St. david's press

August 2020

128pp

£14.99

pb

978 1 902719 771

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THE MAINDY FLYERS 

The World's Most Successful Cycling Club

Juan Dickinson

'Maindy track is a really important place to me. It’s where I first rode a track bike, and where I was welcomed into the Maindy Flyers as a ten-year-old. I’m a firm believer that without stumbling across this facility minutes from where I grew up, I would never have got into the world of cycling that’s been my life for the past 15 years.'
Elinor Barker, European, World and Olympic Gold Medallist

 

This is the remarkable story of The Maindy Flyers, a cycling club in  Cardiff which has nurtured a string of elite riders including World Champion Elinor Barker, Luke Row, Owain Doull, as well as 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, and has produced more Olympic gold medallists since 2008 than France.

In the early 1990s, when no cycling club for children existed in Wales, The Maindy Flyers was established with the sole aim of providing a fun and safe environment for young cyclists and to utilise a once derelict track in the city. Despite minimal funding and equipment, the club’s talented and passionate coaches quickly created an unbeatable team spirit that attracted children from across Cardiff who just loved riding bikes and enjoyed making friends. Producing elite cyclists was not the intention.

Of interest to all followers of cycling, particularly coaches and leaders of junior cycling clubs everywhere, the key characters who created The Maindy Flyers share their experiences and provide a step-by-step guide to establishing a youth-orientated cycling club.

Written by Cardiff-based cycling enthusiast Juan Dickinson and published with the full co-operation and support of the club, The Maindy Flyers - with over 100 photographs, many previously unseen - reveals the struggles and difficulties to set up and maintain the club, and explains how it overcame many challenges, internal and external, to became the world’s most successful cycling club.

 

Juan Dickinson is a Cardiff-based sports writer with a particular interest in cycling, rugby, boxing and wheelchair sports. This is his first book.

 

CONTENTS

Foreword by Elinor Barker
Acknowledgements
Introduction

1. Maindy Flyer to Maillot Jaune - Geraint Wins Le Tour

2. The Power Behind the Podium - Debbie, Courtney and Alan

3. The Old Maendy Brickworks - Sinister Death Trap to Maindy Stadium

4. A Standing Start - 'Bring your bike and have a go'

5. The Birth of the Flyers - Establishing a Junior Cycling Club

6. Moving Through the Gears - Creating Champions

7. Freewheeling Flyers - Success Breeds Success

8. The Maindy Academy - Setting New Standards

Afterword
Appendix - Maindy Flyers Alimni & Palmares
Elinor Barker - Megan Barker - Owain Doull - Alex Greenfield - Luke Rowe - Ross Sander - Geraint Thomas - Nicole Cooke (Honorary Flyer)