Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 21.11.2012

Dani King and Lauren Kitchen
Lauren Kitchen and Dani King
Danielle King, born in Southampton, UK on this day in 1990 and more commonly known as Dani, formed part of the winning Team Pursuit events at the World (Elite) and European Track (Elite and Under-23) Championships in 2011 and at the London round of the World Cup, the World Championships and the Olympics in 2012.

King shares her birthday with Lauren Kitchen, born in Amidale, New South Wales in the same year and the winner of three National Championship titles in 2011. In 2013 they will ride together with the new British-registered team DTPC Honda alongside Rochelle Gilmore, who both owns and manages the team; if their first year is as successful as many expect it to be - and with a quite literally extraordinary amount of proven talent and young potential, there's no reason it shouldn't be - the 21st of November 2013 is likely to be the date of the biggest party women's cycling has ever seen.

Jimmy Michael, 1877-1904
Jimmy Michael
Today is the anniversary of the death of 1895 World "Stayers" Cycling Champion Jimmy Michael, born in Aberaman, Wales in 1877. Standing just five feet and one and a half inches tall (156.2cm), the crowds laughed when he first took part in races, but rapidly fell silent once it became clear that he was a cyclist of remarkable prowess, beating far more experienced and physically larger riders.

Having turned professional for the Gladiator team - where he rode alongside the Linton brothers and, like them, was coached by the notorious Choppy Warburton who is credited by some as being the first man to introduce cycling to doping (he probably wasn't, but he certainly helped make it the problem it would become), Michael's fame spread and, by 1896, 22,000 French fans turned out to watch him race in Paris. Sadly, Michael lost his winnings through gambling and developed a drinking problem. He was just 27 years old when he died in 1904. (For much more on Michael's life, career, row with Warburton and downfall, click here.)

Denise Ramsden, born in Yellowknife, Canada on this day in 1990, was Junior National Road Race Champion in 2007, then became Elite National Road Race Champion in 2012 - the same year she was 19th in the Individual Time Trial and 27th in the Road Race at the Olympics.

Kaat Hannes, born in Herentals, Belgium on this day in 1991, achieved podium finishes at the National Road Race Championship in 2007 and at the National Cyclo Cross and Individual Time Trial Championships in 2009. Her best result in 2012, when she raced for Lotto-Belisol, was fourth place at Erpe-Mere.

Antonio Karmany Mestres was born on this day 1934 in Sant Joan, Spain. He won Stage 2 in the 1959 Vuelta a Espana, then another stage and the Mountains Classification as well as coming 4th overall in 1960. A year later, he took Stage 15, won the Mountains again and came 8th overall. In 1962, he won the Mountains for a third time.

Mattei Pelucchi, born this day in 1989 in Guissano, Italy, rode with Geox-TMC in 2011. At the end of the season, Geox suddenly announced that they'd be ending their sponsorshop, leaving the team members frantically searching for new contracts. Europcar announced that Pelucchi would ride with them in 2012.

Happy birthday to Cornelius "Cees" Bal, the Dutch cyclist who won the Tour of Flanders in 1974 and built up an impressive palmares during his ten-year professional career. He was born in 1951 on Kwadendamme.

Happy birthday to Serge Pauwels, the Belgian rider currently with Team Sky, born in 1983 in Lier.

Another happy birthday to Luc Jones, the Welsh 200m track champ, born on this day in 1991.

Rob Hayles, who rides with Team GB on track and Endura on road, was born today in 1973 in Portsmouth. His best year was 2008 - though he was pulled out of the World Track Championships and suspended for two weeks following a blood test that revealed a haematocrit reading 0.3% over the legal limit, he later became National Road Race Champion.

On this day in 2008 it emerged that despite his election promise to turn London into "a city of cyclists," mayor Boris Johnson had provided just 25% of the funds London boroughs needed in order to bring cycling infrastructure up to scratch.

On this day in 2007, Floyd Landis appealed to the Court for Arbitration in Sport to have his two-year ban for doping overturned. The appeal was unsuccessful and, on the 10th of November 2011, he was convicted of hacking into CAS computers in an attempt to destroy evidence against him and received a one-year suspended jail sentence.

Other cyclists born on this day: Graeme Jose (Australia, 1951, died 1973); Harry Ryan (Great Britain, 1893, died 1961); Urs Güller (Switzerland, 1967); Jørgen Frank Rasmussen (Denmark, 1930); Cristian Moreni (Italy, 1972); Victor Georgescu (Romania, 1932); Jamil Suaiden (Brazil, 1972); Allan Juel Larsen (Denmark, 1931); Liubomir Polataiko (Ukraine, 1979); Oleg Tonoritchi (Moldova, 1973); Elisabeth Osl (Austria, 1985); Unai Etxebarría (Venezuela, 1972); Mark Kane (Ireland, 1970); Kozo Fujita (Japan, 1967); Fabio Parra (Colombia, 1959).

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