Cheltenham cycling heroes

The town of Cheltenham is home to many local cycling heroes from historic cyclists to modern day heroes - How many do you recognise?

James Lowsley Williams

James is a 25 year old Cheltenham-based cyclist. Once at a boarding school and destined to join the army, James’ life changed for the better when he pursued his passion for cycling.

Since being in the elite team NFTO, James excels in the cycling world and was picked for the Tour de France in 2015, a highlight in his career.

James is now looking forward to participating in the Tour of Britain this September!

Photo: Wilts & Glos Standard

Charmaine Porter

Although she has been cycling for only three years, Charmaine continues to work hard and perform well in the rankings.

At just 21 year of age, Charmaine is already in the top 30 cyclists nationally. Whilst improving conditioning at the University of Bath, notorious for their sports facilities, Charmaine also focuses on her career in the British Army back in her home of Gloucester.

Charmaine was also selected to participate in the elite Team For Ecoboost after training within the army for a year and is looking to do well performing as an U23 participant in forthcoming events.

Photo: Talented Athlete Sponsorship Scheme


Jenny Powell

Originally, Jenny  was from a swimming and running background before she started her cycling career. The bike she was given was for a triathlon, but instead Jenny decided to specialise and focus her career on cycling.

The 29 year-old  is a Masters student from Cheltenham, and has competed in many different events over the past few years, with a particular highlight in 2016 when she won the South Region Road Championships.

Photo: Local Riders Local Racers

Ben Luckwell

Ben Luckwell is a British former cyclist, who is most known for his performance in the 1988 South Korean Olympics in Seoul. From Thornbury in Gloucester, Ben has raced within a team of four, placing 20th out of 30 teams.

More recently, Ben cycles locally with a most recent entry Cycology Sunwise Race Team in 2016, where the team participated in the Kalas Cup Stage Race.

Photo: Cycling Weekly

Martin Rucker

Martin Rucker was Cheltenham’s first ever official recorded cyclist bask in the 1800s! Martin was first recognised as a college pupil in the 1860s and his first official race was in 1869.

The bike Martin rode was rather different to those we had today as back in 1869 he rode a 36 inch boneshaker bicycle! After his success, Martin was chosen to be the Captain of the London Bicycle Club in London.

Photo: Sterba Bike

Dorothea Beale

Originally born in London in 1831, Dorothea Beale studied at Queen’s College for Women in 1848. Later on however, she became Head Teacher of the Cheltenham Ladies College and continued to until her death in 1909.

Throughout her time in our town of Cheltenham, she was a notable cyclist and was commonly seen riding around Montpellier up until 67 years of age - She also had a page-boy with her to push her up hills!

Photo: Spartacus Educational

Chris Boardman

Nicknamed “The Professor” and “Mr Prologue”, Chris Boardman was born in Cheshire in 1968 and grew up in The Wirral.

Boardman won an individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, wore the yellow jersey at three separate times at the Tour De France and broke the hour world record three times.

He was awarded an MBE in 1992. He retired from cycling in 2000 and currently, he is active in promoting cycling for sport, health and transport purposes.

Photo: Bike Magic

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