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Unprecedented interest since Geraint Thomas’s Tour de France success but Welsh cycling needs more investment

Figures indicate that women and children in particular are keen to take up the sport

Geraint Thomas’s former club Maindy Flyers is the biggest it’s ever been and Welsh Cycling has reported a six per cent rise in membership from 2017 to 2018, but investment is needed to capitalise on this interest, according to the latter’s chief executive.

In the wake of his Tour de France win, Thomas is proving so popular in Wales that there’s a four to five month lead time if you want a Grogg of him.

His success seems to have increased interest in cycling too. Maindy Flyers – his former youth club in Cardiff – told the BBC that interest levels among youngsters has been "unprecedented".

Geraint Thomas made an OBE in New Year Honours

Welsh Cycling has seen a surge in membership too, including an increase of 11 per cent among under-18s and 12 per cent among women compared to last year.

The organisation’s chief executive, Anne Adams-King, said Thomas had "raised the profile of cycling politically" and called for greater investment to support the swell of interest.

"More can be done around infrastructure and facilities to provide opportunities for commuting, recreational, coaching and events," she said.

Adams-King would like to see an outdoor velodrome similar to the ones Carmarthen or Maindy in north Wales, alongside closed road circuits in south east Wales, mid Wales and north west Wales, plus BMX facilities across the country.

"We still need facilities to coach and support people to build their confidence and competence to keep them safe and to provide opportunities to excel."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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grumpyoldcyclist | 5 years ago

Totally agree with previous comments. In Wrexham the attitude is a slap of paint on tarmac = infrastructure. We have some cycle lanes as long as five metres and some only 150 mm wider than the drain grids, all useless and sending an incorrect message to drivers, cyclists need no space at all.

Hardly a Welsh issue though to be fair happens across most of the country.

burtthebike replied to grumpyoldcyclist | 5 years ago
grumpyoldcyclist wrote:

Hardly a Welsh issue though to be fair happens across most of the country.

But it's only Wales which has the Active Travel Act.  The rest of the UK has the "crystal clear" guidance from the DfT, which is as clear as mud and is totally ignored anyway.

burtthebike | 5 years ago
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While sport cycling is good, what we really need is a modal switch from driving to utility cycling, which this article barely mentions.  Wales has the Active Travel Act, which should ensure that in every decision about transport, walking and cycling come first, but I know from my Welsh contacts that this isn't happening and local authorities are not implementing this act.

We have the NICE report advocating consideration of cyclists and pedestrians in all transport schemes, but the UK government, national and local, and the DfT tells us that this already happens; quite how they keep a straight face when they say it is beyond me.  Perhaps we could award Oscars for the best hypocrite actors, a certain transport minister immediately springs to mind.

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