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Chris Boardman was the special guest at a Sheffield Hallam University event on 11 March to celebrate its research that has helped businesses to grow and develop.

The event, Fuelling the Knowledge Economy, celebrated the role the University has played in helping businesses such as Nestle, Rolls Royce, Network Rail and Adidas to develop tailored degree programmes and undertake special research projects.

The university recently announced it is an official supporter of the Grand Depart 2014, the three day spectacular that sees the world's greatest cycle race come to Yorkshire for the first time. Chris said the University's partnership with the Tour was "an excellent opportunity for the University to get so involved in such a special occasion."

Chris also spoke of his role in working with Sir David Brailsford to lay the foundations for an intricately detailed coaching and performance plan that led to a string of world champions and Olympic winners such as Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendelton.

In advance of the Athens Olympics in 2004, he led an expert team that he called the 'secret squirrel club', part of British Cycling responsible for the design and testing of new equipment.

The team conducted around 10,000 tests and experiments that contributed to GB Cycling becoming the most successful sports team Britain has ever had.

Chris Boardman with Sheffield Hallam Vice-Chancellor Professor Philip Jones
Students Sara Shortland, Matt Barr and Jess Russell at the sponsorship announcement launch
Chris Boardman on his way to gold on the track at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992

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Chris said: "Working with those guys was incredible, we collaborated across all the areas and the glue that held it all together was to keep it totally focused on those gold medals - that single ultimate goal."

Chris has worn the Tour de France yellow jersey on three occasions and still holds the record for the fastest time for the prologue stage of the Tour. 

He won Great Britain's first Olympic gold medal in cycling for 72 years at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

For press information: contact Ally Mogg in the University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email