Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.
Now that we’re getting close to the top ten, we’re counting down the riders one by one. The final 10 will be revealed in Cycling Weekly‘s December 25 issue.
NO. 18: ROSS EDGAR
Ross Edgar was part of the team sprint trio that lost in the World Championships final to France. Come the Olympic Games in Beijing it was Edgar who made way for the rapidly-emerging Jason Kenny.
Being omitted from the team and watching as the trio set a new world?s best time in qualifying must have been hard. And, of course, there was no way the victorious trio could be split up for the first round match against USA or the final against France.
It was the hardest possible start to the Olympic Games for the 25-year-old Suffolk-born Scot, and from there it could have gone one of two ways. Instead of dwelling on what might have been, Edgar picked himself up and dusted himself down for the Keirin.
At the World Championships in March, Edgar failed to make the final, finishing fourth in his second round heat, which was won by Matt Crampton, his team-mate.
In Beijing, he was flying. Missing out on the team sprint rides obviously meant he could give the Keirin absolutely everything. He flew to victory in his first round heat, then won the second heat in the race that saw Theo Bos crash out.
That meant there were two British riders in the final and there was no doubt about Chris Hoy?s superiority, so as soon as he opened up his sprint it was a race for second place.
Edgar played the role of perfect team-mate, battling Frenchman Arnaud Tournant for the coveted position on the back wheel of the Derny bike at the start of the race, then letting Hoy take over.
So Britain had first and second places as the pace wound up. The Japanese rider Kiyofumi Nagai took it up, then Hoy went clear with a lap to go with Edgar looking like he was going to get boxed in.
The escapologist Harry Houdini would have been proud of the move Edgar made to get in front of Shane Kelly and out of trouble. From there, Edgar turned on the gas and came past Nagai in the finish straight to take a silver medal that must have felt like gold.
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RIDERS REVEALED SO FAR
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