Saturday, 9 November 2013

Daily Cycling Facts 09.11.2013

Shawn Milne is 30 today
Happy birthday Shawn Milne, the Massachusetts-born professional cyclist currently with the Kenda 5-Hour Energy Team. Milne's career began in high school and he went on to win stages and overall classifications in a series of races including the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic and the Tour of Taiwan. He represented the USA in the Under-23 Road Race Class at the World Championships in 2002 and 2003. He took 10 hours and 25 minutes to complete the 113km course.

Mark Colbourne, who was born in Tredegar, Wales on this day in 1969, played international-level volleyball in the 1990s and later became interested in paragliding - but in 2009, he fell to the ground during a forced landing and broke his back. Still able to ride a standard, upright bike, be began training to compete in C1 para-cycling events (upright bikes, athletes with the most severe disabilities) in 2010 and by 2011 was able to win bronze and silver in the World Cup, then another silver at the World Championships. Colbourne won Britain's first medal at the 2012 Paralympics, a silver in the 1km Time Trial; one day later he won gold in the Individual Pursuit, having broken the World Record in the qualifiers and the final. He announced his retirement in August 2013.

Ron Skarin, born in the USA on this day in 1951, set the first UCI IHPVA (International Human-Powered Vehicle Association) Hour Record in 1979. The IHPVA record had been created to encourage the development of HPVs, which can differ greatly from standard bicycles and in general take the form of fully-faired, streamlined recumbents. Skarin's bike was streamlined but not recumbent, and he covered 51.31km - the first time an hour record for vehicles of the type had been set since 1934, when Francois Faure of France covered 50.34km. To demonstrate the potential of HPVs, the Hour Record for standard bikes, which the UCI deems to be those that do not differ fundamentally from the bike on which Eddy Merckx set his 1972 record of 49.431km, had increased by only 0.269km by 2005 when Ondřej Sosenka set a controversial record - it's not entirely clear if the bike he used was permitted under the "standard" rules, and he has a questionable doping history - of 49.7km. In the Best Human Achievement record, which permits highly modified or unique bikes provided they bear a degree of resemblance to standard bikes (such as Graeme Obree's famous Old Faithful, upon which he set his Hour Records in 1993 and 1994, and which led to the adoption of the standard, Human Effort and IHPVA classifications), has increased 5.567km from 50.808km in 1984 (Francesco Moser) to 56.375km in 1996 (Chris Boardman; record still stands). Meanwhile, in the IHPVA category, the record has increased 40.246km from Skarin's 51.31km in 1979 to 91.556km in 2011 (Francesco Russo).

On this day in 1979, the famous Castelli brand - manufacturer of some of the most sought-after cycling clothes - was awarded the Corriere dello Sport Discobolo for having (in the words of the presentation letter) "in a truly futuristic way, revolutionized clothing for cyclists."

More cyclists born in this day: Keiji Kojima (Japan, 1969); Jean-Michel Richeux (France, 1948); Mobange Amisi (Congo, 1964); Omar Hasanin (Syria, 1978); Romain Bardet (France, 1990)

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