Born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Euskadi on this day in 1973, Igor González de Galdeano signed his first professional contract with Equipo Euskadi in 1995. At that time, the team was in its second season and experiencing financial hardship due to sponsorship problems; the results he achieved during his three years with them helped to attract new backers, setting the team on the road to becoming the legendary Euskaltel-Euskadi that is still racing today and has become the default National Team of the cycling-mad Basque people.
|Igor González de Galdeano at Paris-Nice in|
2005, his final professional season
González de Galdeano could not race at the Tour in 2003 after an anti-doping test revealed traces of salbutamol - this was not considered a positive result by the UCI and he was not banned from competition by them, but the French cycling federation banned him from racing in France for a six-month period that included the Tour. At the Vuelta that year he won Stage 1 and was fourth overall; however, in 2004 when ONCE had become Liberty Seguros, it became apparent that he had reached the end of his best years - he came 44th at the Tour and 96th at the Vuelta. 2005 was no better and he failed to finish the Tour before taking 89th at the Vuelta. A month and a half later, on this date - his 32nd birthday - he announced his immediate retirement. "I realised in the last Tour de France that I lost my motivation," he said.
Born in Bülach, Switzerland on this day in 1944, Louis Pfenninger won the Tour de Suisse in 1968 and 1972. In 1967 he was second overall at the Tour de Romandie and later becamee National Individual Time Trial Champion (1970) and National Road Race Champion (1971). As well as Romandie, he rode the Tour de France in 1967 and finished two stages in the top 20 before coming 70th overall.
Hendrik Redant, born in Ninove, Belgium on this day in 1962, was a professional rider between 1987 and 1997; during which time he won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (1988 and 1990), the Colombian National Cross Country Mountain Bike Championship of 1990, Paris-Tours and the Japan Cup (1992) and the GP Briek Schotte (1994). He also took part in the Tour de France in 1990 (when he finished three stages in the top 20 and came 150th overall), 1991 (three stages in the top ten, 140th overall), 1992 (three top 20 stages, 122nd overall), 1994 (six stages top 20, 93rd overall) and 1995 when he didn't finish. Following his retirement from racing, Redant became a directeur sportif at Omega Pharma-Lotto and remained with them until 2010 when he moved on to the ill-fated Pegasus team based in Australia - the team folded due to financial difficulties before the start of the 2011 season
Astrid Danielsen, born in Trondheim on this day in 1968, was Norwegian Individual Time Trial Champion in 1987 and rode with the winning time trial team at the National Championships in 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1999.
Elina Sofokleous, born in Cyprus on this day in 1978, was National Road Race and Individual Time Trial Champion of Cyprus in 2001 and National Cross Country Mountain Bike Champion from 2004 to 2007.
Henk Vogels Sr., born in Haarlem, Netherlands on this day in 1942, came second at the Australian National Road Race Championships in 1973. His son, Henk Vogels Jnr., was also a professional cyclist who rode between 1995 and 2008.
Jef Lowagie, who was born in Brussels on this day in 1903, was Amateur National Road Race Champion of Belgium in 1933.
Alexander González Peña, a road and track rider born in Cali, Colombia on this day in 1979, was National Pursuit Champion in 2003.
Tony Hurel, who was born in Lisieux, France on this day in 1987, raced for two seasons as a trainee with Bbox-Bouygues Telecom, then joined Europcar in 2011; at the close of the 2013 season, he announced that his contract had been extended for a fourth year. Hurel won the Junior Ronde des Vallées in 2005, took Stage 6 at the Canadian Tour of New Caledonia in 2007, won the Under-23 Vuelta Madrid in 2008, the Circuit de la Vallée de la Loire in 2009, the Circuit des Plages Vendéennes 2012 and in 2013 he was seventh at the Tour de Normandie and fourth at the Arctic Race of Norway.
Paul Esposti, born in Cardiff on this day in 1972, is able to claim to have finished top ten in the National Championships of three different countries - once in his native Wales when he won the National Championships in 1995 (all Championships are for road racing unless otherwise stated), five times in the National Championships of the United Kingdom (of which Wales is a constituent nation; 7th in 1994, 8th in 1995, 9th in 1997, 4th at the National Circuit Race Championship of 1999, 10th in 2010) and, having taken dual USA/UK citizenship, 8th at the US Criterium Championships of 2008 and 5th at the US Road Race Championships in 2009.
Other cyclists born on this day: Bert Scheirlinckx (Belgium, 1974); Martin Polák (Czechoslovakia, 1978); Somchai Chantarasamrit (Thailand, 1944); Carmel Muscat (Malta, 1961); Antonio Montilla (Venezuela, 1935); Cárlos Koller (Chile, 1890); Rihards Veide (Latvia, 1991); Jo Deok-Haeng (South Korea, 1966); Ad Dekkers (Netherlands, 1953); Fabrizio Bontempi (Italy, 1966); Victor Morales (Ecuador, 1943); James Lauf (USA, 1927); Toussaint Fouda (Cameroon, 1958).