Thursday 8 March 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 08.03.12

Paris-Nice began on this day in 1966, 1967, 1970, 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2009. The 1966 edition saw Jacques Anquetil set a new record of five wins - his third and fourth wins had also been multiple victory records. It came at the height of Anquetil/Poulidor fan rivalry in France which, at times, threatened to boil over into the sort of violence asociated with Mods/Rockers rivalry on the other side of the English Channel - according to legend, a Poulidor-supporting farmer made his wife sit on a hot stove because she preferred Anquetil. True? We hope not - but either way, the following year the woman had decided that she did in fact prefer Poulidor after all. Unfortunately, her husband had now become obsessed by Felice Gimondi.

1967 was the only edition to have been won by a British cyclist - and it was none other than Tom Simpson, whose fame remains greater than that of Mark Cavendish, David Millar and Bradley Wiggins even half a century after his tragic, stupid death four months later as he climbed Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France.

1970 brought a second win for Eddy Merckx, who would become the first rider to achieve three consecutive victories. However, his record was well and truly shattered when the Irishman Sean Kelly scored his sixth consecutive win in 1987. Jean-François Bernard won in 1992, the first Frenchman to have done so for twelve years, then Frank Vandenbroucke became the first Belgian for twenty-one years in 1996. Luis León Sánchez became the third Spanish winner in 2009; the year that the race became a part of the UCI World Calendar and each rider's results began to contribute towards their World Ranking.

Joost Posthuma
(image credit: Heidas CC BY-SA 3.0)
Joost Posthuma, born in the Dutch city Hengelo on this day in 1981, was among the riders who were announced with much fanfare as a part of the Leopard Trek team for 2011. In 2012, he will join Leopard team mates Andy and Frank Schleck as a part of the new Radioshack Nissan Trek Pro Cycling Team, thus dispelling rumours that he would go to the Australian GreenEDGE. His best results to date were overall wins at the 2008 Tour of Luxembourg and the 2009 Vuelta a Andalucia and came 8th overall at the 2011 Tour of Britain.

Peta Mullens, born in Sale, Australia on this day in 1988, is a track endurance and road cyclist with the AIS Women's Team. She was Australian Junior Women's Road Cyclist of the Year in 2006.

John Herety, born in Cheadle on this day in 1958, began cycling in his childhood. In 1980, he took part in the Olympics, won the Manx Trophy, Stage 9 at the Peace Race and came 3rd among the Amateur class at the British National Championships; then - as so many other riders born outside France have done - joined the Athletic Club Boulogne-Billancourt where he raced alongside Sean Yates and won Paris-Rouen. He became National Champion the following year and 2nd overall at the 1983 Tour of Britain, the year he also married Margaret Swinnerton - the sister of Paul, Catherine and Bernadette, all of whom were professional cyclists. Herety is now the manager of Rapha-Condor-Sharp.

Peter Schep, born in Lopik in the Netherlands on this day in 1977 has been National Champion in the scratch race (2003) and points race (2004), then World Champion for the points race in 2006 and European Madison Champion in 2007.

Other births: Maxime Vantomme (Belgium, 1986); Jiří Daler (Czechoslovakia, 1940); Fred Taylor (USA, 1890, died 1968); Owe Adamson (Sweden, 1935); Miho Oki (Japan, 1974); Werner Potzernheim (Germany, 1927); Luvsangiin Buudai (Mongolia, 1940); Federico Moreira (Uruguay, 1961); Hervé Boussard (France, 1966); Raúl Labbate (Argentina, 1952); Belem Guerrero (Mexico, 1974); Miguel Margalef (Uruguay, 1956); Yevgeny Klevtsov (USSR, 1929. died 2003); Laurent Bezault (France, 1966).

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