Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.
We’ve now arrived at the upper reaches of our countdown of top 50 British riders. We’ll be revealing the top ten in Cycling Weekly December 25 issue.
NO. 16: PAUL MANNING
If there is anyone who symbolises the progress made by British Cycling over the past decade, it is Paul Manning.
The quiet, often unheralded member of the team pursuit squad is professionalism personified, held up by many younger riders in the squad as the perfect example.
He?s been the one constant in the ever-changing, ever-progressing team pursuit picture over the past eight years or so.
Always there, always consistently reliable, he?s seen the line-up change around him and helped the times get quicker.
Think back to Sydney in 2000, Manning and Bradley Wiggins, Chris Newton and Bryan Steel topped the qualifying with a then-national record of 4-04. They experienced heart-break in the semi-finals, losing to Ukraine, despite recording a 4-02.
Four years later, Manning won a silver medal in the team pursuit in Athens, and although the British finally cracked the glass ceiling and won gold in the World Championships, Beijing was what really fired Manning.
And as the times got faster, Manning was still there. This year was to be his last as a rider. It was an open secret that Beijing would be his last competition.
What finer way to bow out than at the top?
Manchester in March set the scene. The Great Britain team broke the world record with a new time of 3-56.322 when they beat Denmark in the final.
In Beijing they lowered that still further, to 3-55.202, when catching Russia in round one.
The ride they produced in the final was truly breathtaking, one of the greatest sporting moments of the year.
Until that world record is broken, which may not be for another four years, it will always say Great Britain (Clancy, Manning, Thomas, Wiggins), 3-53.314.
RIDERS REVEALED SO FAR
December 18: No. 17 Sarah Storey
December 17: No. 18 Ross Edgar
December 16: No. 20 Chris Newton and 19 Wendy Houvenaghel
December 15: No. 22 Gee Atherton and 21 Rob Hayles
December 14: No. 24 Joanna Rowsell and 23 Simon Richardson
December 13: No. 26 Rachel Atherton and 25 Ben Swift
December 12: No. 28 Lizzie Armitstead and 27 Steven Burke
December 11: No. 30 Andrew Fenn and 29 Sharon Laws
December 10: No. 32 Peter Kennaugh and 31 Josh Bryceland
December 9: No. 34 Jody Cundy and 33 Liam Killeen
December 8: No. 36 David Millar and 35 Ian Stannard
December 7: No. 38 Daniel Fleeman and 37 Matt Crampton
December 6: No. 40 Jessica Allen and 39 Daniel Lloyd
December 5: No. 42 David Daniell and 41 Dean Downing
December 4: No. 44 Steve Peat and 43 Anna Blyth
December 3: No. 46 Jonny Bellis and 45 Jess Varnish
December 2: No. 48 Luke Rowe and 47 Michael Hutchinson
December 1: No. 50 Katie Colclough and 49 Chris Froome