Diversity In Cycling – second edition

The second edition of Diversity in Cycling is published today, celebrating the individuals and initiatives that are helping to make cycling more inclusive and accessible.

First published in 2019 by Andy Edwards, a music business executive and experienced club cyclist, the report explores the experiences of riders from underrepresented backgrounds taking up cycling for the first time – in their own words.

Contributors to the second edition include Great Britain Cycling Team rider Sam Ruddock, representatives from a wide range of British Cycling clubs and coaches such as Richard Liston. Alongside these first-person accounts, the report also highlights a number of community programmes and enterprises – such as British Cycling’s City Academies programme and Bradford’s ‘Hop On’ initiative – which are already making a profound difference in Britain’s communities.

While many of the themes explored in the first edition remain, the updated version goes deeper, and also expands its sights to better reflect off-road disciplines, different areas of the UK and community initiatives, while also reflecting wider societal changes which have occurred since the report was first published in 2019.

The report also presents a series of recommendations for the sport, offering practical suggestions for encouraging greater diversity in cycling.

Ahead of publication, the report’s author, Andy Edwards, said:

“2020 was a landmark year. The murder of George Floyd prompted a more open conversation about racism, and, with the world in lockdown, more people discovered cycling, particularly from under-represented backgrounds. I gave the report a refresh to reflect this and switch things up. 

“The focus remains on race, but the broader scope of diversity is acknowledged. Since publishing the first edition in 2019, I have been diagnosed with ADHD and Autism, two protected characteristics. That means I am neurodiverse. I was a socially awkward teenager, but cycling gave me a sense of belonging. If one thing drives this work, it is a desire that all of us who call ourselves cyclists, whatever our background, feel the same sense of belonging cycling has always given me.”

Chair of the British Cycling Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, Aneela McKenna, said:

“I am delighted to see the second edition introduce new voices and perspectives from the broader cycling community, including road, off-road, and mountain biking disciplines. The report explicitly amplifies the voices of women in cycling, and, Andy worked with Naomi Rumble, Liyana Pama, and myself to apply an intersectionality lens to the report which uncovers the depth of inequalities uniquely experienced by women of colour in cycling.”

Diversity In Cycling is an independent grass roots project by cyclists for cyclists, written by experienced club cyclist Andy Edwards who worked collaboratively with clubs and groups across the UK.

The second edition takes a deeper dive into some of the core themes first explored in the first edition, including an expanded intersectionality section and a gender-balanced approach to commentaries and content. The term “BAME” is removed, with some context, and suggestions of what to use instead. The second edition introduces fresh voices and perspectives from across the UK cycling community, including road, off-road, Lycra, and non-Lycra. The focus remains race while acknowledging the broader scope of diversity and inclusion across all protected characteristics. 

Commentaries are provided by Shirla Poole of RideFest, Ronn Fraser of Kingston Wheelers, Farooq Chaudhry of Brothers on Bikes Bristol, Naomi Rumble director of Together We Ride, Fozia Naseem co-founder of community cycling programme HopOn in Bradford, Nasima Siddiqui of The Cycle Fit, British Cycling Youth Development Pathway coach Richard Liston and Sam Ruddock of the KC Academy.

Click HERE to read Diversity In Cycling or on the image below.

Diversity In Cycling – Launch Event

To mark the launch of the DIVERSITY IN CYCLING report, we held an event at Look Mum No Hands! which brought to life the themes in the report.  On a hot, sticky summer’s evening, LMNH was packed with over 100 cyclists, male and female, from all backgrounds and all walks of life.  With nine speakers together with audience questions we massively over-ran, but despite this and the hot and crowded venue, people stayed for the duration of the talk and many stayed.

Special guest, former professional and cycling legend, Maurice Burton together with his friend Joe Clovis told of their experiences of racism in cycling during the 1970s and their pathway through through the sport culminating with Maurice acquiring De Ver Cycles and forming Team De Ver C.C.

Following an audience Q&A, the evening was brought to a close with the impassioned words of Yewande Adesida of SES Racing who, having earlier described her own pathway into the sport, encouraged others to take up the mantle. 

Hopefully this is just the beginning of what is a long overdue conversation within the cycling community.

Photographs by Calvin Cheung www.ccheungphotography.com

Diversity In Cycling – The Report

This project started as a conversation, centred around an observation: more people from Black, Asian And Minority Ethnic backgrounds seem to be taking up cycling as a sport, but not necessarily joining cycling clubs.  Overall, the sport of cycling looks very white.  

