CYCLING: Grantham’s Rod Ellingworth returns to town for talk and book signing

Rod Ellingworth (right) and world champion Mark Cavendish

Rod Ellingworth (right) and world champion Mark Cavendish

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The Grantham cyclist who helped mastermind Great Britain producing its first World Road Race Champion since 1965 is returning to town to talk about it all.

Honourary life member of Witham Wheelers, Rod Ellingworth coached Team GB and Mark Cavendish to win the coveted ‘rainbow jersey’ in 2011.

And now he has had a book published that details his progression from being a club rider in Grantham to becoming an integral part of both the British team and professional set-up, Team Sky – and that momentous day in Copenhagen two years ago.

Forty-one-year-old Rod will be signing copies of his book “Project Rainbow” at Grantham Library next Tuesday (October 29), between 5.45pm and 7.45pm, when he will also deliver his talk.

In the foreward to the book, world champion Cavendish states that his career-long mentor Rod is worthy of a knighthood for his achievements.

Following on from his early days with the Wheelers, through to his own semi-professional riding career, in the book Rod explains his rationale for the Olympic Academy he ran, and how his career advanced to take him, ‘Cav’ and Team GB to the pinnacle of the cycle racing world.

He writes: “When you think about it, when you go to a bike race it’s similar to going to war.

“I like the ethos of the Russian system or the army – that hardness, being a unit.

“My goal was to produce a crack squadron of riders, mentally drilled, trained like the SAS.”

Tickets for Rod’s talk and book signing are free and available from Grantham Library. “Project Rainbow” can be purchased on the night for a special cash only price of £16.