Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Rory O’Reilly – on his Career and THAT Olympic Superbike

A wee while ago we chatted with Brent Emery (interview to follow), who rode one of the US team’s Raleigh ‘Super Bikes’ to ’84 Olympic silver, so it was only fair we caught up the man who rode the wildest bike which appeared at those Games; Rory O’Reilly.

Alan van Heerden – Africa’s First Grand Tour Stage Winner

There is no doubt that Biniam Girmay’s win on Stage 10 of the 2022 Giro d’Italia was a historic one but it was not the first stage win by an African in the race; on May 4th 1979, Stage Seven, Chieti to Pesaro over a massive 252 kilometres, Peugeot’s South African rider, Alan van Heerden became the first African to win a Grand Tour stage.

Dean Woods

We were sad to hear the news of the passing of one of Australia’s top track and road men, Dean Woods, on March the 3rd at the age of 55. He’ll be missed by everybody whose lives he touched. Admired, loved and respected by all. A truly iconic legend.

Tony Bell remembers his brother Mark, British Amateur and Professional Champion

Mark Bell died in 2009 at just 48 year-of-age but his journalist brother, Tony – a fair rider himself, ‘back in the day’ - very kindly agreed to talk to us about a rider whose palmarès, whilst spectacular, could have been so much broader. Mark Bell, a rider we never really saw the very best of.  

Scottish Riders in Le Tour de France

With le Grande Boucle set to depart on Saturday June 26th from Brittany – which shares Celtic culture with Scotland - we thought we should have a look at the Scottish riders who have participated in the biggest race on the planet, over the years.

John Watson – Racing a Great (Five Year) Career in the ’60’s

John Watson started racing at 18 years-of-age in 1966, his first race was a ‘25’ which he won with a 1:00. By the following year he was National ‘100’ Champion; in 1968 he went to the Mexico Olympics; in 1969 he set a 12 hour record which stood for a decade; 1970 saw him set a ‘50’ record which sliced nearly four minutes of the previous fastest time for the distance and lasted for 13 years, win the BBAR, get fourth place in the prestigious GP de France time trial and get offered a place with ACBB.

John Herety – Pro with Coop Mercier; “By the end of the third year I was sleeping 18 hours each day”

In recent years John Herety is best known for his work as manager of the various incarnations of the popular and successful Condor continental team. But he’s a man who’s ‘got the T-shirt’ – British and French amateur Classic wins, a Peace Race stage, a year with ACBB, three years with Coop Mercier, the British Professional Road Championship, the GP Pino Cerami (nearly) and a stage in the Tour of Britain Milk Race (eventually).

Dave Akam – “With Gis I was chucked straight into two Grand Tours!”

Dave Akam is best remembered as the first man to crack the 30 mph barrier for a 10 mile time trial, recording 19:50 on the Portsmouth Road in 1980 in the colours of the Gemini BC. But there’s a wee bit more to the man than that, like wins in the British Pursuit Championship, the amateur Trofeo Baracchi in Italy; French chrono classics the Grand Prix de France and Chrono de Herbiers, not to mention the prestigious GP Timmermans time trial in the Netherlands and a shed load of road wins in France and The Netherlands.