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Chris Boardman
Boardman at the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire
Personal information
Full name Christopher Miles Boardman
Nickname The Professor
Born (1968-08-26) 26 August 1968 (age 55)
Hoylake, Cheshire, England
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 70 kg (154 lb; 11 st 0 lb)
Team information
Discipline Road and track
Rider type Time trialist
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
3 individual stages (1994, 1997, 1998)

Stage races

Critérium International (1996)

One-day races and Classics

World Time Trial Championships (1994)

Hour record

Best human effort (1993, 1996)
UCI Hour Record (2000)

Christopher Miles Boardman, MBE (born 26 August 1968) is a British former racing cyclist. A time trial and prologue specialist, Boardman won the inaugural men's World time trial championship in 1994, won the individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, broke the world hour record three times, and won three prologue stages (and consequently wore the yellow jersey on three occasions) at the Tour de France.

Boardman's nickname is "The Professor", for his meticulous attention to detail in preparation and training, and his technical know-how. He had an altitude tent built in his house to help him prepare for the hour record attempt, although in an interview he claimed that all it did was help him focus. Boardman focused on interval training. He was a keen user of power measuring devices. For his winning ways in time trials and prologues of stage races, he was also nicknamed "Mr. Prologue".

Boardman is also notable for having used the Lotus 108 time trial bicycle designed by Mike Burrows and built by the sports car manufacturer Lotus. Later he worked with the UK carbon fibre bike specialist Hotta, to produce other time-trial frame designs, which he raced in various events including world championships, and Olympic games. He is now involved in producing commercial and competition bikes with the Boardman Bikes and Boardman Elite ventures.

In 1992, he was awarded an MBE for services to cycling.

Early life and amateur career

He was educated at Hilbre High School in Wirral, Merseyside, and rode in his first bike race at the age of 13. He was on the national cycling team by the age of 16.

Boardman won his first national RTTC time trial title in the 1984 "GHS" schoolboy 10-mile championship and subsequently won the 1986 junior 25-mile championship. He also broke the junior 25-mile national record in 1984.

As a senior he won four consecutive hill climb championships (from 1988 to 1991), five consecutive 25-mile championships (from 1989 to 1993), the 50-mile championship in 1991 and 1992, and the men's British time trial championship in 2000. He broke the record for 25 miles in 1992 and 1993 with 45 minutes 57 seconds (which he held until 2009) on a course based on the A34 near Oxford. He was also a member of the winning North Wirral Velo team in the 1993 100 km team time trial championship (in a record time of 2:00:07), having previously won the event three times with Manchester Wheelers' Club, in 1988, 1989 and 1991.

Lotus 108 (24281585325)
The Lotus 108 bicycle Boardman used to win the 4 km individual pursuit at the 1992 Summer Olympics

At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Boardman rode a Lotus 108 in the 4 km individual pursuit. Lotus Engineering's 'uni-axle' design incorporated several new features. Boardman caught Germany's Jens Lehmann, the 1991 World Champion, in the Olympic final on his way to winning the gold medal.

Professional career

Having started his cycling career as a time trial specialist, he turned professional with the GAN team, later renamed the Crédit Agricole team, of manager Roger Legeay. His first race as a professional was the 1993 Grand Prix Eddy Merckx, a 66 km time trial which he won. He further won several stages of the Midi Libre and Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré stage races, including the final road stage. In 1993 Boardman established the fastest time for a bicycle around the 37.73 mile Snaefell Mountain Course, the course used for the Isle of Man TT Races. Riding a specially modified bicycle, Boardman recorded a time of 1hr 23min 54secs. The time recorded would prove to be the longest standing cycling record on the Isle of Man, until it was beaten by Peter Kennaugh in 2015. Kennaugh, riding a standard racing bicycle, beat the record by six seconds.

Boardman competed with Graeme Obree for the hour record using radically modified time-trial bikes, beating each other's records in turn; in one eight-month period in 1994 the record fell four times. Boardman won fame by winning the prologue of the 1994 Tour de France with what was then the fastest time ever recorded. In the process he caught Luc Leblanc, who had previously been dismissive about Boardman's 1993 hour record, claiming that it could probably be beaten by half the professional peloton. However he subsequently lost the yellow jersey in a team time trial. He was hailed as the UK's future Tour de France winner, despite his own insistence that it was a long shot. After retirement he said he was not able to recover from the rigours of stage racing due to a low hormone profile. "I've always had it, it's probably been that way since I was born, but because of the type of racing that I did in the past, it was not a problem."

In the 1995 Tour de France, Boardman crashed in the prologue and was forced to quit by his injuries. The 1996 Tour de France saw him make a timid return in the wet and rainy prologue where he was beaten by Alex Zülle and finished in second place. Boardman won bronze in the 52 km road time trial at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He did not defend his track individual pursuit title.

