Chris Boardman (born August 26, 1968 in Hoylake) is a former racing cyclist. He won the Individual Pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, broke the World Hour Record three times, held the World Time Trial Champion title in 1994, and rode in the Tour de France five times.
Boardman was a time-trial specialist from early days. In 1984 he won his first National time trial title at a junior 10-mile event, and in the same year broke the national record for the junior 25-mile event. He won a 25-mile championship in 1986, and then progressed into senior events and racked up four consecutive hill-climb championships (1988-91), five consecutive 25-mile championships (1989-93 - breaking the competition records in 1992 and 93), and the 50-mile championships in 1991 and 92. He was also a member of the winning North Wirral Velo team in the 1993 100km team time trial championship (won in a championship record time of 2:00:07), having previously won the event three times with Manchester Wheelers' Club, in 1988, 1989 and 1991.
In 1992 Boardman won the 4km Individual Pursuit at the Barcelona Summer Olympics, riding his revolutionary new superbike, designed by British expert Mike Burrows and built by supercar-manufacturer Lotus. In the final, he caught and beat his rival Jens Lehmann, the previous years' World Champion. He chose not to defend his record in 1996 in the Atlanta Olympics, but did win bronze in the Men's 52km time trial.
During the 1990's he was famed for the World Hour Record, competing against Scotland's Graham Obree, beating each other's records on radically-modified time trial bikes, until the UCI (cycling's governing body) clamped down and insisted that only traditional racing bikes be used. Undeterred, Boardman made another attempt at the record in 2000 on a traditional bike and again succeeded.
He rode his first Tour de France in 1994, and won instant fame by winning the Prologue time trial with the fastest speed ever recorded, averaging a staggering 55.152 kilometres per hour (almost 35 mph), also earning him the nickname "Mr. Prologue". Thirteen years later, this record still stands. He was hailed as a future Tour de France winner; however he was plagued by bad luck. In 1994 he lost the race leader's Yellow Jersey in a disastrous Team Time Trial. In 1995 he crashed in heavy rain in the Prologue and was forced to quit. In 1996 he returned but was beaten the Prologue, again in heavy rain, by Switzerland's Alex Zulle. Boardman won the Prologue again in 1997, but crashed out on stage 13 in the mountains. His final Tour was in 1998, winning the Prologue once more in Dublin, but crashed heavily whilst still leading the race on stage 2, before the race had even reached France.
Boardman retired as a professional cyclist in 1999 (though he made a brief but modest return in 2000 for another shot at the Hour Record and for the Men's Time Trial Record). He continues to live with his wife and children in Hoylake, and regularly presents ITV's cycling coverage. He is also the Director of Coaching on the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.
GB Cycling Team Interview
Unofficial Chris Boardman site