The club was formed above Reg Braddick’s cycle shop in Broadway, Cardiff in 1948. Betty Braddick came up with the title AJAX, after the Greek God Ajax, meaning fleet of foot, so Cardiff Ajax it was and still is.
The club established itself during the 1950’s competing in time trials and closed circuit races. The club was fortunate to have some ‘fast’ men with good time trialling skills. One notable youngster, Bob Burns won the Best All Rounder competition at the age of 17, recording the fastest time over 50 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours. He was a good roadman too, and one had to think carefully before going up front with him on training rides. He had the knack of keeping his front wheel just ahead of yours and keeping level with him was impossible.
Also in that era and into the sixties was 25mile expert, Ray Richards. Ray excelled at 25 and 50mile time trials and chalked up many wins in open events. He became the main man in team awards, which in those days were keenly contested. Jimmy Mathers was a first rate roadman and rode the Tour of Britain.
The Ajax has always had more than its fair share of women riders….quite an attraction in those days. The Ajax top lady was June Bolt (later Mace). June went on the ride the Tour de Feminin in France. Supporting her in local time trials were Jean Campsie ( Vice –President),Winnie Daniels, Sylvia Hodge, Ann Pinkham and Dorothy (Trottie) Chase. Much later Trottie along with Jill Richards (Pring) rode a tough Audax, Bordeaux to Paris and both did so well they were feted in Paris.
A Young Roger Pratt (Picture Right, Rhigos in the Tour Of Britian) rode the Tour of Britain when it really did go round Britain; Roger rode against a very young Eddie Merckx at the Isle of Man races. He also made the Welsh team for the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.
As well as Roger several other Ajax members made the Games teams, Tony Hutchins at Melbourne, Neal Hodge at Edmonton, Mike Murphy at Edinboro’, Sally Hodge at Vancouver and Nicole Cooke at Sidney…..more about Sally and Nicole later. It should be remembered that our sadly departed Reg Braddick also went to the ‘Games’ in 1938. The team travelled by boat to Melbourne taking six weeks to arrive. Their road training was a quick bash up the road the road every time they docked on the way. Reg also won the British Road Champs in 1944.
During the 70’s and 80’s the Ajax members continued to enjoy the social side of the club with winter youth hostelling, interclub get together, Sully Christmas Dinner (still going strong) and of course the Annual Club Dinner with Prize Presentation. This included a star filled cabaret (club members) which always brought the house down, and even now ‘party games’ still provide light entertainment amongst the formality of prize giving.
1980’s onward and more Ajax Women
During the 80’s a pocket rocket called Sally Hodge (now Harlin) was developing a powerful sprinting technique which brought her many accolades; a bronze at Vancouver, Gold at Moscow, World Champion at Ghent and Olympic Games at Seoul and Barcelona plus many British Road Race Champs. As if that wasn’t good enough ,along came a tiny girl to ride Maindy track league, she wore the Ajax colours with pride a tenacity, making sure everyone knew her ambition…..to win an Olympic Gold Medal. She went on to win four Junior World Championships in three different disciplines, Commonwealth Games gold in Manchester, numerous road titles, World cup series wins and her dream Olympic Gold medal in Beijing 2008. We are proud to have played a part in Nicole’s success.
We are still based at Maindy Stadium and provide a full programme of cycling events throughout the year. Winter club runs, midweek rides, floodlit training nights, summer time trials, weekend racing on the road, track and time trials to provide a wide programme for everyone.
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