A hero’s welcome was awaiting Olympic champion Ed Clancy when he arrived back in Holmbridge after landing a gold medal at the Rio games.
The 31-year-old cyclist, who won the ultimate prize in the men’s team pursuit in Brazil, has been welcomed back with open arms - and says the experience has been really special.
He said: “Everywhere we’ve gone the reception has been unbelievable.
“But obviously you get recognised a lot more in your home village.
“When I got back, the gate was decorated with banners and my postbox was full of congratulations cards.
“And everyone’s been coming up wanting to see the medals and saying how much they enjoyed it all.
“So this has definitely been a very special one.”
Ed is Yorkshire’s most decorated Olympic medallist, beating even London 2012 superstar Jessica Ennis-Hill.
He described his Rio gold, the third of his career, as ‘the best of the lot’.
He said: “Truth be told, we haven’t won a great deal between the London Olympics and now, and we have had some big downs.
“Crossing the line a second ahead of the Aussies made every single pedal rev and every training sesson worthwhile.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins was full of praise for his teammate, saying: “Ed and Steven Burke, for me, are two of the most underrated athletes I have ever raced with.
“They are so talented at what they do and they don’t get the credit for it because they are not the big road stars.”
Ed’s proud family were in tears as they watched him win his gold medal.
And thanks to his success, he and his teammate Owain Doull were mobbed after landing back at Manchester Airport along with record-breaker Jason Kenny last week.
Ed says he’s been stunned at the reception.
He said: “It’s really great to be home.
“It was a long time away with all the camps as well so it’s been great to see everyone.”
He has been based at the National Cycling Centre in Clayton, dubbed the ‘Medal factory’ for more than a decade.
He spent several years living around Manchester before moving back home to Yorkshire.
He said: “Obviously Manchester is a is a really lively city and there’s always loads going on.
“But I always knew I’d move back home.”
Ed, who spent the year in the build-up to the games battling a crippling back injury, is set to jet off on holiday to Lake Como with his girlfriend but he gets back in training.
He is racing back on the track in the UK at Revolution in Manchester on September 17. Tickets are available now: www.cyclingrevolution.com