Friday, 21 February 2014

Daily Cycling Facts 21.02.2014

Marion Clignet
Marion Clignet
(image credit:
Marion Clignet was born in Chicago on this day in 1966. Having won a silver medal in the 1990 Nationals, she was informed by the US Cycling Federation that they were no longer willing to issue her with a racing licence on account of her epilepsy. So, she did what any cyclist in the situation ought to do by leaving them with no doubts as to what she thought of their decision and set about finding a federation that would accept her, settling in France.

Having become a French citizen in 1991, she set about winning stuff for her adopted country. That first year, she became National Road Race and Individual Pursuit Champion, formed part of the winning French time trial team at the Word Championships and won a bronze medal at the World Track Championships. In 1992 she won silver medals at both the Track and Road Nationals, then regained the National Road Champion title, added another silver at the Track Worlds and finished the Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale in 2nd place overall for 1993.

In the years after that, she added five gold medals in the Track Worlds, another five in the Track Nationals, two  Olympic silver medals, the Chrono des Herbiers, two Track World Cups, the Tour du Finistère, the Route Féminine Du Vignoble Nantais and a host of other silver and bronze medals.

Bad move, USA Cycling!

Martin Velits
(image credit: Thomas Ducroquet CC BY-SA 3.0)
Martin and Peter Velits
Martin Velits, born in Bratislava on this day in 1985, is the twin brother of Peter Velits - which has caused some problems in the past, as the two are remarkably evenly matched and have ridden against one another in numerous races including National Championships. Fortunately, they found a way around this: Martin took the Under-23 National Road Race title in 2004, 2005 and 2006 while Peter concentrated on time trials, winning the National Under-19 title (and the U-19 Road Race) in 2003, then the U-23 titles in 2005 and 2006.

Martin and Peter rode together throughout their early careers, both turning professional in 2007 with Wiesenhof before joining Milram for two seasons. In 2010 they went to HTC-Highroad and remained there until the team closed at the end of the 2011 season, then announced that they had both accepted contracts from Quick-Step for 2012. Martin became National Road Race Champion at Elite level in 2009 before proving that he can time trial just as well as his brother with the National title in 2010.

In 2012 and 2013, the brothers continued at Omega Pharma-Quickstep. Martin was second at the National Individual Time Trial Championship, Peter won - and was on the team's squad that won the World Team Trial Championship. At the end of the season it was announced that they would be going their separate ways: Martin would remain with Omega Pharma Quickstep, Peter was off to BMC.

Rosara Joseph, born in Christchurch, New Zealand on this day in 1982, represented her country in the Cross Country Mountain Bike event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games where she won a silver medal and came second in the National MTB Cross Country Championships and Oceania MTB 4X Championships in 2012. She is also a highly successful lawyer and has won a number of awards recognising her work in that field, as well as holding a degree in History.

Latta's folding bike
On this day in 1888, American inventor Emmit G. Latta was issued with a US patent for a device described as "a machine that is safe, strong, and serviceable, and more easily steered than the machines now in use, and also to construct the machine in such a manner that the same can be folded when not required for use, so as to require little storage-room and facilitate its transportation." He sold his folding bike design to the Pope company, but as no examples have ever been discovered it's not known if they ever built one.

Other cyclists born on this day: Robert Birker (Germany, 1885); Beth Tabor (Canada, 1964); Kim Chi-Beom (South Korea, 1981); Nima Ebrahim (Iran, 1969); Franciszek Szymczyk (Poland, 1892, died 1976); Félipe Enríquez (Mexico, 1961); Børge Saxil Nielsen (Denmark, 1920, died 1977); José Manuel López (Spain, 1940); Rajko Čubrić (Yugoslavia, 1958).

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