|Emma Johansson at the 2012 National Championships|
Johansson won the Ronde van Drenthe in 2009, which put her into the lead in the World Cup - she was only the second Swedish cyclist ever to have done so. She then had an excellent year at the Classics in 2010 with a victory at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, fourth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and third in La Flèche Wallonne before going on to win a second Trophée d'Or Féminin. In 2011 she joined Hitec Products-UCK which - now known as Hitec Products-Mistral Home - and won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad again, regained the National Road Race title and then won the Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen; in 2012 she won the Tour de Free State, the National ITT and Road Race Championships and Stage 9 and fifth place overall at the Giro Donne.
2013 brought a move to a new team, Orica-AIS, and Johansson became the second most successful female rider in the world when she proved herself able to rival Marianne Vos: in fact, for a brief time late in the year (and, to be fair, partly due to the way that the UCI work out rankings), she actually took over from Vos at the top of the UCI world rankings - the first time Vos hadn't occupied the top place for several years. Johansson had come second to Vos several times, but she had also scored some very impressive wins, including a few in which she beat the Dutch woman when she was favourite - her greatest triumphs were the Emakumeen Bira and the Thuringen Rundfahrt, in both of which she won two stages as well as the General Classification.
Shanaze Danielle Reade was born in Crewe, Great Britain, on this day in 1988. When she was 10 years old, she became bored of shot put and 100m sprint running, the sports in which she'd previously competed, so she bought a second-hand BMX for £1 and started racing it. Twelve years later, she was a four-time World Champion.
She'd also picked up one unique honour: in 2006, she had become 19 & Over Elite Men British National Number One after racing in the Men's National Series through 2005 - not only is she a woman, she was also only 17 years old. Some of the men didn't like it, but most were happy to have such a talented rider competing alongside them: "some spit their dummies out but I just let them get on with it! It's really quite fun to watch when I kick their booties," she said.
Reade also won her first World Championship title in 2006, coming first in the Junior class; in 2007, 2008 and 2010 she was World Champion at Elite level and, in 2007 and 2008, also won the Elite Woman Supercross Championship. Famous in BMX for her explosive power, Reade started track racing in 2007 - her first race was the Team Sprint at the Manchester round of the World Cup, where she teamed up with Anna Blyth to take second place behind Willy Kanis and Yvonne Hijgenaar of the Netherlands, they beat Kristine Bayley and track racing superhero Anna Meares of Australia; however, the outcome might have been very different - the Dutch team made a false start, causing commissaires to restart the race, but Reade had not heard their signal and had already completed one lap at full sprint pace when she realised. Just over a month later she was selected at the last moment to replace Blyth and rode with Victoria Pendleton to win the Team Sprint at the World Championships - Hijgenaar and Kanis were second, Bayley and Meares third again.
|Reade and Pendleton, 2008|
Born in Abergavenny on this day in 1972, Julian Winn is a Welsh cyclist who since 2005 has served as coach at Beicio Cymru, the Welsh cycling federation. Winn was second in the Manx International in 1997 and won a stage at the Prudential Tour (formerly the Milk Race, now the Tour of Britain) a year later; then turned professional with the Linda McCartney team in 1999 and found success at a number of races. In 2003 he signed to the Danish Fakta team and went to the Giro d'Italia where he finished two stages in the top 20 and came 83rd overall; the best result of his career came in 2002 when he won the British National Road Race Championships.
Martin Elmiger, born in Hagendorn, Switzerland on this day in 1978, was National Road Race Champion in 2001, 2005 and 2007. In 2007 he won the Tour Down Under.
Other cyclists born on this day: Geoff Smith (Australia, 1942); Michael Rich (West Germany, 1969); Behrouz Rahbar (Iran, 1945); Yoshio Shimura (Japan, 1940); Zsolt Vinczeffy (Hungary, 1974); Karen Strong-Hearth (Canada, 1953); Ambrogio Beretta (Italy, 1908, died 1988); Harry Lodge (Great Britain, 1967); Alois Holík (Czechoslovakia, 1947); Robert Varga (France, 1941); Henri Andrieux (France, 1931, died 2008).