Who is Roger Hammond? While some of our original fans will fondly remember his exploits, his return to manage Madison Genesis gives us the chance to remind ourselves of why he’s considered a legend of British cycling.
One of the last British cyclists to follow a now seemingly mythical pathway of turning professional, Hammond’s grounding included gaining a degree at Brunel University, sleeping in the back of a Vauxhall Nova and living with unknown Belgian families. All while trying to figure out how to win bike races and win a pro contract.
And when he did eventually make it, friends and family still asked what his real job was.
Such a time seems unimaginable in an era when cycling has become a mainstream sport, with British winners of all three grand tours and the establishment of a route to the top table of pro cycling.
Here are Hammond’s top-five career landmarks as a pro rider, before he went on to help establish and manage Madison Genesis (2012-2015) and then serve as directeur sportif for Dimension Data (2016-2018).
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPION
Hammond’s most famous victory came in 1992 as he became junior cyclo-cross world champion.
It was the moment Hammond credited to instilling his belief that cycling was the thing that he could become the best in the world at.
12 years later and Hammond would enjoy a career-defining season, starting with third ahead of a certain Fabian Cancellara at Paris Roubaix.
Part of the leading group, a small miscalculation cost him the win and haunted Hammond for years.
In 2004 Hammond would go on to place third at Dwars door Vlaanderen and GP Rudy Dhaenens, sixth at Ghent Wevelgem and seventh at the Athens Olympic Games.
TOUR OF BRITAIN STAGE VICTORY
Sprinting into Carlisle, Hammond won stage two of the 2005 Tour of Britain.
In a British 1-2-3, a 31-year-old Hammond beat Rob Sharman and a certain Mark Cavendish, who was still three years off of winning his first Tour de France stage.
Six years after his podium appearance, Hammond again featured at the front of Roubaix, outsprinting Tom Boonen for fourth place in the 2010 edition.
Out front and producing one of the greatest Roubaix victories of all time was the man Hammond beat back in 2004 – Fabian Cancellara.
TEN TIME BRITISH CHAMPION
From 1994 to 2008, Hammond would wear the British champions’ stripes ten times.
Back-to-back British road race champion in 2003 and 2004, his eight other titles came in cyclo-cross.
His final victory came in 2008 – the year in which Ian Bibby took the under-23 title.
Bibby would go on to ride for Hammond at Madison Genesis, where he recorded the team’s first ever victory in 2013.