This is the remarkable story of The Maindy Flyers, a cycling club in Cardiff which has nurtured a string of elite riders such as Elinor Barker, Luke Rowe, Owain Doull, and 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 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.
Foreword by Elinor Barker
1. Maindy Flyer to Maillot Jaune - Geraint Wins Le Tour
2. The Power Behind the Podium - Debbie, Alan, Courtney and Jo
3. The Old Maendy Brick Works - 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
Appendix: Maindy Flyers Alimni & Palmares
Elinor Barker - Megan Barker - Owain Doull - Alex Greenfield - Luke Rowe - Ross Sander - Geraint Thomas - Nicole Cooke (Honorary Flyer)
Maindy Flyers - Roll of Honour (1995-2020)