Jacques Anquetil won for a second time in 1961, then for a third in 1963 when he became the first man to have won that many times. Up until 1963, the race always started in Paris but it would move to other cities from this point onwards. Eddy Merckx won in 1969, starting off on the way to becoming the first man to achieve three consecutive victories - his last was on this day in 1971. The finish was moved to the Col d'Eze that year and would remain there until 1995, except for in 1977 when landslides on the col made it impossible for riders and team cars to get up there. Freddy Maertens won that year and Bernard Thevenet failed an anti-doping test (despite his earlier claim to "have never taken drugs; they wouldn't be any use") but escaped serious punishment and won the Tour de France later that year. Or at least, he thought he'd escaped punishment - the next year, after a series of poor results, he decided he'd better get checked out and was told that the steroids had done permanent, serious damage to his adrenal glands. He then became a vociferous opponent of doping.
(image credit: Eric Houdas CC BY-SA 3.0)
Alexandre Vinokourov, who is ethnically Russian but of Kazakh nationality became the first winner from his country in 2002. Laurent Fignon, who had owned the race for a number of years, sold it to the Amaury Sports Organisation, owners of the Tour de France, who retain ownership to this day. They changed the General Classification leader's jersey to yellow and white (and would drop the white in 2008) and the Points competition leader's jersey to green white, also introducing a Youth Classification for the first time and adding a blue and white jersey for that. The finish line was moved to Issy-les-Moulineaux and stayed there until 2007.
(image credit: James F. Perry CC BY-SA 3.0)
Lyne Bessette, born Lac Brome, Quebec on this day in 1975 and represented Canada in the Olympics of 2000 and 2004. Her first major success as a professional was the King of the Mountains at the 1999 Tour de Suisse Feminin, followed by the Tour de l'Aude and Redlands Classic the same year. In 2000, she won the Tour de Toona and the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, then the Women's Challenge in 2001 (she also won the Points competition and was second in the Mountains Classification, an extremely impressive achievement) along with the National Time Trial and Road Race Championships and both the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic and Tour de l'Aude for a second time.
A third Fitchburg Longsjo Classic (and the Sprints Classification) came in 2002 when she also won the Sea Otter Classic and came 2nd overall at La Flèche Wallonne, one of the most prestigious races on the women's cycling calendar. She won another Tour de Toona and came 2nd overall at the Tour de l'Aude a year later, then won for a third and final time at Toona in 2004, making her the most successful rider of either sex in the 25-year history of the race, and won the Nature Valley GP. Bassette's husband Tim Johnson is also a professional cyclist.
Russell Allen, born in Orwell, Ohio on this day in 1913, represented the USA in the 1932 Olympics, then turned professional for Schwinn and enjoyed a successful career on track until the Second World War when he first worked in defence and then joined the Navy, qualifying as a Petty Officer (2nd Class) and spending the rest of the war teaching swimming and survival skills.
He found employment as a car salesman after the war, retiring in 1962 and worked as a volunteer at the 1984 Olympics, more than a half a century after competing in them, and since then has devoted his life to charities that organise trips for disadvanted children to sporting events. He would regularly complete rides of 100km in his late 80s and is still cycling at the time of writing, though he had to give up bungee jumping at the age of 93 in 2006. That same year, he became the oldest American Olympian.
|Kate Sheppard, cyclist and suffragist,|
In the 1880s, Sheppard became involved with the suffrage movement, partly due to her support for temperance (women in the 19th Century drank far less than men, leading to female temperance activists supporting women's suffrage out of a belief that women would drive stricter alcohol regulations through parliament) and is recognised as one of the leading lights of the cause; playing an important role in the struggle that led to New Zealand becoming the first self-governing nation to grant the vote to all women over the age of 21 in 1893 (Great Britain wouldn't catch up until 1928). In common with many feminists and suffragists, she was passionate about cycling and saw the bicycle as a means to emancipate women, providing them with the ability to travel independently and of their own free will, becoming one of the first female cyclists in New Zealand and joining the Atalanta Cycling Club in 1892.
Sheppard died on the 13th of July, 1934 and is buried in Addington Cemetery in Christchurch. The house she built and lived in with her husband Walter still stands at 83 Clyde Road, around 4km from her grave.
|Ezquerra was first to the top of the Cols du Télégraph and|
Galibier in 1934
Other births: Luke Rowe (Wales, 1990); Miloš Jelínek (Czechoslovakia, 1947); Choi In-Ae (North Korea, 1969); Enzo Frisoni (San Marino, 1947); Anders Jarl (Sweden, 1965); Māris Štrombergs (Latvia, 1987); Tamás Csathó (Hungary, 1956); Gustaf Westerberg (Sweden, 1884, died 1955); Masashi Omiya (Japan, 1938); Grimon Langson (Malawi, 1955); Suriyong Hemint (Thailand, 1948); Andris Reiss (Latvia, 1978); Sanji Inoue (Japan, 1948); Rodolfo Vitela (Mexico, 1949); Lew Elder (Canada, 1905, died 1971); László Mahó (Hungary, 1941).