John Atkins (cyclist)

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John Atkins
Personal information
Full name John Atkins
Born (1942-04-07) 7 April 1942 (age 75)
 United Kingdom
Team information
Discipline Cyclo-cross
Role Rider
Amateur team(s)
Professional team(s)
1968 Marsh and Baxter
1969 Carlton - Truwel
1970 Fred Baker
1971–1972 TI -Carlton
1973–1975 TI - Raleigh
1975–1979 Viscount - Shimano
1978–1979 Harry Quinn - Galli

John Atkins (born 7 April 1942[1]), is a British former racing cyclist specialising in cyclo-cross, and 12 times national cyclo-cross champion. He was a professional cyclist between 1968 and 1979.


Atkins was born in Coventry, the son of Edith and Roland (Ron) Atkins. His mother was a prolific breaker of long-distance cycling records in the 1950s.

John Atkins began cycling on the cleared areas and bomb sites that followed intensive bombing of Coventry in the Second World War. He started racing at 17.

He won his first national cyclo-cross championship in 1961 when he was 19. He was in a group of four and passed them by taking a longer route to the right around bushes where the others had ridden to the left.[2] It gave him a few seconds' lead that he held to the finish.

He won again in 1962 but was handicapped until 1966 by a stomach ulcer. He dominated cyclo-cross in Britain for the next 10 years.

He came fifth in the 1968 world championship, then turned professional for a sausage-maker, Marsh & Baxter. A year later he moved to Carlton Cycles for five years. He rode for Viscount-Shimano from 1975 to 1978 and then for Harry Quinn Cycles. He retired in 1979.

Atkins founded John Atkins Cycles in Coventry, now known as Coventry Cycle Centre.[3][4] After retiring from professional cycling, Atkins ran a cycle and toy shop in Pwllheli on the Llŷn Peninsula.



  1. ^ "Profile". The Cycling Website. 
  2. ^ "Coventry - John's Results". Ride Coventry. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  3. ^ "Coventry Cycle Centre". 
  4. ^ "John Atkins Cycles".