Boardman made a comeback at the 1997 Tour de France, winning the prologue of the Tour once more, although a crash forced him to quit the tour on stage 13.

In 1998 Tour de France, when the Tour began in Dublin, Ireland, Boardman won the prologue, but this time crashed out of the race on stage 2. In 1998 he was diagnosed with osteopenia due to low testosterone levels. Treatment to prevent a worsening of his condition would have required him to take testosterone, which is banned under anti-doping rules. The UCI refused to allow Boardman an exemption on medical grounds. Faced with either retiring to allow treatment for his osteoporosis, or continuing to cycle without taking testosterone, Boardman chose to continue in cycling untreated for a further two years, hoping to finish his career on a high note at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

In 1997 the UCI had changed their regulations for the Hour Record, restricting competitors to roughly the same equipment as Eddy Merckx had used in the 1970s, banning time trial helmets, disc or tri-spoke wheels, aerodynamic bars and monocoque composite frames. Boardman made an attempt at the Hour Record using this new ruling in 2000 and succeeded in riding 49.441 km, just 13 m further than Merckx's 28-year-old record.

Boardman's preparation for the road time trial at the 2000 Olympics was affected by missing the 2000 Tour de France due to sinus problems; he finished eleventh in the time trial.

Boardman retired after the Olympics, at the age of 32. In an interview Boardman admitted that the last two years of his professional career were the most difficult, especially because of his debilitating health condition and also marital issues. Boardman's osteoporosis was uncommon for someone as young as he was. He was criticised for not realising his potential, but in response he said that, "I never considered myself particularly gifted, but I managed to stretch and mould the ability that I have, and found a niche for myself."

Cycling and Walking Commissioner

Boardman was appointed Greater Manchester’s first Cycling and Walking Commissioner by Andy Burnham in 2017. The Bee Network plan which he has developed is intended to be the UK’s ‘first’ joined-up cycling and walking network. It is intended to deliver 1,800 miles of protected walking and cycling routes.

In May 2021, Boardman was promoted to become Greater Manchester’s first Transport Commissioner, he will be tasked with accelerating the development of The Bee Network cycling and walking network and to integrate those modes with Metrolink, buses and trains.

Boardman was appointed as Interim Commissioner for the government’s new cycling and walking body, Active Travel England, in January 2022, and permanently as Commissioner from June 2022, leaving his role at Greater Manchester.

Personal life

Boardman lives with his wife and six children in his native Wirral. Since retirement from professional cycling he has presented for ITV's cycling coverage and currently has a brand of cycles and accessories under the name Boardman Bikes. He is also involved in producing competition cycles through Boardman Elite.

Boardman was appointed a technical adviser to the British road and track cycling team in 2004, and was equipment and technical manager to the TeamGB cyclists at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

In 2009 Boardman took part in the London marathon, finishing in 3hrs 19min 27sec. He was also inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame.

In 2012 Boardman commentated alongside Hugh Porter for the BBC on the cycling at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and is a contributor to cycling programmes on both BBC and ITV.

Boardman appeared on the BBC Top Gear TV show in Series 21, Episode 5 (2 March 2014) in his role as a British Cycling policy advisor in the "Make a commercial for reducing cycle-related accidents" feature.

He is an advocate of policies to greatly increase utility cycling in the United Kingdom, citing the potential to reduce the 35,000 annual deaths from obesity-related diseases, and urging that in road traffic accidents there be a presumption of guilt on the driver of the larger vehicle. In July 2016, his mother Carol was killed by a motor vehicle while cycling; the driver was jailed for causing death by dangerous driving.

Boardman has recounted an incident that he said changed the path of his working life: in about 2010 his young daughter asked to ride to the park with him, in the typical northern seaside town where they lived; Boardman refused, thinking it too dangerous. He said it felt very wrong that he, an ex-Olympic cyclist, did not feel he could keep his child safe on a one-minute 550m ride, so he decided to do something about it. In July 2017 Boardman was appointed Greater Manchester's first commissioner for walking and cycling. On 29 July 2018, at the end of that year's Tour de France coverage on ITV4, Boardman announced he was leaving his role as co-presenter in order to concentrate on that role.

Boardman was featured on BBC Question Time on 14 November 2019.

Boardman returned as a presenter on ITV4's coverage of the 2020 edition of the Tour de France which began on 29 August 2020 in Nice.

