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Tokyo 2020 Olympics: 'If you want to keep sniping then give me a call' - British Cycling chief challenges critics after Tokyo success

Opportunity for students to hear a FREE talk by former Head of Technology at British Cycling

The GB Team's Track Bike For The Tokyo Olympics – 6 December 2023, ARU

We are delighted to announce that one of the UK's foremost engineers, Professor Tony Purnell, has agreed to give a special presentation for schools and students (and parents). The Team GB track bicycle for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics caused a stir on its announcement. Its wide forks and unusual titanium-carbon frame were a radical departure from convention. Tony, former Head of Technology at British Cycling, will talk about how engineering helped Great Britain top the cycling medal table at the Tokyo Olympics.

The talk will take place from 2pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 6th December at Anglia Ruskin University. We would suggest that it is especially suitable for students aged 11+ with interests in Science, Engineering or Sport.

DUE TO SELL-OUT DEMAND, Prof Purnell has kindly agreed to give a second edition of the talk at 5.30pm on the same day (replacing the previous talk scheduled for the evening). Members and the public are also welcome, subject to pre-booking.

To register your interest, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating approximately how many people you would like to bring.

Among other accomplishments in a prolific career, Tony was responsible for the design of the 2020 bike. In this talk he will share some of the revolutionary features and technical challenges that enabled the team's success. Reflecting on the development of this bike and some other innovations he has been responsible for, Tony will ask the question ‘Can innovation be forced?’.

Students will have the opportunity to ask about Tony's life as an Engineer and how they can progress, through school, university, or apprenticeships to help deliver the technology we will need to address the many challenges that we face.

Students, of all ages, are of course also welcome to come to Tony's evening talk on the subject of his latest work - "Cleaning Up Aviation".

Professor Tony Purnell FREng, FRSA was Head of Technical Development at British Cycling, where he worked across all aspects of technology – from improving data analysis to assisting the coaches with the development of organisational software and tools to optimise rider performance. Tony Purnell is Visiting Professor at Cambridge University Engineering Department, and an Honorary Fellow at Trinity Hall Cambridge. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University and a masters at MIT as a Kennedy Scholar. His dissertation was on Formula One aerodynamics. He founded Pi Research, was principal of the Jaguar and Red Bull Formula One teams and a technical consultant to the FIA and IndyCar Series.

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