Friday 28 September 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 28.09.12

Léon Devos
Today is the anniversary of the 1919 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the ninth ever held and the latest calendar date in the 119-year history of the race - as the first in the wake of the First World War, many of the riders who had been on the start lines before racing in Europe was halted by the conflict were no longer around. The parcours was 237km in length and winner Léon Devos also spelled De Vos, took 9h20'30" to complete it after battling through snow to get there.

Trixi Worrack
Born in Cottbus, East Germany on this day in 1981, Trixi Worrack became Junior World Individual Time Trial Champion in 1998, then came third in the same event and second in the Junior World Road Race Championship a year later.

In 2000, she signed her first professional contract with Red Bull Frankfurt and finished Stage 4 of the Women's Challenge in third place. She remained with the team the following year and won Stage 7 at the Women's Challenge, was third at La Flèche Wallonne and fourth in the National Elite ITT Championship. From 2003 to 2009 she rode for Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung; in 2003 she became National Road Race Champion and was second in the Holland Ladies' Tour, then in 2004 she won the Tour de l'Aude, the Krasna Lipa and the Giro della Toscana. In 2005 she won the Primavera Rosa (the women's version of Milan-San Remo); in 2006 he was second at the Holland Ladies' Tour for a third time, also coming second in the World Road Race Championship; in 2007 she was second at the Tour de l'Aude; in 2008 she became National Points Race Champion and in 2009 she won Stage 8 at the Giro Donne and the National ITT Championship.

Worrack at the Thüringen-Rundfahrt, 2012
Worrack joined German team Noris Cycling for 2010 and dominated the Czech Tour, winning all five stages and the General Classification; then in 2011 she raced for AA and came fourth at the Trophée d'Or Féminin and won Stage 5 at the Giro della Toscana. She moved on to Specialized-Lululemon for 2012 and has been an instrumental rider in a spectacular first year for the team, starting off the season with a Stage 2 victory and second place overall at the Tour of Qatar, then came third at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and won Stage 3 at the Gracia Orlova and Stages 3 and 4 and second place overall at the Thüringen-Rundfahrt. She also rode with Lululemon's victorious squad at the World Team Time Trial Championship and took eighth place at the World ITT Championship. At the London Olympics, she was ninth in the ITT.

Anthony Ravard, born in Nantes, France on this day in 1983, won three stages at the Tour de Normandie in 2008, his first professional year. In 2011 he won Etoile de Bessèges and finished the World Road Race Championships in 13th place and in 2012 he was fourth at the GP Fina - Fayt-le-Franc.

Broadcaster and journalist Jon Snow is familiar to Britons as the presenter of ITN's flagship 10 o'clock News. He is less well-known as a cyclist, except to members of the Cyclists' Touring Club - having become president of the organisation in 2007. Snow was educated at the University of Liverpool but was rusticated (expelled) due to his part in an anti-apartheid protest. He once found himself seated next to a sleeping Idi Amin aboard a Ugandan presidential jet and seriously considered taking the revolver from Amin's belt and killing him with it; stopping only because of the risk to other passengers.

Frances Willard
Frances Willard, born in Churchville, New York on this day in 1839, was a suffragist, social activist and temperance campaigner who, in addition to her work towards getting women the right to vote, was involved in the fight for free school meals, benefits for the poor, workers' rights to join trade unions, municipal organisations devoted to public health and sanitation, state-funded education for the children of poor families and limitations on the hours employees could be made to work, as well as backing new laws against child abuse and rape. Like Susan B. Anthony, she was also a keen advocate of the bicycle which she saw as means of enabling women to travel when and where they wished. In 1895, she wrote A Wheel Within a Wheel: How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, in which she describes her own cycling journeys and the stories of other women she met while completing them. Although it suffers a little from a typically Victorian tendency to ramble, the book is often funny, always interesting and still well worth a read today; best of all, it's out of copyright and can be read online and downloaded free.

Other cyclists born on this day: Jesús Hernández (Spain, 1981); Guus Bierings (Netherlands, 1956); Paweł Kaczorowski (Poland, 1949); Eddie Fiola (USA, 1964); Robert Thompson (Great Britain, 1882); Waldemar Bernatzky (Uruguay, 1920); Maurice Renaud (France, 1900, died 1968); Francesco Del Grosso (Italy, 1899, died 1938); Carlos Coloma (Spain, 1981); Piet Peters (Netherlands, 1921); Paul Réneau (Belize, 1960); Walter Martin (USA, 1881); Jean Brun (Switzerland, 1926, died 1993); Martin Willock (Canada, 1954); Gilbert de Rieck (Belgium, 1936).

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