If there was a moment when the British woke up to Olympic cycling it was probably in the summer of 1992 when Chris Boardman won the first cycling Olympic gold medal for his nation in 72 years.
Boardman, who beat Germany’s Jens Lehmann into silver, broke the Olympic record for the 4000m individual pursuit in Barcelona, with a time of 4 minutes 27.357 seconds. His shock appearance on the top of the podium was only matched by the futuristic looking bicycle he rode and aerodynamic helmet he wore.
Nicknamed ‘the Professor’ because of his meticulous attention to detail, Boardman opted not to defend his Olympic title at the Atlanta Games four years later and switched events, winning a bronze in the men’s 52 km time trail instead. Britain’s best cyclist of his generation earned the honour of wearing the ‘Yellow Jersey’ of the Tour de France three times, and set the world one-hour cycling record of 56.375 kilometers.
The Boardman legacy
Boardman retired from professional cycling in 2000 and went on to use his knowledge to help train the next generation of Olympic title winners in the UK. His inspirational gold medal at Barcelona in 1992 almost certainly kick-started the British dominance of the velodrome that followed.