Archive for September, 2013

Sixty years on.

Coppi Worlds 53Somebody asked me if Dave Bedwell finished the 1953 Worlds so I turned up this result sheet. What struck me apart from the good men in the top ten was the distance and time. Compare with today’s race at Florence, 272km in 7hr 25min.  As the Lugano result is loaded with Gen. Class. men I must assume it was a tough course. Are you as surprised as me that today’s super heroes can’t go any faster than those old plodders on their 22lb bikes and wearing baggy wool jerseys.

World Championship 1953

30th August 1953
Location: Lugano Distance: 270km


1. Fausto Coppi (ITA)
7h30:59

2. Germain Derijcke (BEL) +6:22
3. Stan Ockers (BEL) +7:33
4. Michele Gismondi (ITA) +7:34
5. Nino Defilippis (ITA) +9:11
6. Charly Gaul (LUX) +9:12
7. Ferdi Kübler (SUI) +12:57
8. Louison Bobet (FRA)
9. Raphaël Géminiani (FRA)
10. Marcel Ernzer (LUX)
11. Martin van Geneugden (BEL) at

12. Pasquale Fornara (ITA)
13. Wout Wagtmans (NED) same

time
14. Ludwig Hörmann (GER) +14:38
15. Antonin Rolland (FRA) same time
16. Thijs Roks (NED) +14:44
17. André Darrigade (FRA) +19:39
18. Brik Schotte (BEL) same time
19. Andres Trobat (ESP) same time
20. Gerrit Voorting (NED) +19:47
21. Valentin Petry (GER) +27:13
22. Francisco Massip (ESP)
23. Bernardo Ruiz (ESP)
24. Jesus Loroño (ESP) at same time
25. Adolphe Deledda (FRA)
26. Vincenzo Rossello (ITA)
27. David Bedwell (GBR) +28:55
– 70 starters finishers 27

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Strudwick Cycles, Oxford Street, Brighton

A friend sent me this photo copy of Strudwicks 1950 price list, presumably because I lived at Brighton for ten years. In fact I was just round the corner from the shop. Note the justification for a large frame, saving in weight -eh?, Greater rigidity and more lively. I don’t think so Mr Strudwick. Large frames, the norm in the fifties and sixties, was a fashion and a daft one at that.

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Bill Bradley leads a Merseyside massacre

Here we have the results for the Merseyside Four day in April 1958 that I today obtained from Johnny Brackstone who led a West London R.C. assault. I bet they wished they hadn’t bothered. The surprise for me is Dave Russell who I only knew from Bootle track in the sixties.

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McQuaid goes mad

Just before he loses his post Pat has committed one last act of lunacy. He has decided that the women should be chasing the same prize money as the men at the Worlds. He said  “This is a simple, but very important step in our pursuit of a healthy and fair future of our sport,” No it’s not the decision that is simple Pat, it is you.

Just on distance ridden there are no grounds for equal pay but there is more than that. I have attended the Worlds since 1965 although I can’t recall when there was first a women’s race, maybe in the seventies. There just isn’t the same level of competition and intensity and public interest is a fraction of that for the pro race. What do the U23s win? Surely not less than the women and surely not the same as the Pros.  The problem is that Brian Cookson, who is deeply immersed in the local government P C culture, is likely to support Pat’s decision. 

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Butlins two day Road race 1956

I was pleased to come across this result sheet as it is an early record of Bill Bradley’s, career. This is before my time but even so I am surprised how few names ring a bell. Bill and Jackie Lowe from the Southport RCC (Jack is still riding) Bryan Wiltcher of course, Dr Peter Nowell and the Lune team, Pete Southart, Ian Sandbach, Johnny Brackstone of course who led in the bunch on the first day and Ralph Parkin who I raced against when he was a Vet. This’s it . 

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A Boy, a Girl and a Bike

This photo was taken on 25 June 1949 and Bracky insists it is outside the Palace cinema, Southall. When I pointed out it looks more like a bomb site than a cinema he said it is “round the back, near the market”. Bracky says the cinema was showing A Boy, a Girl and a Bike and the West Twelve R.C. were roped in as part of a publicity stunt but he can’t recall what was involved. John Brackstone is second left and Albert Borsberry is third left. If you recognise anybody post a comment.

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