Friday 15 June 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 15.06.12

The Giro d'Italia set off on this day in 1946, the first edition since the Second World War and latest start date in the history of the race. It covered 3,199km in 20 stages, three of them won by Fausto Coppi - however, he was not able to hold off Gino Bartali who led the race through the final six. This would be the last of Bartali's three Giro victories and his penultimate in a Grand Tour, as he won a second Tour de France the following year; but it marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. Stage 13 had to be stopped and cancelled when the race came under attack - stones were thrown at the peloton and shots fired into the air from the crowd.

Peter Kennaugh
Kennaugh at the Tour di Romandie, 2010
Born on this day in 1989 at Douglas on the Isle of Man,  Peter Kennaugh was a childhood friend of Mark Cavendish. Like Cav, Kennaugh began racing at a young age and competed in local BMX competitions from the age of 6; but he would later come to concentrate on track cycling and became World Scratch Race Junior Champion in 2006. The next year, he held the Junior National titles for Pursuit and Points and returned to road racing, winning the Junior National Championship for that too. In 2008, he won the Under-23 National Road Race title and then took the silver medal in the Elite class for good measure before making his first mark on the European road race scene with first place at the GP Capodarco criterium.

In 2009, Kennaugh won Stage 3 at the Baby Giro, then towards the end of the year announced that he would be riding as a professional in 2010 with the all-new British-based Team Sky (it was widely believed at that time that Cavendish would also join Sky for 2010; but as he explains in his autobiography he never had any intention of dishonouring his contract with Bob Stapleton's Highroad). He finished in second place behind Sky team mate Geraint Thomas at the Nationals that year, then made his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a Espana the next before the team left the race as a sign of respect for their soigneur Txema Gonzalez who died of sepsis during the event.

Kennaugh completed the Giro on his first attempt in 2011, then came third overall at the Route du Sud. He was also third at the National Championships behind team mates Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, later haring victory with the latter (and Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Andrew Tennant) after the British team won the Pursuit at the World Track Championships. In 2012, he has once again concentrated on track cycling in preparation for the London Olympics.

Yuliya Martisova
Yuliya Martisova, born in the USSR on this day in 1976, was third at the Russian National Road Race Championships in 2000 and second at the 2001 Trophée d’Or Féminin when only Edita Pucinskaite could beat her. She won the National Road Race title in 2005, 2007 and 2010 and was fifth at the World Championships in 2011, finishing behind Giorgia Bronzini, Marianne Vos, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Nicole Cooke - which is nothing to be ashamed about. At the end of 2011. Martisova announced that she would ride for Be Pink in 2012.

Marzio Bruseghin, born in Conegliano on this day in 1974, was Time Trial Champion of Italy in 2006 and won Stage 13 (an individual time trial) at the Giro d'Italia in 2007, also coming eighth overall. In 2008 he won Stage 10 (another ITT) and was third overall, later coming tenth overall at the Vuelta a Espana. That same year, he also completed the Tour de France - he was 27th overall, but completing all three Grand Tours in a single year is a major achievement and one that he shares with only 30 other riders. He completed both the Giro (ninth overall) and the Tour (80th overall) again in 2009, then came 22nd overall at the Vuelta in 2010 and 14th in 2011. At the 2012 Giro he finished in 17th place overall, suggesting that at the age of 37 his career was not over yet.

Chris Lillywhite, who was born in East Molesey, UK on this day in 1966, won the Milk Race (which is now known as the Tour of Britain) in 1993 and the Tom Simpson Memorial in 1994 and 1997. He competed for England at the Commonwealth Games in 1984, 1994 and 1998; in 1994 he was disqualified from the Men's Road Race after grabbing a hold of Australian Grant Rice's shorts and pulling him back in the final sprint. Lillywhite was a professional rider between 1987 and 1999, ending his career with the Linda McCartney team.

Other births: Ivan Vrba (Czechoslovakia, 1977); Bailón Becerra (Bolivia, 1966); Małgorzata Wysocka (Poland, 1979); Muhammad Shafi (Pakistan, 1933); Jo Ho-Seong (South Korea, 1974); No Yeom-Ju (South Korea, 1968); Jack Disney (USA, 1930); George Nayeja (Malawi, 1946); Ernest Meighan (Belize, 1971); Shue Ming-Shu (Taipei, 1940); Maksym Polishchuk (USSR, 1984); Fang Fen-Fang (Taipei, 1981); Jean Alexandre (Belgium, 1917).

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