Graham MacNamee (known by all who encountered him simply as ‘Mac’) competed and contributed to British Cycling for nearly 60 years. Mac never stopped work, he passionately believed that everyone should have a chance and always went above and beyond whether you were a future Olympian or a local club athlete – or where is the nearest mini pump-track for your 3 year old with her first pedal bike. He was always the first person to arrive and the last to leave an event even in the worst weather his enthusiasm was infectious.
Mac was a member of the Twickenham Cycling Club from 1960 and remained loyal to this club alone. In this time he held positions of Club Coach, Women’s and Junior’s Team Manager, Chairman and President. He was also a volunteer BC Ride Leader and Club Run Leader. Always willing to chip in where needed to ensure the success of club events, he was running weekly club turbo and cyclo-cross coaching sessions until his untimely death in December 2019.
Prior to this he had a successful road career in 1960s and 70s gaining 100 wins as a 1st cat rider, including the All-London Championships, the UCI Letchworth Grand Prix, the Gillette GP and a stage of the Tour de la Manche, Normandy. He was a GB rider in the Tour of Britain, rode the Tour of Ireland five times, and was 5th in the National Team Time Trial 5 years’ running (in the role of Coach/Rider).
Mac started coaching in 1989 and in 2001 he joined British Cycling as a full-time Talent Coach, identifying and bringing on young riders such as Corinne Hall, Sandy King and Dani King. His sessions included riders of the calibre of Chris Hoy and Mark Cavendish.
In 2006 Mac transferred to the role of Regional Development Coach (Central) where he stayed until 2018, reluctantly retiring age 76. It was difficult to judge where Mac’s professional work ended and his voluntary coaching started as they blended together, but he regularly exceeded targets achieved by any coach, and committed very long hours. His focus was on the growth of young people in cycle sport in schools, community and the Go-Ride clubs. He made huge inroads into bringing more riders, especially women and girls, into the sport through specific coaching sessions, Race Orientation and Development Days.
Long-standing TCC member Crissy Harris (pictured above with Mac) gives this memory:
Back in 2007, Mac took on 9 ladies and created the first Women’s race team at the Club. He took us through the training required to compete in the Womens Team Series – an event where we just missed out on taking the overall trophy. On a rainy weekend in Nottingham at an early stage of the competition he introduced two schoolgirls to the team, he had found them at a school event a year or so previously and wanted to give them a shot. One of them, Dani King, won that day, the other, Corinne Hall, podiumed; both of them have gone on to compete at the highest level. I was out the back in the rain, Mac was still waiting for me at the line when I finally crossed it.