Portsmouth Cycling Club


Guy_Watson
  • During the 1970's and Early 1980's, Portsmouth Cycling Club achieved an unprecidented level of success at the National Track Championships, with riders such as Jim Langmead, Peter McGowan, Tony Mayer and i-Team.cc club president, Rob Hayles. i-Team.cc founder Guy Watson joined P.C.C. in 1979 and remains the current Chairman.

This web page has been made to remind the world that Portsmouth Cycling Club has a proud history, and although it is currently closed to new members, it is still alive and well, and also in memory of Jim Lanmead and Portsmouth School of Cycle Racing founder Jack Smith.

Jim and Jack typify what made Portsmouth Cycling Club such a great group to be a part of and why it was so succesfull in the 1970's and 1980's. In many ways, some of the spirit of Portsmouth CC lives on in i-Team.cc, especially because the club founder and main sponsor are also both PCC members, and like PCC, i-Team.cc is based at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, and organises the Portsmouth School of Cycle Racing.

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Above National 2000m Tandem Sprint Track Championships 1987, Brian Fudge steers with stoker Jon Belfield (Director and Owner of i-Team.cc main sposor, InTandem Systems)

Jack Smith:

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Jack Smith (seen here with Commonwealth Games Medalist Tony Mayer,) was the engine behind Portsmouth CC's success on the track. 30 years before British Cycling started their Go-Ride initiative, to encourage youth participation by working with schools and youth groups, Jack contacted Portsmouth Schools and invited them to use the Cycle Track at the Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Portsmouth, for their P.E. lessons. Jack volunteered his time to organise the sessions and provide coaching, and thanks to a gract from Portsmouth City Council, was able to provide the young riders with track bikes to use - removing a major barrier to taking up the sport.

Very quickly, a core group of very talented riders emerged from a place on the South Coast that was well of the radar for National Squad selectors (sound familiar?)

Jim Langmead:

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Jim Langmead competed as an able-bodied athlete because there was no alternative - it would be decades before ParaSport and the ParaOlympics would provide a rider like Jim with the opportunity to compete at a World Class level.

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Above: Herne Hill 1978 representing Great Britain left to right Russell Williams, Brad Thurell, Jim Langmead RIP Portsmouth Cycling Club, David Akam and Gordon Wooldridge.

Despite having one leg that was dissproportionally several inches shorter, with hardly any calf muscle and a foot several sizes shorter than his 'normal' side, Jim went on to win the National Sprint Championship, Medal in the NAtional Junior Sprint Championship and be selected to represent Great Britian.

Peter McGowan

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Long before the World the World Class Performance Plan, Pete got 8th in the 1979 World Junior 1km champs in Argentina when his training consisted of some work behind the motorbike once a week at The Mountbatten Centre, and training on his road bike doing intervals up Portsdown Hill!

With a determination to succeed that truley sets the bechmark for dedication, at 19, Pete found a way to be one of the only Westerners to be alowed to train behing the Iron Curtain with the then dominant East German team, where he gained the respect of the East German, Russian and Checkslovakian squads.

Tony Mayer:

Accompanying Jim at the 1979 World's was Tony Mayer....

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Tony was unbeatable on his day and a real all-rounder, competitive at all distances from 1kmTT to 100km TT and Road Racing.

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Tony (bottom left above) was a hugely talented rider who won the National Championship (and set the National Record for) the 3000m Junior Team Pursuit. Tony went on to win several National tiles and represent Great Britian and medal at World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

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Above: 1983 Worlds Zurich GB Team Pursuit — with Paul Curran, Tony Mayer, Shaun Wallace and Adrian Timmis.

As a measure of his talent, Tony rocked up at the Etape du Tour a few years ago, after a good decade or so away from the bike and finsihed in the top 200!

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Another story in the Tony legend was when he was training for the 1983 National 25 mile TT Champs. He'd been out training doing intervals and rode past the start of a Fareham Wheelers evening 10 mile TT on the P812 Hipley Course. Good riders would normally win this with a short '24' - Tony entered on the line and won the club event with a long '21'! - I don't think any rider has come close since - and Tony was riding a standard road bike without Tri-Bars. 4 days later, Tony rode that same road bike in the National 25 and  was just beaten into 2nd place by the great Dave Lloyd.

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Above: Pete & Tony - joint National Champions!

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As well as the above riders, who went on to represent their country, riders such as Brian Fudge, Paul Gatenby, Nigel Powell, Paul McGuiness etc. would win National Medals and win National Races.

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Above: Double World Champion, Olympic medalist and i-Team.cc Club President Rob Hayles (holding bike) with i-Team.cc founder Guy Watson (Far Right)

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Above: Cristchurch Town Centre Races Mid 80's

Edited by Guy_Watson





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