That conversation led to more conversations which snowballed into my writing “DIVERSITY IN CYCLING”.  Originally the aim was to produce a brief discussion paper for my own club, Kingston Wheelers, but very quickly the report gained momentum, attracting over 60 contributions from riders of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, including a number of Muslim riders, and securing the support of British Cycling, thanks to Comms Executive Chidi Onuoha, who mobilised the support of our governing body, including securing a Foreword from its CEO Julie Harrington.

You can read more about British Cycling’s involvement here and read the report itself here.

Fundamentally, cycling is a sport anyone can enjoy and it is actually more accessible than many people perceive.  The report details challenges, but there is lots of positivity too.  Key themes revolved around representation and visibility, if cycling is seen to be diverse it will attract a more diverse pool of riders.  Telling more than one story is important.  The media often seen obsessed with the narrative that cycling is a hobby for middle class middle age white guys when the reality is that cycling is so much more and the “MAMIL” phenomenon is actually quite recent.  Key recommendations in the report include:


If your club has members from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, with their permission, include those members in any visual representation of club membership. This helps make participation visible to others; consider deploying ambassadors as a point of contact.

If you do not have many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members or none at all, do not try to be something that you are not, but do promote your values: if you are open to all newcomers regardless of race and gender say so. We all have to start somewhere, but let’s make a start.


Many larger clubs have different rides across the week with different start times. Not everyone can make 9am on a Sunday morning. Promote a range of options.  Provide context to cycling club culture, what it means to be in a club, to ride in a group and general dos and don’ts. 


Inclusion is essential to diversity. It is not just about having Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic riders present but ensuring riders of all backgrounds feel included and visible. Work with others both within your club and the broader community to share knowledge and promote pathways. 


Challenge stereotypes that cycling is the preserve of middle-aged middle class men in Lycra.  It is not. Cycling in the UK and Europe has been traditionally a rural and working class sport that has grown so much its appeal is universal. Cycling is for everyone.


Many white people are uncomfortable talking about race. That is because most of us are not equipped to have the conversation. Read, listen and learn. If one person stands out in a group, be aware they may feel an extra level of intimidation than any other newcomer.


Quantify your membership through capturing ethnicity data on joining/ renewal forms.  Monitor progress over time. Larger clubs and organisations should certainly do this.

AFRICA UNITE – Nigeria’s Sustainable Cycling Foundation

Earlier this year I led an initiative through the cycling club of which I am a member, Kingston Wheelers, to undertake a kit collection for the Sustainable Cycling Foundation in Nigeria.  The collection garnered an overwhelmingly positive response in terms of the amount of kit collected. This came not only from within the club, but from the broader cycling community.

Cycling Weekly has covered the story.  Their article gives a great overview of the collection, but, even more importantly, the amazing work of Sustainable Cycling Foundation.  You can read the full article as a PDF, here: SCF Nigeria Kingston Wheelers Africa feature.

My main contact at the SCF is Iboroma Akpana, a Harvard educated corporate lawyer with his own law firm in Lagos and Abuja.  Iboroma travels extensively and while he was in town for Ride London last year we got together for a Regents Park ride and Look Mum No Hands coffee stop. This is where we hatched the plan.

Kit collections are not a new thing.  Former pro Matt Brammier has been active in this area and it was Garry Palmer of Sportstest who introduced me to Iboroma in the first place, has organised several kit collections.  Allied to organising a kit collection, I wanted to build a narrative about cycling in Nigeria and across Africa.

This meant informing the UK cycling community about the opportunities and what is already being achieved not only in Nigeria, but also across Africa.  Even to this day, when people think of Africa they think of a single story that is fed to us by the media.  The reality is far more impressive that we are often led to believe.  Poverty exists in Africa, but African nations are not defined by poverty.

There is also organisation, entrepreneurialism, resilience, ingenuity and, fundamentally, talent. The SCF was formed by a number of prominent members of Lagos based cycling club Cycology.   The club has in excess of 300 members and counting and the socio-economic profile of its members is probably not vastly different to Kingston Wheelers.  Through the SCF, they are building the sport of cycling in Nigeria pretty much from scratch.

