Welsh Cycling has certainly seen a boom in recent years with the likes of Geraint Thomas, Nicole Cooke, Becky James and Luke Rowe all rising through the ranks to become household names.
And there’s one man who has been there at the very start of their careers. Chris Landon – Mr Race Organiser extraordinaire – who has staged and organised around 60 races over 18 years:
“Nicole, Geraint, Luke…yes, they all competed in the circuit races at Llandow,” says Chris.
“A big part of what drives me is that I can help give opportunities to those that go on to greater things. I really enjoy organising junior rider races and to be just a small part of the success of some of our more well known riders is really pleasing.”
In fact, a young Geraint Thomas was the victor in one of the very early editions of the Cadence Road Race – another annual Landon mastermind – which serves as the opening round of the British Cycling National Junior Road Race Series which sees 100 junior riders aged 16-18 compete on open roads.
In 2016 alone, Chris has yet again been at the helm of a number of prestigious races including the Cadence Road Race and the Ras de Cymru (which is aimed at club level cyclists and is the longest stage race in the UK with the exception of Tour of Britain and the British Cycling Junior Road Race Championships).
His reputation is now such that he is often called upon by British Cycling to organise events. He also serves on the board of Welsh Cycling as Vice Chair and enjoys a part-time position with British Cycling in which he undertakes risk assessments of courses and venues.
Humble and modest, it’s pretty obvious Chris is uncomfortable in the limelight – a position he would swap without hesitation to be in the background of the sport he loves:
“The best part of organising a race is when it’s all finished and you hear the riders talking about it – what they found difficult, what they enjoyed. After all, that’s what cycling is all about – the facing up to a physical and mental challenge.”
It’s clearly this love for his sport and the cycling community that continues to drive him year after year.