Chris Hoy was born in Edinburgh on this day in 1975 and, as well as being the first British athlete to win three Olympic gold medals in a single year since 1908 (Henry Taylor the swimmer, fact fans!), is the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time.
(image credit: Nick J Webb CC BY 2.0)
Hoy's medals to date include nine gold, six silver and five bronze in World Championships, four gold and one silver at the Olympics and two gold and two bronze at the Commonwealth Games. He was selected as the BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year in 2003 and 2008, the the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 - he was the first cyclist to win the award since Tom Simpson in 1965. He has also been awarded an MBE, thus becoming Sir Chris Hoy (but here at Cyclopunk, we don't observe such archaic traditions and so prefer to call his Chris Hoy) and is a Knight Bachelor. There is a velodrome in Glasgow and a train operated by SouthEastern railways named after him.
|Michela Fanini, 1973-1994|
Hossein Askari, born in Khomein, Iran on this day in 1975, won his National Individual Time Trial Championships in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. He also won the General Classification at the Tour of Indonesia in 2005, the Azerbaijan Tour in 2007 and 2008, the UAE International Emirates Post Tour in 2008 and the President Tour of Iran and the Tour of Qinghai Lake in 2010. Now aged 37, he continues to ride for the Tabriz Petrochemical Team, one of the most respected on the Middle Eastern and Asian cycling scenes.
Danny Pate, born in Colorado Springs on this day in 1979, was Junior National Cyclo Cross Champion in 1997, Under-23 National Road Race Champion in 1998 and Under-23 World Time Trial Champion in 2001. He was 3rd in Stage 15 at the 2008 Tour de France, then 3rd in Stage 18 at the Giro d'Italia and in the overall General Classification of the Critérium International in 2009. For 2012, he will ride with the British-based Team Sky.
Óscar Vargas, born on this day in 1964 in Urrao, Columbia, was professional between 1985 and 1985. In 1989, he came 3rd in the General Classification and won the King of the Mountains at the Vuelta a Espana.
Damian McDonald was an Australian cyclist born on the 12th of May 1972 who won a gold medal in the 2004 Commonwealth Games. He died on this day in 2007 in the Burnley Tunnel Explosion that occurred after a crash and fire in the Melbourne tunnel.
On this day in 1975, tandem cyclists Veronica and Colin Scargill completed their 29,000km trip around the world.
On this day in 2011, seven Estonian cyclists were kidnapped by an armed criminal group shortly after crossing the border from Syria into Lebanon. There are many theories as to who the group were, ranging from an anti-Israeli group responding to the arrest of Palestinian engineer and suspected manufacturer of Hamas' Qassam rockets Dirar Abu Seesi a few weeks earlier to a local drugs gang hoping to make money by ransoming them. Following their release 113 days later, the cyclists described the captors as "Islamic extremists with Kalashnikovs" and said that the men had demanded to know if they were either Jewish or Danish. When released, they were underweight but otherwise in good health.
Albert Dejonghe, who was born in Middelkerke, Belgium on the 14th of February 1894, winner of Stage 4 at the Tour de France the following year, then finish in 5th place at the 1925 Tour and 6th in 1926, died in the city of his birth on this day in 1981.
Other births: Mark Cassidy (Ireland, 1985); Armido Rizzetto (Italy, 1893); Kamil Kuczyński (Poland, 1985); Carlos Alzate (Colombia, 1983); Ivan Popov (Bulgaria, 1951); Katie Mactier (Australia, 1975); François Verstraeten (Belgium, 1887, died 1965); Yu Kau Wai (Hong Kong, 1965); Guglielmo Segato (Italy, 1906, died 1979); Cenobio Ruiz (Mexico, 1934); Wi Gyeong-Yong (South Korea, 1940); Unni Larsen (Norway, 1959); Denis Dmitriyev (Russia, 1986); Jean-Pierre Muller (Luxembourg, 1910, died 1948); Pierre Gosselin (Belgium, 1932); Yovani López (Colombia, 1975); Sergio Salazar (Colombia, 1986); Franz Stocher (Austria, 1969); Ernst Nievergelt (Switzerland, 1910, died 1999); Bernardo Rimarim (Philippines, 1962); Jason Kenny (Great Britain, 1988); Marcel Ernzer (Luxembourg, 1926, died 2003); Verner Blaudzun (Denmark, died 1946).