Thursday 11 October 2012

Daily Cycling Facts 11.10.12

Uwe Ampler
Uwe Ampler
Born in Zerbst, East Germany on this day in 1964, Uwe Ampler was part of the team that won the Junior World 75km Team Time Trial Championships of 1981 and 1982 and later of the winning time trial team at the 1988 Olympics. In 1986 he won the Sachsen Tour, the Under-23 Thüringen-Rundfahrt and the Amateur World Championships; in 1987, 1988 and 1989 he won the Peace Race. He also won a second Sachsen Tour in 1989 and in 1990 finished Stage 10 at the Tour de France in second place.

Ampler won the Peace Race for a fourth time in 1998 - with Ryszard Szurkowski, he is therefore the joint second most successful Peace Race rider of all time (only Steffen Wesemann has won more, taking his fifth in 2003). In 1999 he made another attempt at the Sachsen Tour, but failed an anti-doping test at the Sachsen Tour when he provided a sample that proved to be positive for anabolic steroids. Ampler apologised, but claimed that he had accidentally ingested them in antibiotics he used to recover from 'flu and a crash at the Tour de France; the director of the laboratory that tested the samples insisted that the level of testosterone they found was too high to support this explanation and Ampler retired shortly afterwards.

Masson, left, with 1896 team mate Léon Flameng
Born in Mostaganem, France on this day in 1876, Paul Masson competed in the 2km sprint, the 10km time trial and 333m one-lap time trial at the inaugural Modern Olympics held in Athens in 1896. He won all three events.

Charles Rampelberg, born in France on this day in 1909, won the bronze medal for the 1km time trial at the 1932 Olympics.

Patxi Vila, born in Hondarribia, Euskadi on this day in 1975, won Stage 3 at the 2006 Paris-Nice by hanging onto Floyd Landis' rear wheel after they escaped on a climb, then followed him all the way to the finish before emerging from his slipstream to power past. Doing that sort of thing wins a rider no friends in the peloton and can result in nasty nicknames (Filippo Pozzato, for example, is known as "The Shadow"), but it's not against the rules. One thing that is against the rules, meanwhile, is doping; Vila got caught out when an unusually high level of testosterone was discovered in a sample he provided in 2008 and he was banned for eighteen months as a result. He returned with De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia in 2011 and took second place in the King of the Mountains at the Tour of Poland, then switched to Irish-based Utensilnord Named in 2012.

Lee Min-Hye won a bronze medal for the Scratch race at the Junior World Championships and a gold for the Pursuit at the Asian Games in 2003, then won nothing until 2006 when she won the Asian Games Pursuit again. In 2007 she won the Rund um Visp in Switzerland, then won nothing until the Individual Time Trial at the Asian Games in 2010.

Other cyclists born on this day: Leif Yli (Norway, 1942); Marc Bassingthwaighte (Namibia, 1983); Christoph Soukup (Austria, 1980); Willy Monty (Belgium, 1939); Carlos Marryatt (New Zealand, 1968); Allen Bell (USA, 1933); José Zampicchiatti (Argentina, 1900, died 1984); Tomáš Konečný (Czechoslovakia, 1973); Guido Frisoni (San Marino, 1970); Mike Richards (New Zealand, 1958); Shinichi Ota (Japan, 1975); Maic Malchow (East Germany, 1962); Aleksandr Panfilov (USSR, 1960).

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