Apparently some rugby tournament ended prematurely for the host nation on Saturday. We’d argue that it couldn’t matter less, for British cyclists have so many reasons* to be happy right now.
From Worlds-winning women to Hour Record removal and epic enduro wins, most would agree we’ve never had it so good. Take a look at our list of reasons why…
*We hasten to add that the rugby is far from over for Wales and Scotland and the combined Ireland team. Only England could get booted out of their own tournament in the group stages.
Lizzie Armitstead triumphs away from the track
Already Commonwealth and National road race champion, Yorkshire’s Lizzie Armitstead added the Worlds title to her palmarès just over a week ago in Richmond, Virginia. Summoning track-honed tactics during the final sprint, she became the fourth British woman to win the title. We can’t wait to see how she gets on at the Rio Olympics.
Bradley Wiggins obliterates the Hour Record
He may have fallen just short of his 55km goal, but Wiggo reminded the world why he’s so exciting to watch when he smashed the Hour Record last June – beating fellow Brit Alex Dowsett by 1.5km. Lee Valley VeloPark clearly suits Bradley.
Chris Froome repeats his Tour-winning ways
Ask most newcomers what the most important race in cycling is and most will say, without hesitation, ‘Tour de France’. And while Monuments lovers may disagree, it certainly gets the most attention outside the Olympics. Step forward Mr. Chris Froome, who managed to repeat his 2013 triumph this summer, despite heavy aspersions and worse cast at him along the way. Winner.
Broadcasters feel the velo love
All this homegrown success has encouraged broadcasters to expand their cycling coverage, with ITV carrying daily highlights of the Tour de France and Tour of Britain, and Eurosport carrying live coverage of all five Monuments and three Grand Tours. Perfect rest-day activity.
Tracey Moseley wins Enduro World Series for a third time
Three most definitely proved a magic number for Worcester-born mountain warrior Tracey Moseley, who won the Enduro World Series for an incredible third time this year in Liguria, Italy. She announced her retirement shortly afterwards, and goes into the record books as one of the greats of British cycling.
Rachel Atherton becomes MTB world champion and World Cup champion
We had a British double in Andorra last month when Rachel Atherton won her third downhill mountain bike world title, and Laurie Greenland collected the junior men’s rainbow jersey. But that wasn’t all – their fellow Brit (and defending champion) Manon Carpenter took silver behind Atherton.
Grant Ferguson comes second at Under-23 Cross-country World Cup
It wasn’t just Laurie Greenland flying the flag for the juniors – Scotland’s Grant Ferguson put in a storming performance in Italy to claim U23 silver at the 2015 UEC Mountain Bike Cross-country Championships, overtaking four rivals along the way and finishing just 20secs behind Spain’s Pablo Rodriguez Guede.
Strength in numbers
Cycling is now the UK’s third most popular sport in terms of active participants – way ahead of football but behind swimming and athletics. Happy days. It may have the local golf club worried, but it’s making our cities less jammed with traffic, our air cleaner and our legs stronger. Win-win, surely.