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World Famous Photographer John Pierce’s Favourite British Track Stars


He’s at it again – more pictures! This time world famous photographer John Pierce has sent us some of his favourite images of British track stars of the present and recent past; we hope you like them as much as we do.

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
Chris Hoy beats Kevin Sireau to win the World Sprint Championship final in 2008. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Chris Hoy

This image, taken at the 2008 Manchester Worlds illustrates why Mr. Pierce is one of the world’s premier cycling photographers.

Here’s what the man himself says about it;

“This was a bit scary, there were too many photogs on the apron – about six or seven – and the choice was a long lens, but people were standing out in front so I moved and this is what I got … nice one.”

‘Nice one’ indeed.

This was Chris Hoy’s first sprint title – to add to his team sprint, kilometre and keirin gold medals at World and Olympic level.

Hoy’s successor as Olympic sprint champion, Jason Kenny is brilliant on his day; but his ‘days’ have become less frequent and Hoy’s consistency and solid, inspiring presence are all to obviously missed by the current GB sprint squad.

Sireau is quick, witness his 9.572 world record for the flying 200 metres set in Moscow – but blasted by Pervis in Mexico two years ago with 9.347 – but has never managed to translate that raw speed to an individual title.

He has been European individual sprint champion and a multiple world team sprint champion – including 2015 with Bauge and D’Almeida – but has never pulled on that individual world champion’s tricot.

* * *

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
Chris Newton in his rainbow stripes at the World Cup Track meeting in Manchester, December 2005. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Chris Newton

Another Chris, Newton this time.

Best known for his two Worlds wins, the points in 2002 and team pursuit in 2005 he was the master points race rider; virtually unbeatable in home competition in the discipline he’s a multiple Commonwealth, Worlds and Olympic medallist across all of the endurance track disciplines – pursuit, team pursuit, points and scratch.

But Newton’s road success is largely over-looked; domestically he won the Archer, Doon Hame, Essex, Lincoln, overall in the Premier Calendar and British TT title – whilst on the international stage he won the Ràs in Ireland, the Circuit de Mines in France and took stages in the ultra fast Olympia Tour in The Netherlands.

He’s undoubtedly one of the country’s best road performers in recent years as well as being a star on the track.

* * *

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
Rob Hayles also sports World Championship bands at the 2005 Manchester World Cup, in the team pursuit. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Robert Hayles

‘Big Bob’, is another man who’s been twice champion of the world; in the team pursuit and madison with Mark Cavendish – with another six Worlds medals across individual and team pursuit.

And let’s not forget he’s stood on Olympic podiums three times, silver and bronze in the team pursuit and bronze in the madison with Bradley Wiggins.

He’s been Commonwealth team pursuit champion and has four Commonwealth silvers across pursuit, team pursuit and points.

He’s been British kilometre, points, pursuit and madison champion as well as ‘10’ (three times) and ‘25’ Miles TT champion and won the British criterium champs in 2000 and British road race champs in 2008 – the man is nothing if not versatile.

He’s turned his hand to commentary now and his droll style has won him many fans – some of those chaps on TV do get a tad carried away…

His book, ‘Easy Rider’ is highly recommended and here at VeloVeritas we must get round to interviewing the man.

And in case you’ve ever wondered where Bob gets all that strength from – his dad was ‘Killer Kowalski’, the 70’s wrestling star.

* * *

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
A young Mark Cavendish on the boards. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Mark Cavendish

You’ve won the Worlds, a Monument, only Merckx and Hinault have won more Tour stages than you, you’re married to a page three model, there’s a McLaren supercar in the garage and the bank balance has to be very healthy.

What more could you want?

Well, in Cav’s case it seems that the answer is an Olympic medal – one of the reasons he’s signed with Brian Smith at Dimension Data is that they’ll give him the freedom to pursue his Olympic ambitions.

It’s easy to forget that ‘The Manx Missile’ is no mean track rider with two world madison titles to his name – one with aforementioned ‘Big Bob’ and one with a certain Bradley Wiggins.

Despite all the success the fact that Cav didn’t bring home a medal from Beijing in 2008 still hurts – he was the only GB cycling team rider to return empty handed.

His event was the madison but his partner, Wiggins was running on empty after winning the individual team pursuits.

In 2012 in London, despite his team working itself into the tar for him in the road race, it wasn’t Copenhagen, the smaller Olympic team allocation and stiff hill meant that it was always going to be hard to ‘deliver’ him where he needed to be on The Mall.

He’s riding the omnium in the Hong Kong World Cup in January in order to qualify for the Worlds – but he’s up against stiff opposition to grab the GB omnium slot from Messrs. Ed Clancy (if he can sort out his back problems) and young Chris Latham, who just keeps getting better.

It’s going to be interesting…

* * *

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
Bradley Wiggins when reading on the road for Credit Agricole in France, Manchester 2005. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Bradley Wiggins

As the outstanding endurance track/time trial rider of his generation, he has to be here; four Olympic gold, one silver and two bronze; six Worlds titles, three silvers and a bronze on the track; a World title and two silvers in the time trial; four Commonwealth Games silvers and a European title – a total of 12 major titles and 25 medals at the highest level.

And we could add his junior Worlds pursuit title…

Best not forget his hour record, either.

The road, well you know about that; Paris-Nice, the Dauphine, Le Tour…

If only he’d ‘got serious’ a decade earlier…

* * *

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
Ollie Wood represented GB at the London Six. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Ollie Wood

We go right up to date with 20 year-old, Oliver (Ollie) Wood carving himself a name on the boards with silver in the 2014 U23 Euro scratch and gold in the British scratch champs; this year he was in the team which won the U23 Euro team pursuit and was second in the U23 Euro omnium as well as beating Scotland’s Mark Stewart into second spot in the British points champs.

But he’s not a bad rider on the road, either with a sixth in the 2013 junior Paris-Roubaix to his name and fourth this year in the U23 Scheldeprijs.

This image is from John’s visit to the London ‘5 plus one’ where Wood and partner Chris Latham refused to be overawed by some of the biggest names on the winter board circuit and took second spot.

* * *

World Famous Photographer John Pierce
Chris Latham at the London Six last year, followed by race winner De Pauw (Belgium). hoto©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

Chris Latham

If you’re a VeloVeritas regular you’ll have read our interview with Chris Latham after his taking second in the recent World Cup omnium in New Zealand.

He’s a versatile young man; as capable of winning the Memorial Jos Huysmans kermis in Antwerp back in March as his he is of winning the omnium in the Roubaix Open des Nations in September; and that’s via the 117 mile Beaumont Trophy – a young man to watch.

With thanks again to John Pierce for the images – we’re humbled every time we look at them…

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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