The Cycling World Championships in Glasgow – the so-called ‘Super Worlds’ – felt like a mini-Olympics dedicated to everything on two wheels. Across 10 days at the start of August, every form of bike competition imaginable took place. Hardcore road racing fans found themselves fawning over the intricacies of artistic cycling, while mountain bikers were drawn into the thrills and spills of BMX. But what were the differences in demands between the 13 disciplines on display? From the raw power of the team sprint, to the technical ability to win freestyle BMX, what does it take to win the rainbow bands – and how do the pathways to success compare? Which is the hardest, which the scariest?
Here, we speak to gold medal winners across six different disciplines to find out what it takes to become a world champion in their particular cycling specialism. Kieran Reilly: freestyle BMX
Height: 5ft 3in
Weekly training volume: 10-15hr on bike, 6-10hr off bike
Raised: Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
Lives: Corby, Northamptonshire Rides for: Red Bull; GB Career highlights: Gold – Freestyle BMX, World Championships (2023) Instagram: kieranbmxreilly Growing up next to a skatepark in Gateshead, Kieran Reilly landed his first 720 – double 360º spins mid-air – aged 11. Just over a decade later he is a full-time, Red Bull-sponsored athlete and the newly crowned freestyle BMX world champion. How did you get started? When I was young, it was all about getting a bike […]