Thursday 26 July 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 26.07.12

Uwe Raab at Paris-Roubaix
Uwe Raab, born in Wittenberg, East Germany in this day in 1962, won the Points competition at the Vuelta a Espana in 1990 and 1991. He also became World Amateur Road Race Champion in 1983.

Very few riders enjoy a career in competitive cycling as long as that of Geoff Cooke, who was born in Manchester on this day in 1944: his first major victory was the Sprint at the British Track Championships in 1963; almost half a century later he also won the Sprint for the 65-69 class at the World Championships in 2009. He has been a National Champion no fewer than 31 times, a World Masters Champion 18 times and held the World Masters Sprint Champion title for seven consecutive years between 1996 and 2002. In addition to racing, Cooke was a British Cycling coach for ten years and still works a youth coach to this day.

Julien Vermote, born in Kortrijk on this day in 1989, enjoyed an extremely successful amateur career and became Junior Champion of Belgium in 2004, came second in the Juniors Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2007 and was National Under-23 Time Trial Champion in 2009. He signed to  QuickStep in 2011 and, as tends to be the case when a rider first moves up to the top level of the sport, had a quiet year whilst adjusting to the increased competition; overall victory at the Dreidaagse van West-Vlaanderen and tenth place for Stage 21 at the Giro d'Italia in 2012 suggests he's finding his feet.

Spain has produced many great climbers, but few as good as Aurelio González Puente who was born in Valle de Villaverde on this day in 1940 and spent his entire career with KAS-Kaskol. In 1966, only his second year as a professional, he came third in the King of the Mountains at the Tour de France; the year after that he was third overall at the Vuelta a Espana, then won the King of the Mountains at the Giro d'Italia; in 1968, he won his first Tour stage (Stage 6) and the King of the Mountains. It seems likely that Puente could have been another Bahamontes, winning a Tour in a year when the mountains were given especial importance (and had Eddy Merckx not dominated it so entirely in the coming years); however, from 1969 he began to experience bad luck and failed to finish that year or the next. In 1970, he retired after a relatively short career of seven years.

Brice Feillu, born in Châteaudun on this day in 1985, won Stage 7 and came 25th overall at the 2009 Tour de France.

Christophe Laurent won the King of the Mountains at the Tour de l'Avenir in 2002 and at the Tour of California in 2007

Jef Demuysere
Born in Wervik, Belgium on this day in 1907, Jef Demuysere won Stage 10 and finished third overall at the 1929 Tour de France, then fourth overall in 1930. In 1931 he won Stages 15 and 18 and finished in second place behind Antonin Magne, a placing he repeated at the Giro d'Italia in 1932 and 1933. In 1934 he won Milan-San Remo, the third Belgian to have ever done so.

Other cyclists born on this day: Romain Lemarchand (France, 1987); Ivan Kovalev (Russia, 1986); Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Italy, 1983); René Jørgensen (Denmark, 1975); Honorio Machado (Venezuela, 1982); Rudi Valenčič (Yugoslavia, 1941); Stanisław Zieliński (Poland, 1912, died 1939); Gottlieb Weber (Switzerland, 1910, died 1996); Jeon Dae-Heung (South Korea, 1976); Glenn Clarke (Australia, 1963); Errol Walters (Jamaica, 1956); Richard Ball (USA, 1944); Paul McCormack (Ireland, 1963); Étienne Chéret (France, 1886); Arne Klavenes (Norway, 1952); Anders Adamson (Sweden, 1957); Emil Schöpflin (Germany, 1910); Chris Wheeler (Australia, 1914, died 1984).

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