a passionate letter saying how much he was enjoying the London Olympics. He was overawed and inspired by the British spectacle and achievements of the British team He was suitably humbled Yorkshire had more gold medals than the former dependency of Britain. But, given the glut of British medals, could we not spare a thought for the old colonial friend? – just a couple more golds – we can’t face been beaten by New Zealand….

Given the British dominance on the track, I’m almost glad, Australia picked up one. And if I have any readers in Australia, I apologise for a summer long revelling of British cycling success. – It’s over now (at least until the Vuelta in September)

The press say the rivalry of Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton has been intense for a whole decade, but Victoria was magnanimous in defeat. She could have complained about the tough dsq, but she was keen to applaud her deepest rival. You sense Victoria was relieved the pressure was all finally  over. She took pride in her final laps of honour on the track. It could have been more golds, but I think Victoria is more than happy to be double Olympic champion. She has certainly inspired a new generation of women.

jo rowsell

This Olympics has been a real breakthrough for womens sport. No longer are the women’s events a tack on at the end. They now have a deserving and equal prominence – we have loved watching the womens cycling as much as the mens. The women’s team pursuit was particularly good. If Victoria Pendleton has shown cyclists can have a life outside cycling,  I equally admire the confidence of Joanna Rowsell to race and be interviewed unimpeded by her hair loss condition of alopecia. It can’t be easy for young women to be photographed without hair, but her cheerfulness is quite humbling.

A final word to the Mens Team Pursuit. I don’t really identify with any particular discipline on the track. But, if I had to choose one it would be the endurance event – The Team pursuit. Back in 2010, I was riding the British Time Trial Championships. After finishing the race I took some photos of the top riders and riding back, Geraint Thomas came up and started speaking. – A very nice guy, and a reminder the people underneath the superskin suits and pointy aero helmets are cyclists just like us. – just a little bit faster! It was nice to have that link to a member of the team. I can now tell my grandchildren about the day an Olympic gold medallist put six minutes into me in a 50Km time trial.

The final thing that impressed me was the guard of honour for Chris Hoy at the end of the his final Olympic event. A suitable honour for the great Olympian, but also a reminder that it’s not just the cyclists but the whole coaching and support staff too.

What a summer of sport, I’m swimming in cloud nine at the moment. I couldn’t bring myself to think of mundane things like cycle helmets or cycle lanes

I shall just enjoy the moment – and offer thanks to the Olympic cyclists!

Final Track Cycling Olympic Medal table

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
Great Britain & N. Ireland
7 1 1 9
1 1 3 5
1 1 1 3
1 0 0 1
0 3 0 3
0 2 1 3
United States
0 2 0 2
New Zealand
0 0 2 2
Hong Kong
0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1

GB Gold Cycling Medals 2012

  • Men’s Sprint – Jason Kenny
  • Men’s Keirin – Chris Hoy
  • Men’s Team Sprint – Philip Hines, J.Kenny, C.Hoy
  • Men’s Team Pursuit – Ed Clancy, G.Thomas, Peter Kennaugh
  • Women’s Keirin – Victoria Pendleton
  • Women’s Omnium – Laura Trott
  • Women’s Team Pursuit – Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell.



2 Responses to GB Olympic Track Cyclists

  1. ron suddaby August 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    As a time trialist of the40s/50s (not a very successful one) I have loved watching our
    fantastic cyclists at beijing and london. What an inspiration to our youngsters.
    they all deserve honours of one sort or another. I would single out brad wiggins
    in particular for his amazing ride in the ‘Tour’. The name circulating when I was
    riding was Fausto Coppi – anyone remember him? We have the coaches, now it
    is up to david cameron and his cohorts to build on this tremendous Olympic
    legacy, as he has stated he will. WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

  2. Wheezer2 August 8, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    With humility and grace, the track cyclists have brought the world of the velodrome to ‘the world’.

    How lucky we are that they are ours, very, very special athletes!!!

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