A pursuit and points race specialist on the track, Chris Newton was a top junior rider and represented his country at the 1991 World Junior Championships. His senior championship début followed at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada where he was part of the English silver medal winning team in the team pursuit. Although a regular member of the British track team since the mid-90s and a competitor at the 1996 Olympics his first appearance on a global championship podium did not come until 2000 when he was part of the British team that won Olympic bronze. Newton won the points race at the 2002 World Championships and was one of the favourites for that event at the 2004 Olympics.
Mechanical problems ruined his tilt at the Olympic title in his individual event in Athens but he had the consolation of a silver in the team pursuit and in 2008 added a bronze in the last ever Olympic points race. He earned seven world championship medals (2 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze) during his career and won sixteen national track titles. As a road cyclist he was national time trial champion on two occasions and also won the Rás Tailteann in Ireland on two occasions.