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Tony Yorke OBE: a great man behind the rise of para-cycling




Tony Yorke, who died this week at the age of 74, has left the world of para-cycling in mourning.

A qualified senior coach, Tony Yorke spent many years in coaching roles with British Cycling. It was in the 1990s that he became a major force behind cycling for the disabled and negotiations to integrate para-cycling into the British Cycling Federation.

Elected member of the International Paralympic Committee’s cycling commission in 1997, Tony Yorke’s enthusiasm and dedication were instrumental in the consequent formation of the UCI Para-cycling Commission, of which he was also a member. His never-ending efforts to bring the two federations together were rewarded in 2007 with the official transfer of governance of cycling to the UCI.

In 2009, Tony Yorke was awarded a Queen’s Honour, the OBE, for his services to Paralympic Sport. A year later be became a member of British Cycling’s Hall of Fame.

“Tony Yorke was instrumental in the integration of para-cycling into the UCI,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid. “His strong will and motivation has enabled this discipline to evolve and progress throughout the world. Para-cycling has lost a great man. Our thoughts also go to his family at this difficult time.”

Since the integration of para-cycling into the UCI, the UCI has established the Paracycling Road World Cup, with different rounds being held around the world each year. The enormous success and enthusiasm for the cycling events at this year’s 2012 London Paralympic Games, for which Tony Yorke lent his expertise, is another example of the status that para-cycling enjoys today.


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