Updated: Jun 7
The company vision at Haftner Bouclier is to have a part in paving the way for the present and future generations of road cycling. One complication with this vision is that not enough brands support athletes that require a boost. Many niches within road cycling presently need help and support, we believe those are the women's cycling groups, youth groups, and other smaller markets such as para-cycling. Far too often, brands place a primary focus on the largest groups within cycling and completely neglect all other demographics. The vision of Haftner Bouclier is not only inclusive, it is developmental. By supporting the smaller demographics within road cycling, the foundation becomes healthier and the community grows together. Therefore, Haftner Bouclier specifically seeks out and targets rich talent that fit the vision and goals of the company. Today we are putting the spotlight on one of our most talented athletes, Simon Richardson MBE.
Beginning at the peak, in 2008 Simon broke the 1k world record in the 3k, and nearly broke the 3k world record. Within the same year, Simon rode as a guest rider for the British Paralympics team and won gold in both 1k and 3k, plus a world record in both. Later, Simon won silver in the road time trials, then worked as a domestique in the road race wherein his team won gold and he achieved 10th place. Needless to say, Simon forever earned his title as a notable athlete and deserves the respect of the cycling community.
Simon Richardson began cycling in 1998 as a means to get his life back on track after a motorcycle scare, picking up his first-time trial bike the next year. One year later, in 2000, he began competing in local time trials and other cycling events. Tragically, in 2001 his cycling career took a downward turn after an accident involving a vehicle at high speeds whilst training for an event. He was rushed to the hospital and evaluated, diagnosed with a broken leg which required 10 weeks of recovery. Simon began racing again soon after. Sometime after resuming cycling, Simon noted back pain and sought the advice of a specialist who diagnosed a broken back stemming back to the accident. The racing season finished early, requiring 6 months of recovery for the broken back and additional time for rehabilitation.
The return to cycling was gradual, as Simon picked up a turbo trainer in 2003 but was still not fully recovered. Another back operation was necessary, this one requiring even more time to recover from. In 2005, Simon again tried a return to cycling by using a turbo trainer but still had complications with the left side of his body and a lot of unusual weakness. The next year, a friend introduced Simon to his local velodrome, which was his first experience with track cycling. One of the local coaches was watching Simon riding, noting the weakness in his left side, and suggested that he meet with a disabled cycling coach in Manchester for a professional opinion. The coach classified Simon as disabled, and that year began both disabled and able-bodied racing.
In 2007, Simon was invited to join the British team as a guest rider to race across Europe, eventually leading up to the World Championships. The good news is that, as Simon rode more, he began to regain some strength and ability, along with learning more about the sport. One year later, Simon broke several world records, attained two gold medals, and silver. This was the peak of his cycling career, but it was not supposed to. The next year, Simon officially rode for the British team throughout Europe. From 2010 to 2011, Simon was racing nearly every weekend. However, in 2011, a drunk driver struck Simon from behind and left him on the side of the road for dead. The injuries were far greater than all other traumatic events combined, requiring being placed into a medically-induced coma for 15 days while undergoing operation and treatment.
Six years later, in 2017, Simon resumed riding at a training camp in Spain. However, the progress was not as good as it seemed. Simon suffered from a transient ischemic attack (TiA, mini-stroke) whist training at the camp. Complications began compounding. Problems with his blood, stomach operations, more back operations to fix rods that snapped in 2019, and more. Now, towards the end of 2020, Simon says, "That is all healed now and I am training again." He has resumed training, noting Zwift rides posted periodically through social media. One thing Simon says that stands out, in particular, is, "Even being a bit old, age does not matter as long as you are fast." He has laid out some hefty goals for 2021 which include -- Disabled national track events, disabled national TT and RR events, disabled national TT series 6 events (which he has won 3 times in a row before 2011), disabled road events, disabled Europe cup events with the hopes of making it to the Tokyo Paralympics, and the virtual Race Across Europe on Zwift.
You can read more about Simon and his journey on his official website.