|Lucien Buysse, 1892-1980|
During Stage 3 at the 1926 Tour, Buysse received news that his daughter had died. His immediate instinct was to leave the race and return home; but his family insisted he continued, realising that if her father could win a stage dedicate his victory to her it would make a very fine memorial indeed.
Stage 10 was billed as the hardest in the history of the Tour. It began at midnight and, by 18:00, only ten men had arrived at the finish line. Possibly fearing that Desgrange's early concerns that riders in the Pyrenees were at risk of being eaten by bears, the organisers sent out cars in search of the missing men and began finding them, in various states of exhaustion, strung out along the route. A full 24 hours after the stage had begun, 47 of the 76 starters had crossed the line, at which point it was decided that all riders would be permitted an extra 40% of the winning time (6 hours and 48 minutes) in which to finish as the standard cut-off time in which all riders must finish in order to escape disqualification would leave a field so depleted it would reduce competition; the remaining 22 - incredibly, only one rider had abandoned - being disqualified. The stage had been so difficult that judges had turned a blind eye when some of the riders had arrived at the end of the stage by bus and when a member of the public confessed that he had carried some riders to the finish line in his car but insisted they'd been in such a poor state he had done so through altruism rather than for financial gain, officials declined to disqualify the riders - and paid the man for helping them.
|Buysse on Tourmalet|
(image: CC BY-SA 3.0)
Legendary Italian frame builder Giovanni Pelizzoli was born in Curno on this day in 1942. The son of a bike mechanic, he began racing at the age of 14 and achieved good results but always dreamed of building bikes rather than racing them. He became manager of a junior team whilst still a teenager and managed to land an apprenticeship with an artisan frame builder in Bergamo, where he learned his craft and in 1969 set up his own workshop building bikes under his CIÖCC brand, while also working as a mechanic for the GS Zonca team, then home to Gianni Motta. In 1977, Claudio Corti won a World Cup aboard a CIÖCC bike.
|Pelizzoli's hand-built frames combine the best of old and|
modern production techniques.
Other birthdays: Kevin Morgan (Australia, 1948); Les Wilson (Great Britain, 1926, died 20.01.2006); Morgan Schmitt (United Healthcare, born USA, 1985); Álvaro González de Galdeano (Spain, 1970); Robert Oliver (New Zealand, 1950); Ross Edgar (Team Sky, born UK, 1983, winner of National Team Sprint Championships in 2010); Ján Lepka (Slovakia, 1977); Vittorio Algeri (Italy, 1955); Juan Carlos Haedo (Argentina, 1948, father of Saxobank rider and 2011 Vuelta a Espana stage winner Juan José Haedo); Ole Byriel (Denmark, 1958); Karel Paar (Czechoslovakia, 1945); Gino Lori (Italy, 1956); Arturo Cambroni (Mexico, 1953); Ceris Gilfillan (Scotland, 1980); Marcel Gobillot (born France 1900, died 12.01.1991, won gold at 1920 Olympics); Angie González (Venezuela, 1981).
Tomorrow: David Millar, one of cycling's most irrepressible characters and probably the brightest mind in the modern peloton.