Archive for October, 2010

Ricardo Garcia (aka Garce)

During a clear out I came across this newspaper cutting. It is undated and the newspaper isn’t indicated but I suspect it was a Catholic paper, possibly the Catholic Pictorial, as Garce’s parish is mentioned and  all the articles on the reverse have a religious theme. Why I have kept it for nearly forty years I have no idea. Click on the article to enlarge.

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Mallorca musings

Not exactly a holiday and certainly not a training camp, nor an end to my season as I don’t compete, my week long break was nothing more than an attempt to top up my vitamin D levels before winter. As so often is the case with club cyclists we also topped up our alcohol levels.

To be honest the cycling wasn’t that great. Two days cut short by rain and a third a complete wash out. On the best day of the week I had two punctures in the first few miles and skulked back to the hotel in a sulk. To make matters worse Paul Mayor, our ride co-ordinator, was sadly unable to join the trip resulting in some aimless bumbling about and no “classic” rides ticked off.

I thought the hotel was everything you could expect at the price, OK it wasn’t an experience in fine dining but nobody went hungry.  Most drinking was done in a bar twenty five yards from the hotel although we seemed to be incapable of walking through the hotel bar without stopping for one last bevy.

Somewhere near Sineu

Ramona, the ever cheerful waitress at the local bar.

John “Tam” Barton paying for yet more drinks.

Ken Beck rained off at Petra

One last drink in the hotel bar.

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First stage, Tour of Britain 1952

This is the report of Bracky’s big win from the Daily Express. Clearly I was wrong to think that my old mate was only a sprinter.

At first the pace was leisurely, for the field had four miles of neutralised road to cover before the start of the race proper. Strictly observing the no-racing rule for all built-up areas, the riders held themselves in check until the de-neutralisation flag was waved – and then 78 pairs of pedals were stamped down simultaneously. Speed quickly shot up to 35 m.p.h. as rider after rider tried to break away on his own – only to be foiled by the tactics of the field.
After 14 miles hard slogging, however, a slight slowing-down of the field gave London amateur Johnny Brackstone the signal to forge ahead. Even so, his brilliant and sustained effort was not a lone breakaway – he was chased hard by eight other riders. This group of nine joined forces and, making the most of their lead, began to work as a unit, building up a useful vantage. Mile after mile the nine men kept together, maintaining a truly killing pace – so killing in fact that eventually T. Smith of Romford R.C. had to drop back.
Meanwhile, behind this leading group, other attempts at breakaways were being made. Some succeeded, some failed, and after an hour’s jockeying, during which the leaders had covered 25 miles, there were four groups spread out in front of the main field.
At the summit of long, gruelling Patcham Hill, near Brighton – a prime point – Bob Maitland, leader of the B.S.A. team, sprinted away to score a magnificent win. Following him were Norman Yeaman of the Pennine team and Johnny Brackstone. The remaining four amongst the leaders followed close behind.
It was two minutes before the next riders appeared at the top of the hill. Then Frenchman Pierre led across a group of eight men. They were chasing really hard in an attempt to catch the advance party. Another two minutes passed before the main bunch breasted the hill.
Gradually the eight ‘hounds’ drew closer to the ‘hares’ Leslie Drinkwater (Wearwell) dropped from the chasers. With 3o miles still to go, the two septets joined up. These 14 men stayed clear of the field and fought out the finish.
And what a finish this proved to be! In one solid group they flew into Southsea’s Serpentine Road. It was the young London amateur Brackstone who flung his machine over the line first, with barely the width of a tyre separating him from second man Ken Russell (Ellis-Briggs).
An ex-clubmate of Russell’s, Ken Jowett, riding for the R.A.F., was placed third. The remaining eleven riders in the group were all placed equal fourth. Included amongst them were three of the B.S.A. team, Bob Maitland, Peter Procter and Gordon ‘Tiny’ Thomas. They became leaders in the team race.

1st J. BRACKSTONE, London, 99 miles in 4.12.27 (av. 23.5mph)
2nd K. RUSSELL (Ellis-Briggs) at inches
3rd K. JOWETT (Royal Air Force) at inches

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Mosquera not only on new wheels!

This advert is still showing on days after Mosquera’s positive test for HES (said to be a masking agent for EPO use) was announced!

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Championship commentary confusion

So nearly a world champion again.

On Sunday I awoke at 4:30am to watch the BBC’s broadcast of the pro road race on “the red button” (God knows what that means or how it works) with Porter and Chris Boardman commentating. It was a fantastic race which made their job easier but it was a major blunder that they both missed Philippe Gilbert being caught 3km from the line. Porter was bitterly complaining that the camera wasn’t on Gilbert long after he was caught.

I then watched the race for a second time on Eurosport with Harman and Kelly. As always Yer Man was good but he did make a major blunder. He said more than once that the peloton could allow the early break to gain half an hour and still reel them in before the finish. Wrong Sean. If the break had reached the circuit with that kind of lead they would have been more than a lap up. With the break tucked in the bunch how exactly would the “chasers” got that lap back? The new world champion would be the Ukrainian Kvachuk who was the strongest of the break.

I am told by my race adviser Ken Beck that at the point the bunch reached the circuit they were just 45 seconds in front of the leaders finishing their first lap. I don’t think the UCI will risk adopting the same format again.

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