Saturday 7 January 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 07.01.12

Happy birthday to John Degenkolb, winner of Stages 2 and 4 in the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. Having ridden for HTC-Highroad (which folded at the end of the 2011 season due to sponsorship issues), John will ride with Skil-Shimano in 2012.

Shane Kelly
Shane Kelly
(image credit: Velo Steve CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Australian Kilo specialist Shane Kelly - who was born in Ararat, Australia on this day in 1972 - cmpeted in no fewer than five Olympics, the first in 1992 and the last in 2008. He won three medals, a silver and two bronze, but he's perhaps best remembered for an incident in the 1996 Kilo when the cleat of his shoe slipped from the pedal and he was left on the start line while his opponents accelerated away. He finished 4th in the 2004 Keirin, but 3rd place René Wolff was disqualified for "moving outward with the intention of forcing the opponent going up;" dangerous riding that, in the view of the judges, was deliberate and resulted in Kelly taking 3rd place.

Kelly was one of the four cyclists implicated in a doping scandal in 2004 when sprinter Mark French claimed that he, Jobie Dajka, Graeme Brown, Sean Eadie and himself were the co-owners of 13 phials of an equine growth hormone, injectable vitamins and used medical equipment including used syringes that had been discovered in his room at the Australian Institute of Sport. Dajka was found to have lied when giving evidence at the subsequent trial and was banned from competition (and began a slow downward spiral that led ultimately to his untimely death), but no evidence could be found in support of French's claims and the men he had accused were cleared. French himself received a two-year ban after the court decided he was guilty of supplying the growth hormone and corticosteroid to other riders, but after an appeal was also cleared due to lack of evidence.

Road and track rider Rasmus Quaade was born in this day in 1990. He became Danish Under-23 Individual Time Trial in 2011.

Gerrit Schulte (image credit: Polygoon Hollands Nieuws CC BY-SA 3.0)
Gerardus Bernardus "Gerrit" Schulte, Dutch Track Pursuit champion ten times, was born on this day in 1916. Schulte was also a gifted road cyclist, winning Stage 3 of the 1938 Tour de France when he beat - among other greats - Antonin Magne and André Leducq. A trophy awarded to the best Dutch professional rider each year is named after him. He died on the 26th of February in Den Bosch ('s-Hertogenbosch) - the birthplace of multi-discipline cycling superstar Marianne Vos, who won the Schulte Trophy in 2010.

Huw Pritchard, first Welsh rider to win a track medal (20km Scratch, silver) at the Commonwealth Games (2002), was born today in 1976. Huw became British National Under-23 Road Champion in 1997 and Welsh National Road Champion the next year and in 2003.

Other birthdays: Enrique Campos (Venezuela, 1961); Héctor Droguett (Chile, 1925, died 2008); René Rutschmann (Switzerland,  1941); Miguel Angel Sánchez (Costa Rica, 1943).

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