Friday, 2 March 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 02.03.12

Sean Kelly
Paris-Nice began on this day in 1986 (the earliest date it's ever started) when the start was in Paris - which, despite the name of the race, had last hosted the start in 1962. It was won by the Irishman Sean Kelly for the fifth time, this equaling Jacques Anquetil's record set in 1966. However, Kelly had won five times consecutively. Not only had no other rider managed to do that, he would also win for the following two years as well and become by far the most successful rider in this race of all time.

Max van Heeswijk, born in Hoensbroek, Belgium on this day in 1973, won Paris-Brussels in 2000, stages at several French and Benelux races, the Points Classification at the Vuelta a Andalucia and Danmark Rundt in 2004, wore the race leader's yellow jersey for one stage at the 2004 Vuelta a Espana and the leader of the Points classification's red jersey for two stages in the same race one year later.

On this day in 2011, Dominik Klemme won the GP Fina-Fayt-le-Franc, better known as Le Samyn. It was LeopardTrek's first victory.

Patrice Halgand, born in St-Nazaire, France on this day in 1974, turned professional in 1995 and won a few races on road and in cyclo cross including General Classification victories at the Vuelta Ciclista de Chile and Etoile de Bessèges in 1997, then made his name as one of only three Festina riders to be declared clean and emerge unscathed from 1998's notorious Festina Affair. He went on to win the Tour du Limousin in 2000, the Regio Tour International in 2001, Stage 10 at the Tour de France and a second Tour du Limousin in 2002 and a series of stages in other races prior to retirement in 2008.

Oscar Egg lugs
(image credit: Classic Lightweights UK)
Oscar Egg
Oscar Egg, born in Schlatt in Switzerland on this day in 1890, set three Hour Records at the Vélodrome Buffalo before the First World War. In the first, he covered 42.122km; in the second, 43.525km and in the third, 44.247km. The third record would remain unbroken for twenty-one years.

He won the Six Days of Chicago four times in 1914, 1915, 1923 and 1924 and became National Track Champion in 1916, the National Sprint Champion in 1926. In the intervening years, he also won the Six Days of Paris (1921, 1923) and the Six Days of Ghent (1922). Egg was also successful on the road: he won Stages  8, 10 and 11 in the Independents category (semi-professional riders who arranged and paid for their own food and board) at the 1911 Tour de France; the National Championship, Paris-Tours and Stages 4 and 5 at the 1914 Tour de France (now as a professional); Milano-Torino and Milano-Modena in 1917 and Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia in 1919.

Egg also invented the famous Oscar Egg Lug, a type of lug that was as strong as a conventional lug but far lighter and considerably more attractive. Today, the bikes he produced are among the most sought-after by collectors of vintage machines.

Sylwester Szmyd, born on this day in 1978 in the Polish town Bydgoszcz is one of the most respected climbing specialists of his generation. In 2009, he won Stage 5 of the Critérium du Dauphiné - a 154km route from Valance to the summit of cycling's holiest and deadliest mountain, Mont Ventoux.

Other births: Volodymyr Duma (Ukraine, 1972); Christian Faure (France, 1951); Louis Chaillot (France, 1914, died 1998); Madeleine Lindberg (Sweden, 1972); Jamie Richards (New Zealand, 1957); Komi Moreira (Togo, 1968); Ferdinand Vasserot (France, 1881, 1963); Roland Ströhm (Sweden, 1928); André Moes (Luxembourg, 1930); Dave Rowe (Great Britain, 1944); Jan Georg Iversen (Norway, 1956); Georg Johnsson (Sweden, 1902, died 1960); Mohamed El-Kemissi (Tunisia, 1931); Rob van den Wildenberg (Netherlands, 1982).

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