The SCF not only organises their own kit collections, but tap into their network of friends, including Kingston Wheelers.  They fund training for riders to develop careers as mechanics and coaches/ personal trainers, organise races, training, nutrition and for the more advanced riders the opportunity to ride in pan-African events.


Moreover, the SCF has been very active in encouraging women’s cycling in way we can probably learn from in the UK.  Not only is there a strong network of women at club level, the Nigerian Ladies team won the gold medal in the TTT at the All African Games beating the formidable South African team into second place.  Rita Miebaka Aggo (above), one of their prominent riders, was interviewed for the Cycling Weekly article.


In pulling all this together, there was a conscious effort to avoid “white saviour syndrome”, an accusation levelled at Comic Relief and Bob Geldof amongst others.   I bug an awful lot of people with the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the acclaimed Nigerian novelist.  In her seminal TED Talk The Danger Of A Single Story, Chimamanda confronts the single story narrative that is often applied to “Africa” and instead she presents a more complex and diverse reality.  If you watch Chimamanda’s TED talk, you will witness an important touchstone for this initiative:


Not only did we as Kingston Wheelers collect an awful lot of kit, but we did so in a genuine spirit of partnership with the SCF and with a strong grasp of the needs of the Nigerian cycling community.  We were allies, not saviours.

Hopefully this will be the start of an ongoing relationship that could take in more collections, rider exchanges, sponsoring and supporting local race teams in Nigeria in addition to rider mentoring and coaching.

Included in the article are some suggestions for UK based cycling clubs who are interesting in putting together an initiative like ours, it is worth restating here:


1) Be an ally, not a saviour.  Africa is a vast continent with many cultures, there is huge inequality but do not underestimate local expertise and resilience.  Africa has many stories.

2) Tap into the diaspora.  Many first and second generation Nigerians live and work in the UK, while retaining strong ties to their roots.  This is true of many Commonwealth countries across Africa and around the world.  Speak to friends and network.

3) It is OK to do some due diligence.  The SCF were very transparent with us, even providing financial accounts and strategic plans. Not everyone is that organised, but do not be surprised to see that level of professionalism.

4) Look for new opportunities. South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Eritrea are all doing great things, but explore the potential in other countries too.

5) Kit must be wearable and rideable.  When doing kit collections, do not donate what you would not personally ride or wear.

6) Respect local knowledge.  The British cycling community has a lot to offer nations like Nigeria, but we don’t know everything. Build a dialogue and ask what is needed locally. Identify what you can contribute.

7) Promote with purpose. Talk about what you do and start a conversation.  Feedback outcomes to demonstrate what is possible and bring people together.

The Skills Day

This article first appeared on the Kingston Wheelers website. For the past four years I have organised a Skills Day for the club, although Mark Dempster officially organised in 2015 and I just did the MC’ing on the day in addition to bringing in pro riders Yanto Barker and Alice Barnes. The idea is to give as many people as possible the experience of riding in a big group at race speed – its useful for riders participating in Ride London for the first time as it is for those seeking to participate in road racing.  Thanks to Jo Thompson for the write up.

On Saturday 21st November the annual club Skills Day took place at Hillingdon Cycle Track. This year we were delighted to welcome pro riders Yanto Barker and Alice Barnes to come and share their knowledge with the club and practice group riding drills. The day was split up into three parts, with an intro and group riding sessions, then back inside for a Q&A with Yanto and Alice hosted by Andy Edwards, finished off with two races – a five lap race followed by a 10 lap handicap.

Jo Thompson recounts the day:

A chilly day, 5c and 20mph winds. Arriving at Hillingdon for my first time I was a bit apprehensive. About 50 bikes of assorted sizes, colours were already parked up, hanging from their saddles on the bike racks. I found a space for mine and then entered the small building to the warmth, Wheelers everywhere, sitting chatting, eating cake already and drinking hot drinks.

Andy talked, we listened. My eyes noticed a young lady sitting in GB kit…. And a another Man in a sponsored jersey who looked familiar. Andy introduced them, Alice Barnes and Yanto Barker and the penny dropped. This is going to be an awesome day.

We were told we were going out in groups, so we put our lids on and all the women gathered together. We were then split into two groups. I went in the group with Alice leading us and Andy covered the rear of our group. We started off at a steady pace practising ‘through and off’. Not as easy as I thought, especially with a 20mph wind hitting me when I was on the front. Alice gave us instructions and hints to help.

