To celebrate stage 1 of the 2014 Grand Depart, The Stephen Neal Group hosted a Grand De-Party at Platform North, The Factory Building, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 1DX.
Yes, OK, so I bought another cycling T-shirt, and cap, and wristband… It was all for a couple of great causes.
This astonishing pop-up exhibition displayed beautifully a collection of vintage and modern bicycles. There were some true legends beautifully displayed here…
Let’s start with…
Tommy Simpson: 30th November 1937 – 13th July 1967.
The first British rider to wear the yellow jersey – 1962.
Bike frame number 286.
The display was perfect and very peaceful. People stayed with Tom’s bike for long time, often lost in thought.
No records exist for bikes built by Woodrup Cycles before 1973 due to a fire, however both Barry Hoban – the rider, and Ian McLean – the frame builder, have verified it’a authenticity as one of those from the 1960’s finished in Mercier team colours for the Tour de France. Damaged and returned to Woodrup Cycles to be repaired, Jim, an employee at the time, rode it until it was sold to Chris Forbes in Otley. Restored to it’s present glory by Chris it was eventually sold to Bob Garside – who was very generous with his time and told me so much about the history of this beautiful bike and his astonishing collection – in 2010, its current owner. When can I visit, Bob?
Here’s Barry Hoban, dispelling a few myths, interviewed by Ned Boulting in 2012…
Jackson: frame info needed!
Beryl Burton dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, setting numerous domestic records and as well as winning more than 90 domestic championships along with seven world titles. She set a women’s record for the 12-hour time-trial which exceeded the men’s record for two years!
Burton won the women’s world road race championship in 1960 and 1967, and was runner-up in 1961. On the track she specialised in in the individual pursuit, winning world championship medals almost annually across three decades. She was World Champion five times (1959, 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1966), silver-medallist three times (1961, 1964, and 1968) and took bronze in 1967, 1970 and 1973.
In domestic time-trial competitions, Beryl Burton was almost unbeatable. She won the Road Time Trials Council’s British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) Competition for an astonishing 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983. In total she won 72 national individual time-trial titles.
In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 mile, and was not superseded by a man until 1969! In the process of setting this record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men’s record at 276.52 miles and winning that year’s men’s BBAR!
Beryl Burton also set about 50 new national records at 10, 15, 25, 30, 50 and 100-mile distances; her final 10, 25 and 50 mile records each lasted 20 years before being broken, her 100-mile record lasted 28 years, and her 12-hour record still stands today.
Her prowess led to the rare distinction, for a woman, of an invitation to compete in the Grand Prix des Nations in 1967.
“I don’t feel that I’ve got anything special about me. I’ve just got two legs, two arms and a body, and a heart and lungs.”
7 times World Champion – Beryl Burton, OBE.
Another installment to come, including the legendary and utterly charming Ken Russell, winner of the 1952 Tour of Britain whilst riding as an ‘independent’ (no team), and his Ellis Briggs racing bike.
1952 Tour of Britain winning bike by Ellis-Briggs
Ken, 84 & Renee, Harrogate, July 2014
Ken’s Ellis-Briggs with his 1952 Tour of Britain Winners jersey.
If proof was needed of the popularity of Cycling as a sport in the UK now then a good Barometer has to be the ten deep crowds around the infamous Team Sky ProCycling Team Bus, aka The Deathstar. Not ten deep with the general public but with actual accredited worthies in and around the Tour de France!!
One key difference with Cycling is and hopefully always will be access to the riders and team staff. Within minutes of approaching Team Sky’s allotted piece of Leeds City Centre we were granted a few seconds with a very, very busy Rod Ellingworth, Performance Director within last year’s Winner’s team. A few years ago a British Team, with British winners at this race would have been a dream but now even the coaches, all be it famous ones now have to face the public and sign autographs!!
So using my old racing ties with Coach Ellingworth and around the chaos at Le Grand Depart we stole a few seconds with Rod who will be a man in demand for the next three weeks!!
After crossing the line on stage 1 of the Grand Depart in Harrogate for the Tour de France we caught up with John Degenkolb of Team Giant Shimano on Marcel Kittel’s win and his own hopes for stage 2.
Image ©Pierre TH / CyclingShorts.cc
Geraint Thomas talks to us at the finish of stage 1 of the Tour de France in Harrogate.
Image ©Chris Maher / CyclingShorts.cc
3 days before the Tour de France Grand Départ,
the legacy is already underway …
Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) supported by British Cycling have submitted an application to the UCI for a new, world class professional cycle race in Yorkshire.
If approved by the world’s governing body, the provisionally titled ”Tour of Yorkshire” will be a three-day race and its inaugural edition will run from 1 – 3 May 2015.
Based on the strong collaboration that has been built up between Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO for the Grand Départ and working in partnership with British Cycling, the race will be a 2.1 UCI Europe Tour event, guaranteeing the participation of some of the world’s leading cyclists and providing a fitting legacy to this year’s Tour de France visit in “God’s own County”. Indeed, the organisers are strongly committed to create what shall become “a breathtaking new race in a region made for cycling”.
Beyond the discovery of the entire Yorkshire County, certainly beyond the routes of the Tour de France Grand Départ, and an impactful promotion through international TV coverage, a strong focus will be put on not only sustaining, but further increasing the already outstanding enthusiasm for cycling in the UK. All three entities are therefore committed to creating a sustainable event which will also help grow the sport of cycling both in Yorkshire and nationally.
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France added: “Alongside the public interest for cycling, highlighted by the Grand Départ, Yorkshire boasts beautiful breathtaking scenery worthy of any of the cycling season’s major events. It therefore seems perfectly natural for Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and ASO to continue working together in this new land of cycling, through the Tour of Yorkshire. In particular, this three-day stage race will offer television viewers worldwide the opportunity to continue discovering the splendid landscapes of this English region, a journey started by the Tour de France, whose Grand Départ this year will remain its founding act.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “When we bid to host the Tour de France we did so in the knowledge that this would be the start of a long relationship with ASO. So I am delighted to be able to announce this exciting new race for Yorkshire. Our county is a new cycling heartland of Europe and we look forward to welcoming back some of the world’s best riders in Yorkshire in less than 12 months’ time.”
Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s Director of Cycle Sport said: “We will await the decision of the UCI but I am confident that ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire will create a world-class event attractive to the best teams in cycling. What is more, all three organisations are committed to ensuring the race delivers lasting benefits to cycling by engaging more fans for our great sport and by encouraging more people to get active by getting on their bikes. What is common to all our events work is a determination that they inspire participation in the sport and support the network of volunteers upon whom cycling is reliant at every level.”