Before World War I, William Ormston of Polytechnic CC won the 1914 NCU quarter-, one- and 5-mile titles. When competitive racing resumed in 1919, he lost all three titles to Harry Ryan. Ormston was scheduled to compete in the 1914 World Championships at København, but a bad fall during the 5-mile Rhodes Cup at Fallowfield, Manchester, put him out of the saddle for some time. Ormston teamed up with the Kentish Wheelers rider Herbert Lee in 1919, and they beat the crack Polytechnic pair Harry Ryan and Thomas Lance in a three-lap tandem challenge. Ryan and Lance would become the 1920 Olympic champions, but Ormston and Lee failed to medal at those Games. Ormston was also originally selected for the 1920 Olympic sprint, but did not take part, and was replaced by the reserve, Lance. Ormston and Lee were the 1920 NCU 1-mile Tandem champions, but lost the title to Ryan and Thomas Harvey in 1921, and finished second to them when they attempted to regain the title the following year. However, at Paris in 1922, Ormston placed third in the amateur sprint at the World Championship, behind fellow countryman Thomas Johnson, and Maurice Peeters of the Netherlands. Ormston turned professional in 1923 and was selected as the official NCU representative in that year’s world Championships in Zürich.