Andy made sure we were continually moving and keeping a close gap. We practised this for a few laps and then stopped for a brief chat. Yanto joined us, so we split into another two groups. We practised ‘through and off’ at a faster pace, which at some points seemed to be easier but others harder as the circuit would split you with either a hill or a bend.

After a few laps, Yanto took the lead and then steadily took us up a notch again, moving on and faster we stayed with him in a line, each keeping the wheel in front close. This was fun, we working quite hard and I could really feel when I was catching the head wind or making a gap on a bend or hill, so I started to find my own lines out of the bends and over the hills, this made it easier over all for me. Yanto was really encouraging and supportive.

After this we all gathered in the building for something to eat and drink. Andy then, asked Wheelers – Mark, Harry and Declan their take on racing and some of their events (a bit of banter followed). We then heard from Yanto Barker and Alice Barnes, out of sitting there listening to Elite riders telling their stories and sharing their advice, the main thing that struck me was their down to earthly-ness.

Next up, back on our bikes for some Races… Clockwise this time. The dark starting to loom we pedalled down to the start line. The temperature was really starting to drop and we were itching to set off. I didn’t really know what to expect with this race thing. Scratch apparently. We all head off in a big group and as the group gets faster, you try to keep up. So off we set, trying to warm up. Straight away people started to pass me and the group surged forward. I was definitely not ready for this but tucked down low and grabbed someone’s wheel.

Onwards we headed, into headwinds, up slopes around bends, the pace started to quicken and more and more effort was being demanded. I pushed hard and started to move up and past a few riders, there was a split happening and I didn’t want to be in the back. Laps passed and my lungs were starting to burn, I still wasn’t warmed up enough, grabbing wheels I hung on for as long as I could but the group ahead started to surge more and we started to splinter. I lost a wheel and got the headwind…. I tried and tried but there was no way back. I carried on pushing to catch for a couple more laps which I now realise was completely useless and a show of inexperience.

A short rest and we were off again. I wasn’t too happy as my legs were feeling heavy.

We split into groups and given handicaps. 10 laps. (muttered swearing commenced from me) A bit like cat and mouse, the back group (fastest) had to catch the first group (ladies) – I won’t say slowest as I think we gave them a run for their money.

Alice Barnes lead us off, Sarah behind her and me at the rear. At least I was warmed up now. Alice lead a good pace and we sat closely together, the headwind had seemed to have picked up but the tailwind sections was almost worth it. Averaging around 21mph we kept on… at some point Yanto joined us. He took the lead and gave Alice some relief. Still pushing on Yanto said that they weren’t gaining on us. I couldn’t believe this but it gave me a push to keep on it.

Pushing harder with each lap, I just stuck as much as I could to Sarah’s wheel. I took the corners and slopes in my own line. Last corner of lap 5 – I turn to look behind me, a lone rider is gaining on us – I shouted to tell Yanto. Lap 6 – I look to my right and there is a group gaining on us. On another part of the circuit. A sudden kick of adrenaline and competitiveness showed itself. Yanto kept checking on us and we kept together.

At some point early into Lap 6, the lone rider was with us, I think Sarah was tired and I moved in front but we’d started to drop. I grabbed the lone rider’s wheel and Alice shouted at me to keep on.

He let me on his wheel and we surged forward, the next thing I knew someone went past, fast. Then another, and then I as in a group again, though not ladies. Alice was still with me pushing me on. The lone rider shouted for me to get on a wheel which was really uplifting. Alice suddenly gave me a massive saddle push from behind and I felt overwhelmed to keep pushing. My lungs were burning and my legs dying. I tried to get out of the saddle and push but nothing. Alice gave me another massive saddle push but I was done. I had to slacken off. She told me we had done really well and we kept them off for nearly 7 laps. Not bad.

Alice stayed with me for the rest of the lap and we cooled down over lap 8. A truly lovely young lady.

Once over the line we stopped to watch the sprint. Declan and Yanto fighting it out…

Overall an awesome day I really felt part of and will be back for more.

Rod Ellingworth in Conversation

The article first appeared on the Kingston Wheelers website. Thanks Harry!

On Wednesday 11th November we had the pleasure of an evening with Rod Ellingworth, Head of Performance Operations at Team Sky. The evening at Hampton Court Golf Club was organised by Andy Edwards and hosted in partnership with Sigma Sport and London Dynamo. It was great to see members from all the clubs together, a rare sight outside of Surrey League races.

