Cycling Coach Honoured
Cycling coach honoured
A Thames-based cycling coach, who dedicated his life to helping other better their proficiency on two wheels, has received a special honour just in time for Christmas.
Dr Gordon Wright was granted one of cycling’s most prestigious awards, The Ramin Minovi Medal, at Power Pedal 2018.
Dr Wright, 76, is a highly-regarded figure in the cycling community as a senior cycling coach and a Fellow of the Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC). He is also a longstanding member of High Wycombe Cycling Club, and once coached multiple National Time Trial Champion Stuart Dangerfield, as well as Peter Keen, who he coached while still a junior.
Wright also coached Nicole Cooke, who was the first member of team GB to win a gold medal in Beijing. Dr Wright began training Nicole in 2007, establishing a dedicated training regime for her which dominated her life prior to the games.
Nicole approached Dr Wright in June 2007 to ask him to help her dad Tony train her for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The two only met six times during the course of the entire training programme, but Dr Wright visited her in Switzerland while she was participating in the training course. As a result of Dr Wight’s training, Nicole out-sprinted all three rivals in the 126 km women's road race to take the gold, the first ever won by a female British cyclist.
The Ramin Minovi Medal, which is presented each year, commemorates Ramin (known as Ray) and his commitment to cycling as an elite racer during the course of his lifetime. He later went on to become a coach and an editor of The Journal of Cycle Coaching.
Steve Harrop, chairman of the ABCC and Trentino Paying tribute, proposed Dr Wright for the award, saying: “Gordon’s contribution to cycling through his innovative training techniques broke the mould for coaching cyclists, producing both national and world champions. Many of these training methods have become the norm for coaches today, and Gordon continues to push the boundaries of coaching science.
“The award of The Ramin Minovi Medal was our way of recognising Gordon’s quiet but effective contribution to the world of UK cycling and to the coaching community as a whole.”
Former winners of the award include anti-doping expert Michele Verroken, academic and sports scientist Louis Passfield, bike designer Mike Burrows, and power training expert Hunter Allen.
Upon receiving the award, Dr Wright said: “I am truly honoured and deeply moved to receive this award.”
The 46th Power Pedal event, held in Coventry, was attended by hosts of UK and international ABCC member delegates, who came to hear what panels of cycling experts had to say. The Association of British Cycling Coaches, including the Pedal Power conference, is a provider of gold-standard coaching information and helps create a pathway for users to become a recognised coach for all disciplines of cycling and triathlon.
The conference research laid out by speakers and workshop presenters this year will be made available free of charge to all ABCC members.
Oli Beckingsale, a triple Olympian mountain biker, coach and BW Cycling business-owner, shared an engaging analysis of his impressive racing and coaching career, which, according to the Thame Gazette [link: https://www.thametoday.co.uk/news/cycling-coach-from-thame-awarded-top-accolade-for-lifetime-dedication-to-the-sport-1-8748470], was “enlightening, vibrant, and meticulous.”
Beckingsale’s address ‘Event Preparation for 2008 Beijing Olympics – The Hardest Race of My Life’ took the audience through his training programmes that prepared him for his journey to the top of his field.
Dr Wright also delivered an engaging talk about ‘Nutritional and exercise strategies to protect and strengthen skeletal muscles’, which the Gazette referred to as “moving” and “one of two truly ground-breaking speeches.”
Paul Bromley of Kurio Compression led a workshop centred on recovery protocols, while ABCC member Alan Bullock spoke about high intensity interval training (HIIT); ABCC’s Mark Gorman also shared about annual training plan assessments.
Mr Harrop also added: “The insights and research findings were quite sensational and ground-breaking, from Oli’s examination of the weight-gaining nutrition and strength work necessary to become a world class mountain biker, to Gordon’s examination of muscle and skeletal strengthening, including its applicability to more mature riders – this looks like a game changer on how to support an active lifestyle.”