Four livers + a heart + bone marrow + seven kidneys = 19 medals

Four livers, a heart, bone marrow and seven kidneys. It’s not an offal order at the butcher’s; those are the transplants received by the members of the British Transplant Cycling Team who have swept the medals at the World Transplant Games in Durban South Africa.

Between them, team members landed nine gold medals, three silver and seven bronze in the 5km time trial and 20km road race events.

The medal haul looks like this:


Richard Smith, Men 40-49 road race & time trial
Ottilie Quince, Women 30-39 road race & time trial
Diana Higman, Women 40-49 road race
Fidelma Hodkinson, Women 50-59 road race & time trial
Melissa Slaney, Women 40-49 time trial
Elizabeth Morris, 15-17 Women time trial


Melissa Slaney, Women 40-49 road race
Gavin Giles, Men 30-39 time trial
Diana Higman, Women 50-59 time trial


Robert Jolliffe, Men 60-69 road race & time trial
Zoe Dixon, Women 40-49 road race & time trial
Gerald Brown, Men 50-59 time trial
Simon Ripley, Men 18-29 road race & time trial

Custom kit

Team members are largely self-funded but have been supported by medical company Therakos, Cycling Plus magazine and clothing company Pro Vision.

Jason Edwards, sales manager and designer at Pro Vision, said: "We were really intrigued by the stories of the cycling team, having met [team captain] Richard Smith and some of his colleagues.

"They are a real inspiration and we just wanted to get involved.”

Pro Vision was founded by the original Manx sprinter, Steve Joughin, a top British pro in the 80s, when he was known as the Pocket Rocket.

Mr Edwards explained that all the kit Pro Vision supplied for the team had been custom made for each rider.

Image © www.custardphotography.co.uk

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.