Monday 29 April 2013

Daily Cycling Facts 29.04.2013

The 29th edition of La Flèche Wallonne took place on this day in 1965 over a 214km course between Liège and Marcinelle - a change to the preceding 17 years when the start and finish towns had been Liège and Charleroi (they'd changed over once). The victor, Roberto Poggiali, was the second Italian to win the race - Italian-born Pino Ceramo had won five years earlier, but had taken Belgian nationality before doing so; while the first Italian had been Fermo Carmelli right back in 1948. Italians were said to perform well only in their home races in days gone by and were supposed to be useless in the tough Northern Classics with their often inclement weather, but Poggiali open the floodgates - in the years to come, Italians would win many of the Classics and are now the second most successful nation after Belgium in this one. The race fell on this date again in 1966 - it ran from Liège to Marcinelle again, but the course was altered and covered an extra 9km. Another Italian - Michele Dancelli, who would also win Paris-Luxembourg in 1968 and a stage at the Tour de France a year after that - won, thus helping to nail down the lid on the stereotype. The race has never been held on this late a date since.

Steele Bishop
(copyright unknown)
Sue Golder, born in New Zealand on this day in 1946, won a silver medal in the Women's Sprint cycling event at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Sixteen years earlier, she had won a silver medal in the Women's 800m running event.

Born in Subiaco, Western Australia on this day in 1953, the fantastically-named Steele Bishop was a track cyclist who specialised in the 5000m pursuit. He was National Champion nine times and, after an incredible race in 1983 aboard a Swiss-built custom bike produced by Australian manufacturer Malvern Star, World Champion. He retired a short while later.

Philippe Ermenault, born in Flixecourt, France on this day in 1969, is a retired track cyclist who won nine National Championships, two World Championships and an Olympic gold medal.

David O'Loughlin, born in Mayo on this day in 1978, became Irish Time Trial Champion in 2003 and then took the Road Race title a year later and again in 2005. In 2006 he won both, keeping the Road Race Championship for a third year in 2007. He rode track as well, setting a new 4km Pursuit world record in 2006 and in 2009 he won Ireland's very UCI Track World Cup medal. He retired from the track in 2010, according to the Mayo News because he was angry with what he saw as bad team management, but returned in 2011.

Other cyclists born on this day: Peter Gröning (Germany, 1939); Otto Kürschner(Germany, 1904); Yoshiaki Ogasawara  (Japan, 1954); Royden Ingham (USA, 1911, died 1999); Ed Lynch (USA, 1929); Gert Jakobs (Netherlands, 1964); Heiner Hoffmann (Germany, 1915, died 1945); Andon Petrov (Bulgaria, 1955).

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