Sunday, 4 November 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 04.11.2012

Dirk Demol
He may not have won Paris-Roubaix the most glorious way,
but win it he did - Dirk Demol's pavé
Dirk Demol, born in Kuurne, Belgium on this day in 1959, won Paris-Roubaix in 1988 after breaking away on the cobbles just outside Roubaix from a lead group made up of relatively unknown riders that had itself broken away from the peloton 27km into the race and then stayed out in front all the way without challenge.

It was, however, not a glorious victory. When he left the lead group, Thomas Wegmuller of KAS-Canal 10 went with him but then got a plastic bag entangled in his gears just as arrived at Roubaix. The team car came to his aid and a mechanic was able to remove the bag, but his gears still didn't work. Knowing that if he stopped to change bikes Demol would sprint away to certain victory, Wegmuller decided to carry on; Demol took full advantage of this by wheel-sucking him all the way to the velodrome and then accelerated away to win.

Born in Kuldīga, Latvia on this day in 1939, Emīlija Sonka won the Road Race at the 1964 World Championships at Salanches in France. She beat Galina Yudina, also riding for the USSR, and Rosa Sels of Belgium.

Uwe Peschel, who was born in Berlin on this day in 1968, won the National Individual Time Trial Championship in 2002 and was second at the World Individual Time Trial Championship a year later.

Born in Oyannax on this day in 1960, Éric Barone is a French cyclist who has set a number of downhill speed records and, at the time of writing, holds the World Records on gravel (172kph; set on Cerro Negro volcana, Nicaragua in 2002 - Barone crashed shortly after reaching the record speed and was badly injured) and on snow (222kph; set at Les Arcs, France in 2000).

Other cyclists born on this day: Wesley Kreder (Netherlands, 1990); John Otto (USA, 1900, died 1966); Lal Bakhsh (Pakistan, 1943); Evgeniya Radanova (Bulgaria, 1977); Leo Karner (Austria, 1952); Luis Díaz (Colombia, 1945); Jamie Wong (Hong Kong, 1986); Vasileios Reppas (Greece, 1988); Róbert Nagy (Slovakia, 1972); Lauri Aus (Estonia, 1970, died 2003); Federico Ramírez (Costa Rica, 1975); Ken Caves (Australia, 1926, died 1974); Ferenc Pelvássy (Hungary, 1910, died 1980); Joe Kopsky (USA, 1882, died 1974); Gary Thomson (Ireland, 1963); Palle Lykke Jensen (Denmark, 1936).

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