Cwmcarn Paragon Cycling Club was founded in 1932 with the first General Meeting being held at the Premises of Messrs Grist, Newport Road, on 17th October 1933.
The meeting was attended by 23 members who elected L. J. Thompson as chairman and T. J. Garland as captain. The club grew in strength throughout the 1930’s, building the first HQ by May 1936 at Brooklands near the bottom of Factory Trip, Cwmcarn.
The club remained steady throughout the war years of 1939-45 then, in 1947, the success rate began with riders such as Trevor West, Jack James, Jack Hatfield and the Carpenter brothers, Ted and Mel, winning many Welsh championships and gaining Welsh records on road and track.
In 1948, Ted Harry became the first to win all four Welsh Track championships in one year; quarter, half, 1 and 5 miles. The successes kept coming through the 1950s and 1960s then, in 1970, John Hatfield was selected to represent Wales at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games where he won bronze in the 1000m tandem sprint. He was then selected for the Great Britain Team at the World Championships. John was again selected for the Christchurch Games, New Zealand, in 1974 wh ere he given the honour of captaining the team and leading the team out as flag bearer.
In 1976, the club members demolished the club room in order to construct our current building at the entrance to, what has become, the world famous mountain bike centre of Cwmcarn Forest Drive. Mark Westwood was selected for the 1986 Commonwealth Games, again held in Edinburgh, which heralded one of the clubs strongest periods of membership growth and success. The club attracted two sponsors and saw riders consistently winning on the road, track and in the new discipline of mountain biking. Juvenile and Junior success was most notable during the 1990’s. Anthony Malarczyk, Darren Tudor and David Bees were all selected for the British team along with national successes for Paul Sheppard in the juvenile pursuit and Paul also attended the World Junior Road Race Championship (1993) and Junior 20km (1995) and Megan Hughes (now Mrs. Backstedt) winning bronze at the World Junior Track champs. Off road, Tim Williams represented Great Britain at the world downhill championships in Germany in 1995 and Australia in 1996 and won the British title along the way. By 1998, the membership had swelled to over 120 with some excellent senior success. For that year’s Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Cwmcarn supplied 5 riders plus several others who had ridden for the club prior to gaining sponsorship deals elsewhere. Paul Sheppard, Chris Williams, Paul Esposti, Anthony Malarczyk and Megan Hughes were joined by Matt Postle and Julian Winn, along with team Mechanic and club sponsor, Martyn Ashfield. In 2001 Paul Sheppard became Welsh National Road Race Champion. Paul Sheppard and Anthony Malarczyk were selected again for the Manchester Games of 2002, with Anthony ending a strong road career by winning the British Masters MTB title in 2005.
In 2008 Martyn Ashfield, Tony Carpenter and Stuart Macdonald were all part of British Cycling’s performance structure in technical or coaching positions, while Darren Tudor was the British Junior Men’s Coach. As in the 1990s, Junior and juvenile riders formed a big part of the clubs success with Andrew Williams and Sam Harrison winning national titles, medals and British selection ably backed up by Mathew Jones and Jack Llewellyn with Robbie Westwood who followed his Father to Cwmcarn.
Whatever your cycling discipline, pop down the club….you’ll be sure to meet cyclists with similar interests.