Monday 21 November 2011

Daily Cycling Facts 21.11.11

Jimmy Michael, 1877-1904
Today is the anniversary of the death of 1895 World "Stayers" Cycling Champion Jimmy Michael, born in Aberaman, Wales in 1877. Standing just five feet and one and a half inches tall (156.2cm), the crowds laughed when he first took part in races, but rapidly fell silent once it became clear that he was a cyclist of remarkable prowess, beating far more experienced and physically larger riders. His fame spread and, by 1896, 22,000 French fans turned out to watch him race in Paris. Sadly, Michael lost his winnings through gambling and developed a drinking problem. He was just 27 years old when he died in 1904.

Danielle King, the Southampton-born British rider who formed part of the winning Team Pursuit events at the World (Elite) and European Track (Elite and Under-23) Championships in 2011, is 21 today. Happy birthday, Dani!

Antonio Karmany Mestres was born on this day 1934 in Sant Joan, Spain. He won Stage 2 in the 1959 Vuelta a Espana, then another stage and the Mountains Classification as well as coming 4th overall in 1960. A year later, he took Stage 15, won the Mountains again and came 8th overall. In 1962, he won the Mountains for a third time.

Mattei Pelucchi, born this day in 1989 in Guissano, Italy, rode with Geox-TMC in 2011. At the end of the season, Geox suddenly announced that they'd be ending their sponsorshop, leaving the team members frantically searching for new contracts. Europcar have announced that Pelucchi will ride with them in 2012.

Happy birthday to Cornelius "Cees" Bal, the Dutch cyclist who won the Tour of Flanders in 1974 and built up an impressive palmares during his ten-year professional career. He was born in 1951 on Kwadendamme.

Happy birthday to Serge Pauwels, the Belgian rider currently with Team Sky, born in 1983 in Lier.

Another happy birthday to Luc Jones, the Welsh 200m track champ, born on this day in 1991.

Rob Hayles, who rides with Team GB on track and Endura on road, was born today in 1973 in Portsmouth. His best year was 2008 - though he was pulled out of the World Track Championships and suspended for two weeks following a blood test that revealed a haematocrit reading 0.3% over the legal limit, he later became National Road Race Champion.

On this day in 2008 it emerged that despite his election promise to turn London into "a city of cyclists," mayor Boris Johnson had provided just 25% of the funds London boroughs needed in order to bring cycling infrastructure up to scratch.

On this day in 2007, Floyd Landis appealed to the Court for Arbitration in Sport to have his two-year ban for doping overturned. The appeal was unsuccessful and, on the 10th of November 2011, he was convicted of hacking into CAS computers in an attempt to destroy evidence against him and received a one-year suspended jail sentence.

Other births: Graeme Jose (Australia, 1951, died 1973); Harry Ryan (Great Britain, 1893, died 1961); Urs Güller (Switzerland, 1967); Jørgen Frank Rasmussen (Denmark, 1930); Cristian Moreni (Italy, 1972); Victor Georgescu (Romania, 1932); Jamil Suaiden (Brazil, 1972); Allan Juel Larsen (Denmark, 1931); Liubomir Polataiko (Ukraine, 1979); Oleg Tonoritchi (Moldova, 1973); Elisabeth Osl (Austria, 1985); Unai Etxebarría (Venezuela, 1972); Mark Kane (Ireland, 1970); Kozo Fujita (Japan, 1967); Fabio Parra (Colombia, 1959).

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