Wednesday 7 August 2013

Daily Cycling Facts 07.08.2013

Steven Rooks
Rooks at the Tour, 1988
Steven Rooks, born in Oterleek, Netherlands on this day in 1960, turned professional with the legendary Ti-Raleigh team in 1982, then switched to Sem-France Loire the following year and won Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In 1985 he was 25th overall at the Tour de France; then ninth in 1986 and second in 1988 after winning Stage 12 on Alpe d'Huez - and he also won the King of the Mountains and was second overall in the Points competition. He would never do quite so well in the Tour again but remained competitive for a few more years, coming seventh overall and third in the King of the Mountains and Points in 1989, 33rd overall in 1990, 26th in 1991 and seventeenth in 1992. He rode it again in 1993 and 1994, failing to finish on both occasions.

Away from the Tour, Rooks won the Tour de Luxembourg and the Amstel Gold Race in 1986, the National Derny Championship in 1987 and the National Road Race Championship in 1991 and 1994 before retiring in 1995. In 1999, Rooks, Peter Winnen and Maarten Ducrot decided it was time to clear their consciences with regard to doping, doing so publicly on the Dutch TV show Reporter and saying that they were doing so to highlight how widespread the problem had become. Rooks admitted that he had used amphetamines and testosterone throughout his career; in 2009 he confessed in a book written by journalist Marc Smeets that he'd also use EPO since 1989. "It was necessary [to do so in order] to finish high up in the classifications," he said.

Adriano Baffi, born in Vailate, Italy on this day in 1962, won Stages 2, 8, 18 and the Points competition at the Giro d'Italia in 1993 and Stage 19 at the Vuelta a Espana in 1995, along with numerous other races (including a National Points Championship on the track in 1999) before he retired in 2002. He then became a directeur sportif, working with various teams and was recruited by LeopardTrek for the 2011 season. His father, Pierino, was also a professional cyclist and in 1958 became the second man in history (after Miguel Poblet) to win stages in all three Grand Tours in a single season.

Edward Klabiński, more commonly known as Édouard Klabinski in France, was born in Herne, Germany on this day in 1920 but was of Polish nationality. He rode as an independent immediately after the Second World War before signing to Stanord-Wolber in 1946. In 1947, riding for Mercier-Hutchinson, he became the first Pole to ride in the Tour de France and came 34th overall; in 1948 he was eighteenth overall.

Andriy Hryvko, born in Simferopol, Ukraine on this day in 1983, was National Time Trial Champion in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012. In 2012, he also won the National Road Race Championship.

Michele Merlo was born in Casaleone, Italy on this day in 1984. He won Stage 8 at the 2009 Tour of Britain and finished Stage 2 of the 2011 Giro d'Italia in twelfth place.

Other cyclists born on this day: Francisco Chamorro (Argentina, 1981); Travis Brown (USA, 1969); Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukraine, 1972); Mario Scirea (Italy, 1964); Roberto Brito (Mexico, 1947); Francisco Coronel (Mexico, 1942); Suriya Chiarasapawong (Thailand, 1949); Werner Wägelin (Switzerland, 1913, died 1991); Yahya Ahmad (Malaysia, 1954).

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