Andy gave us an intro to the evening, with some background into his cycling career and how he and Rod first discussed the idea of an interview at the National Road Race Championships last year in Abergavenny. Andy had a go at mixing it alongside World Tour pros at the Nationals and he remarked on how close the connection is between grassroots and elite cycling, with amateurs and pros often mixing it up on the same stage or social circles, not something you find in other sports such as football or F1.

Rod is from a cycling family, with his father a founding member of Clayton Velo and his brother sponsoring the local cycling club. Rod’s early racing career was funded through the local council, receiving £100 for race expenses.

Looking back at his own racing career, Rod recalled how he used to complete a training diary which he’d photocopy and send to his coach Alan Sturgess. For training he’d go on club rides, ride the track and do a 10 mile TT most weekends, along with Tuesday night circuit training.

Rod on… having the right mindset

Rod believes having the right mindset is really important for young racers. He first saw Mark Cavendish ride at the Manchester Velodrome, when a rider came down in front of him causing him to crash hard. Rod said most people would have called it a day, but Cav got back on the bike and tried to ride on. When Rod came on board as a coach he wanted to ensure his young riders were being pushed to the limit, as that would make sure they could compete with the best in the world. The Olympic Madison race averages 54km/h so he had his track riders training at 65km/h behind derny bikes.

Rod on… winter training

Rod is a big believer in using the turbo during winter to ensure you are still train peak power. He also highlighted that you should keep riding in the drops during winter (“get laid across the bike”), to ensure it’s not a shock to the system when you get back on the race bike in spring. On winter club runs riders should maximise opportunities for training through chain gangs and sprinting for town signs.

Rod on… the National Road Race Championship in 2015

This year the Team Sky riders (Kennaugh, Stannard and Rowe) and Mark Cavendish absolutely battered themselves to get away from the main field. Some of the world tour riders have a complex about getting beaten by continental riders, so there’s a tendency to overdo it in national races. Rod thought the effort showed at the Tour de France a week later.

Rod on… Geraint Thomas

G will have free reign in 2016, with a focus on winning the Tour of Flanders. Chris Froome will still be the main rider for the Tour, but Rod thinks G is capable of winning the Flanders/Tour double in the future. His excellent season this year has been partly due to weight loss. In an age of specialisation (grand tour or classics riders) G is one of the best all-rounders in the peloton.

Rod on… the future of British Cycling

Rod highlighted the importance of grassroots racing as a means for young racers to get the right experience. As races are getting harder to part on, cycling clubs must ensure they continue to host and support local races, with everyone doing their bit to marshal and make them happen.

Racing The Nationals

This article first appeared on VeloUK.

Old Enough to Know Better? Andy Edwards of Sigma Sport recalls taking on the challenge of riding the British Road Race Championships

Andy writes … One thing I love about cycling is its democratic and meritocratic feel. Anyone can participate and if you are any good, you will get to the top of the sport if you are talented enough, work hard and have a bit of luck. Perhaps it is why, more than any other Olympic sport, participation is going through the roof.

Only in cycling can a Tour de France favourite (Wiggins) turn up to the Bickerstaffe chain gang with the local lads, as he did in March 2012, or Alex Dowsett ride his local club 10. UK based UCI teams will frequently participate at National B level, which are mostly amateur events, and some amateurs can give the pros a good run. The link between top level and grass roots remains strong and it something that is very unique to cycling.


Andy Edwards (left) in the Wally Gimber. Photo: Dave Hayward.

There are plenty of routes into the sport, whether you start as a Youth or Junior or as a 4th cat. The Youth and Junior ranks are without doubt the toughest place to start as you are competing with the stars of tomorrow. The fastest road race I ever did was the 1987 Dawtric GP Peter Buckley, at 27.3 mph for 72 miles, not bad for a bunch of kids on steel frames with toe clips & straps and shifters on the down tube!

Wherever you start, I personally try to encourage those coming up through the sport to mix things up and try racing at a higher level. A 3rd cat doing a 2/3 race for the first time will notice the difference, as will a 2nd cat riding their first Nat B. It goes beyond merely chasing points: it’s about understanding and adapting to a higher level of racing. Once you have managed to get the hang of Nat B racing, try a Premier Calendar. It is not just the speed, it’s about the rhythm of the race, the tactics, the style, the technical skills required to participate.