Career achievements

Major results



1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG National Hill Climb Championships
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG National Hill Climb Championships
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG National Hill Climb Championships
1st Prologue Olympia's Tour
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Team time trial, Commonwealth Games
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG National Hill Climb Championships
1st Chrono des Nations
1st Duo Normand (with Laurent Bezault)
1st Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
2nd Firenze–Pistoia
4th Grand Prix des Nations
1st Jersey rainbow chrono.svg Time trial, UCI Road World Championships
Tour de France
1st Prologue
Held Jersey yellow.svg after Prologue–Stage 2
Held Jersey green.svg after Prologue
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Prologue & Stages 3 (ITT) & 7
Vuelta a Murcia
1st Prologue & Stage 5 (ITT)
1st Stage 6 (ITT) Tour de Suisse
2nd Circuit de l'Aulne
3rd GP Karlsruhe (with Pascal Lance)
4th Overall Tour de l'Oise
6th Grand Prix des Nations
10th Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
1st Stage 4 (ITT) Four Days of Dunkirk
2nd Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Prologue
2nd Overall Tour de Picardie
1st Stage 3b (ITT)
6th Trophée des Grimpeurs
10th Overall Grand Prix du Midi Libre
1st Stage 6 (ITT)
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Critérium International
1st Chrono des Herbiers
1st Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
1st Grand Prix des Nations
1st Duo Normand (with Paul Manning)
1st LuK Challenge Chrono (with Uwe Peschel)
1st Stage 3 (ITT) Four Days of Dunkirk
1st Stage 2a Route du Sud
2nd Silver medal blank.svg Time trial, UCI Road World Championships
3rd Bronze medal olympic.svg Time trial, Olympic Games
3rd Overall Paris–Nice
1st Stage 8b (ITT)
3rd Overall Tour de l'Oise
4th Overall Grand Prix du Midi Libre
5th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Prologue
7th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
Tour de France
1st Prologue
Held Jersey yellow.svg after Prologue–Stage 2
Held Jersey green.svg after Prologue
Volta a Catalunya
1st Stages 1b (ITT) & 5 (ITT)
1st Prologue Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Stage 5b (ITT) Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana
2nd Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Prologue & Stage 6 (ITT)
2nd Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Time trial, UCI Road World Championships
3rd Grand Prix des Nations
5th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
10th Overall À travers Lausanne
Tour de France
1st Prologue
Held Jersey yellow.svg after Prologue–Stage 1
Held Jersey green.svg after Prologue
Volta a Catalunya
1st Prologue & Stage 5 (ITT)
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st Prologue & Stage 4 (ITT)
1st Stage 5b Tour de l'Ain
2nd Overall Prutour
1st Prologue & Stage 1
4th Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
8th Chrono des Herbiers
1st GP Karlsruhe (with Jens Voigt)
1st Duo Normand (with Jens Voigt)
1st LuK Challenge Chrono (with Jens Voigt)
1st Prologue Paris–Nice
1st Stage 3 (ITT) Critérium International
1st Stage 2b (ITT) Prutour
2nd Grand Prix des Nations
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Time trial, UCI Road World Championships
3rd Grand Prix Eddy Merckx (with Jens Voigt)
6th Chrono des Herbiers
8th Overall Circuit de la Sarthe
2nd Grand Prix Eddy Merckx (with Jens Voigt)
4th Time trial, UCI Road World Championships
8th Overall Circuit de la Sarthe
8th Grand Prix des Nations

Grand Tour general classification results timeline

Grand Tour 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
A pink jersey Giro d'Italia
A yellow jersey Tour de France DNF DNF 39 DNF DNF 119
A yellow jersey/A red jersey Vuelta a España DNF DNF
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish


3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Team pursuit, Commonwealth Games
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG Individual pursuit, National Amateur Track Championships
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Team pursuit, Commonwealth Games
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG Individual pursuit, National Amateur Track Championships
1st Gold medal olympic.svg Individual pursuit, Olympic Games
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG Individual pursuit, National Amateur Track Championships
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Individual pursuit, UCI Track World Championships
1st Jersey rainbow.svg Individual pursuit, UCI Track World Championships
1st Jersey rainbow.svg Individual pursuit, UCI Track World Championships

World records

Discipline Record Date Event Velodrome Track Ref
4 km individual pursuit 4:27.357 27 July 1992 Olympic Games D'Horta (Barcelona) Open air
4:24.496 27 July 1992
Hour record 52.270 km 23 July 1993 Bordeaux Indoor
4 km individual pursuit 4:13.353 28 August 1996 World Championships Manchester
4:11.114 29 August 1996
Hour record 56.375 km 6 September 1996
49.441 km 27 October 2000

Awards and honours

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Chris Boardman para niños

  • List of British cyclists
  • List of British cyclists who have led the Tour de France general classification
  • List of Olympic medalists in cycling (men)
  • World record progression track cycling – Men's individual pursuit
  • Yellow jersey statistics
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