Ambassadors

As one of the UK’s leading cycling venues, we offer our facilities  to our ambassadors to train.

Our Ambassadors are important to the local community and act as role models for people of all ages and abilities, who are working towards their own goals.

John Smith (JohnBoy) was paralysed due to a spinal injury in 2006. The ‘accident’ was a tragic case of ‘mistaken identity’, JohnBoy was out walking his dog with some friends when a local gamekeeper mistook them for poachers. At the age of 16 he lay in hospital thinking that his life- and certainly his sporting career- was over.

“I had been boxing since I was 2 years old and it felt like very dark days indeed,” says John, “But after 6 months rehabilitation at the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit, I decide to make a positive choice to find something that I could do. After my discharge I took up bodybuilding and powerlifting (in which I broke 2 British able-bodied bench press records) and then I watched the London 2012 games. Up until then I didn’t even know there was such a ‘thing’ as Paralympics!!“

“I took up seated throwing and competed in Shot putt, Javelin and Discus. I was ranked number one in the world as a seated Javelin thrower and won the IPC (international Paralympic Committee) championships in Berlin of July 2014. At those championships, I learnt from Paula Dunne at UK Athletics, that my chosen sports had been pulled from the Rio 2016 Olympics – 15 minutes later I threw a Javelin that won me Gold. I looked across at Paula who smiled, shrugged her shoulders and said “See you on the track!”

“I retired from throwing and went to an ‘Open Day’ at the ‘Weir-Archer’ Academy in Surrey where I was inspired to take up wheelchair racing after meeting the 6 time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir CBE.

”Since then I have competed in a number of international races all over Europe, I have competed in both track and road races including 2 half marathons and the London marathon (I completed the 3rd fastest time for a competing British athlete on the day beating many veteran racers) and I am travelling to New York on the 28th October to compete in the NYC marathon.

“I am currently ranked number 1 in the UK for the 5 kilometre and 10 kilometre track event and number 2 overall (behind David Weir) and have only been competing since April this year!

Brothers Dan and Ben Tulett may only be 14 and 12 years old but they have already won many major events and championships. Impressively, they are successful in multiple disciplines: road, MTB, cyclocross and track too.

Any parent of a racing child knows that a lot of commitment is needed from the family as well as from the rider themselves. We talked with dad Allister and the brothers about how the whole Tulett family supports their racing, and how they balance the demands of training & racing at a high level with schoolwork.

Bethany Shriever, who started as a rider for Braintree Bullets BMX Club and now rides for TNT BMX Club, and Ryan Hutchinson have been included in a group of six in British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme.

The select half-dozen are riders identified by Britain’s top cycle coaches as potential Olympic stars of the future and puts them on a pathway to take their natural talents to the highest levels.

Beth is a BMX athlete on the GB programme and sponsored by Yess BMX.

Alex Paton is a professional cyclist from Dover, and racing for Pedal Heaven RT. He discovered his passion for two wheels as a child and was hooked on cycling from the word go.

Having raced cyclo-cross, road, MTB and track through 2000 until 2008, he gradually developed into a top level junior, representing Great Britain at multiple major international Championships. As 2008 drew to an end he decided to take a major step away from the sport to complete his apprenticeship as a motor vehicle technician. Four years flew by and he found himself searching for the challenges and fun he previously had as a cyclist. The London Olympics and Brad Wiggins Tour de France victory are what helped inspire him to pursue his passion as a cyclist again. His moto: Work hard, have fun and enjoy the success.

Interview? with Alex
What has cycling taught you? Cycling has taught me how to suffer and work hard to achieve goals and ambitions.
What do you enjoy most about cycling? Training rides with the whole team, always a good laugh and without a doubt will turn into a rip at some point in the ride.
What was your first bike? Old Raleigh MTB
Most embarrassing moment? Being outsprinted by Elliot Porter, he is a top guy but I had to have a little word with myself afterwards.
Interests away from cycling? Cars, motorbikes, anything fast with an engine.
Marmite: Love it or hate it? Hate it, who is still buying the stuff??
Interesting Fact: 2013 Unofficial Majorca profiterole eating champion.
Favourite music? 90’s girl bands.
If you weren’t a cyclist what would you be? I was a car mechanic before returning to cycling so could go back to that, otherwise the commentator at Stockton Elite Circuit race. Somehow decided I would be a chef if not a cyclist!
Childhood hero? Ace Ventura the pet detective, bit of a shocker looking back now.