Pontywaun man keeps wheels spinning for Team GB cyclists

VITAL LINK:  Martyn Ashfield

VITAL LINK: Martyn Ashfield

First published in Sport South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A VALLEYS man has been keeping British Olympic athletes on two wheels this week.

Martyn Ashfield, a mechanic with British Cycling who also travelled with Team GB to Beijing 2008, has been helping 2012's BMX hopefuls, road racers and time trialists, and will be back for the Paralympics.

Mr Ashfield of Pontywaun, arrived at the Olympic site on Saturday and told the Argus: "Wherever they go I go. Yesterday I worked with the women's BMX riders and I've also helped at the road races and time trials.

"We're odd job men, we all get stuck in," said Mr Ashfield, whose family has owned Martyn Ashfield Cycles in Risca for more than 25 years.

"I maintain the bikes and get the race bikes ready. Sometimes I'll get the athletes things like vitamin supplements so we look after them as well."

With three medals gained in 2008, it came as no surprise that Team GB's cyclists have done so well.

Asked whether British athletes have the fabled home advantage, Mr Ashfield said: "Not really - people say that about the BMX track but the Brits haven't been on it to practice any more than anyone else.

"What has really helped these athletes is that they've peaked this week," he said. "They're all saying they've never experienced anything like the support from this crowd, and if anything it's a slight disadvantage - yesterday they couldn't hear the starting announcement because there was so much cheering!"

Success at the 2012 Games has been a true team effort, he added.

"Everyone here works, the athletes work the hardest, but it's a team with everyone working full-on for four years, not just for a year beforehand."

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