Tuesday 10 January 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 10.01.12

Bernard Thevenet, the man who beat Merckx
(image credit: Ken CC BY 2.0)
Bernard Thévenet
Bernard Thévenet was born on this day in 1948 and in 1975 became the man who defeated The Cannibal. He was born in 1948 in the tiny Burgundy village known as Le Guidon, a name which rather fittingly translates into English as "the handlebar." His early interest in the sport was facilitated by the local priest who moved Mass to an earlier time so that Thévenet and the other choirboys could watch cycle races as they passed through the village; he would later remember, "The sun was shining on their toe-clips and the chrome on their forks. They were modern-day knights."

The young Bernard's parents knew of their son's passions but would not allow him to race as they needed him to work on their farm, so he would sneak off to enter local events - they remained unwise, until he began winning them and appeared in the newspapers. At first, they tried to forbid him from continuing, but the cycling-loving priest talked them into going to see him race and, when they saw how fast the boy was, convinced them that he had the potential to go a long way. Of course, anyone with even a passing interest in the history of cycle racing will know how far he went, ending the Tour de France reign of no less than Eddy Merckx, the greatest cyclist to have ever lived, then winning a second Tour in 1977. In addition, he won the Dauphiné Libéré in 1975 and 1976 and was victorious in numerous other races.

Craig Lewis was born on this day in 1985. Lewis returned from a horrific crash after being hit by a car and left with 47 broken bones, massive internal bleeding and punctures in both lungs early on in his career to win the Under-23 Road Race and Criterium titles in 2006, then managed three top ten stage race finishes a year later. In 2008, he finished the Giro di Lombardia in 11th place. Over the last two years, he has won stages at the Tour de Romandie and in the Giro d'Italia, proving himself very much a rider to watch in the coming years as he enters his peak. He will ride with the new Champion System team in 2012.

"Catlike," it says on his helmet - and, accordingly,
Hayden Roulston looks as though he's just about
to fall asleep.
(image credit: Thomas Ducroquet CC BY-SA 3.0)
It's also the birthday of Hayden Roulston, Craig's team mate at HTC-Highroad, who was born today in New Zealand in 1981. Hayden, who began his professional career with Cofidis before moving on to Discovery (from which he resigned after a "nightclub incident"), HealthNet and the Cervélo TestTeam before finding his way to Stapleton's superteam, has been a leading light on his home nation's racing scene as well as making his mark in Europe where he has won stages in the Tour of Poland, Tour de Wallonie, the Vuelta a Espana and even the Tour de France. He also finished the 2010 Paris-Roubaix in 10th place and has won two silver and two bronze medals in the Commonwealth Games. While Hayden was keeping himself busy building up his palmares, Discovery was mutating into Radioshack - for whom he will be riding in 2012, following their merger with the Schleck Bros.' Leopard Trek; a merger that Lewis described as "detrimental to the sport."

Antoine Fauré was born in Lyon on this day in 1869 and wa one of the 60 cyclists to start the very first Tour de France in 1903, but not one of the 21 to finish. He did rather better the following year when he won Stage 2 in the independent class (Aucouturier won among the professionals), then abandoned in Stage 4; and would enter again in 1907, 1909 and 1912 - 1909 was the only year in which he finished, taking 37th place.

152 Newbury Street,
On this day in 1879, the Massachusetts Bicycle Club was founded by Albert A. Pope, Edward W. Pope, William G. Fish, Arthur W. Pope, Frank W. Freeborn, George G. Hall, H.E. Parkhurst, C.H. Corken, William H. Ames, Augustus F. Webster, H. Winslow Warren, Winfield S. Slocum, William F. Brownell, Joseph P. Livermore, and Albert S. Parsons. Six years later, the club had more than 200 members and sufficient funds to have an clubhouse designed and built at 152 Newbury Street, Boston.

Other birthdays: Jean Alfonsetti (Luxembourg, 1908); Karl-Ivar Andersson (Sweden, 1932); Adolfo Belmonte (Mexico, 1945); Vic Browne (Australia, 1942); Gheorghe Calcişcă (Romania, 1935); Phillip Collins (Ireland, 1972); Auguste Garrebeek (Belgium, 1912, died 1973); Dieter Gieseler (Germany, 1941); Oscar Goerke (USA, 1883, died 1934); Theo Hogervorst (Netherlands, 1956); Gholam Hossein Koohi (Iran, 1951); Kimpale Mosengo (Congo, 1963); Joseph Werbrouck (Belgium, 1882, died 1974); Jutta Niehaus (Germany, 1964); Michel Zanoli (Netherlands, 1968, died 2003); Marlon Pérez (Columbia, 1976); Michel Vaarten (Belgium, 1957); Kamsari Slam (Malaysia, 1941); Jürgen Simon (Germany, 1938, died 2003); Amar Singh Billing (India, 1944).


  1. Hello CycloPunk!

    Thanks again for this great series. I do have question with regards to Antoine Fauré. As far as I can see on wikipedia and cyclingarchives, he was actually born in 1883 and on Dec, 24th.

    Which one is correct? :)


  2. Hmm - a mystery. Wikipedia isn't particularly reliable, but CA generally is. I might have to change this one.