A Swansea University student has this week been crowned the fastest Deliveroo cyclist in Wales, as riders from across the country battled it out in the seventh heat of Deliveroo’s British cycling championship – Deliveroo Rider Races.
The riders descended upon the Maindy Centre Velodrome, Cardiff, in a bid to record the quickest lap of the 450 metre circuit. The historic track hosted cycling during the 1958 Commonwealth Games, and is also where Geraint Thomas – two time Olympic gold medalist and 2018 Tour de France winner – first began cycling at the age of 10.
Three riders, keen to live up to the track’s legacy, emerged as the swiftest of the cohort. Ben Madeley, a 22 year-old engineering graduate, clinched first place after recording an ultra rapid time of 22.73 seconds. He used the endurance he built up while taking part in the Beechen Cliff Centurian Challenge – a 100 mile walk over 48 hours – to achieve the winning time. Ben, who celebrated his graduation last month from Swansea University, hopes to develop a career in fire engineering and has landed a job in Bristol making buildings safer.
Arion Oates bagged second place in dramatic fashion with a time of 35.21, edging ahead of Grzegorz Drzewiecki by just 0.42 seconds. As the three fastest riders, they will proceed to the grand final at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in September.
The championship builds on the successes of last year’s inaugural competition, which saw 30 riders pedalling for the title of Deliveroo’s fastest cyclist. This year’s contest will involve regional heats bringing together riders from Manchester, York, Bournemouth, Brighton, Reading, London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Dublin, with around 200 riders expected to take part. Race finalists will be in with the chance to win prizes from event sponsors, Halfords and Powertraveller.
Rohan Pradhan, Chief Operating Officer of Deliveroo said:
“We’re thrilled that Rider Races has returned for a second year, this time bigger and better. It’s a brilliant way to celebrate the talented individuals who make it possible to deliver great food to people right across the country.
“Our riders are already the champions of our community, but these races give them a chance to show who’s a champion on the track too.
“I want to say a big thank you to all the riders who came down and took part. I can’t wait to see if Ben can go on to be crowned the fastest rider in all of the UK.”
Race champion Ben Madeley said:
“It feels amazing to be the crowned fastest rider in Wales. It was a bit of a surprise as there were some serious contenders on the day and this was my first competitive race.
“Riding with Deliveroo has been great because cycling is my passion and I’ve been able to get fit whilst earning money and studying for my degree. I’m grateful to have a place in the final as I’ve always wanted to give track racing a go but have never had the opportunity.”