Once you get the hang of one level, try the next one up – that’s my mantra. Keep pushing and don’t be a complacent big fish in a small pond.

Everyone has to start somewhere and the younger guys coming through the sport need to keep challenging themselves. It was great to see riders like Lawrence Carpenter, Elliott Porter and Dante Carpenter (3rd U23) getting up there in the race; all of them I have raced with at local level over the past few years.

Even though I am long past the age of dreaming about a pro career, there is still an excitement about racing with top-level guys. Since returning to racing in 2010 after a 22 year absence, I’ve mixed up all levels of racing and never feel intimidated by the names on the start sheet, even if I do get a battering.

National RR Champs
Entering the Elite Men’s National Road Race Championships in Abergavenny was probably about as far as I am able to push things. With the Tour starting in Yorkshire this year, coupled with early rumours of Froome, Cavendish and Wiggins being on the start line, it was an opportunity too good to resist for a 43 year old full-time music business executive intent on indulging his mid-life crisis!

As we now know, Froome didn’t enter and Cavendish and Wiggins were both DNS, but a host of World Tour stars and top-level British based pros would be there so there was still a lot to look forward to. As I joked to a friend, it was cheaper than entering the sportive!

My expectations were pretty low. After a decent early season, my form was incredibly patchy owing to a hectic work schedule. All I really wanted to do was stay with the head of the race as far as Celtic Manor, 18 miles in, and then just get round the remainder of the 71 mile opening loop.


Peloton lined out coming into Celtic Manor

As you would expect, the speed was pretty intense from the moment the flag dropped. A rolling road closure may seem a safer option to just riding to the while line, but it has its own unique challenges. Even at 35-40 mph, a 160 rider field will take up the whole road – gutter to gutter. You have to give the motorbikes room to come past, squeeze in to navigate parked cars, narrow bridges and road furniture through town centres along the way. It is not uncommon to see lads using pavements and lay-bys to move up, although that’s frowned upon.

For any amateur contemplating this sort of race for the first time, I’d say take it step by step and know your place. Alex Dowsett needed to push past me on the left, as did Kristian House. I wasn’t going to get in the way of either of those guys, so gave them plenty of room. Adam Yates was yo-yoing around to my right. We all had the same issue of navigating our way around the bunch and spotting moments to move up. The pace was very fast, but I was in no danger of getting dropped, but I did need to be alert and much more so than in a Nat B level race.

I could just about enjoy the roar of the crowds as we passed through a town centre, a novelty for an amateur; but otherwise I was fully focused on the race around me.

It helps if you know the route and read your handbook, however. Not sure how many guys did (!) as the turn into Celtic Manor was chaotic and I made up at least 10 positions by having the right line and gear selection to navigate the 180-degree turn on to the single track road.


Full gas up the climb with champion to be Peter Kennaugh leading the way and the peloton spread out down the hill.

That was when the race really began. The run in to the base of the climb was a very narrow twisty road, we were all lined out in one line and going full-gas through one ninety-degree corner after another. One guy told me afterwards he did 400+Watts for 3 mins before the climb even started.

And unlike in amateur races, when you get over the top of the climb they keep the gas on so if you are dropped there is usually no going back.

Poor Geriant Thomas unshipped his chain at the bottom of the climb and spent the rest of the race chasing, so I didn’t feel too bad about my own clunky change from big ring to small. I was a bit miffed that my chain wouldn’t sit on the 25 and had to make do with the 23, but I would have got dropped anyway and before too long I was in the company of Nick Noble (National Masters Champion and ex-GB rider) and Ashley Martin a 19 year old from Exeter. So the two oldest guys in the race and one of the youngest made up a three man TTT to get to the finishing circuit at a brisk, gentleman’s pace. We picked up a few other stragglers along the way and arrived at the finishing circuit with plenty of time to enjoy watching the climax of the race.

So a few thrills and a fabulous day out in the Monmouthshire countryside, I was a participant and a spectator amongst a world-class field made from home grown talent, which was such a buzz. A unique experience, thanks to Bill Owen and his team for organizing and to the NFTO guys who bailed me out of a few mechanical issues before the start!

Not sure if I will ride the Nationals again, but I would encourage others, once they have gained the right level of experience, to give it a go. It’s the chance of a lifetime.