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Halifax man wins cycling championships for 10th year

Retired firefighter Paul Daly, who has won the Firefighters Mountainbike World Championship 10 times.

Retired firefighter Paul Daly, who has won the Firefighters Mountainbike World Championship 10 times.

Champion cyclist Paul Daly is celebrating winning the World Fire Service Mountain Bike Championships for an incredible tenth time.

The 61-year-old, from Halifax, first took part in the international race in 1996.

He now has all but one of his winning jerseys at his home, with the other in New Zealand with his grandson.

Paul, a retired firefighter, won the race for the first time in 2000 andcontinued to win for the next six consecutive years.

Disaster struck in 2007 while he was leading when his bike broke down, but he has gone on to win four more times.

In 2008, he considered hanging up his lycra, but he says now he is determined to defend his title and will be at next year’s race, which will be taking place in France.

“I think whoever wins the championships should earn it,” he said.

“They shouldn’t get it by someone else not turning up.”

He said winning the race is always a great feeling.

“Wearing your rainbow jersey and standing on a podium while the national anthem is played, it is very special.”

He said his success is down to hours of training.

“It’s the same with any sport,” he said. “You get back what you put in.

“It’s just hard work and dedication.”

He added he thinks the London 2012 Olympics and wins by by British athletes such as Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton have shown how strong the British scene cycling is .

Paul spent 30 years with West Yorkshire Fire Service, starting at Halifax Fire Station in 1973.

He retired as the service’s senior operations officer based at its headquarters in Birkenshaw.

The rest of his family are also sport. One of his grandsons plays for the Bradford Bulls and his daughter is a judo enthusiast.

 
 
 

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