Steven wrote ;
> Let's get some facts straight here. Britain does not have a history of international success in professional cycling, and in the CR period never did. Try as you will, you will not be able to build a case to show that they did. Apart from a very select group of highly gifted individuals, Britian did not enjoy any deeply seated success
and also ;
If you take the top three finishers at the world championships in the two premier events, namely road and track sprint, you find Harris alone from Britain. Less names than those of such powerhouse cycling nations like Japan, Austria, Luxemburg, Denmark, Australia and the USA.
Sorry but unless the UCI got their facts wrong, in the CR period between 1900 & 1983 on the road, Britain's men were placed once in the top three courtesy of Tom Simpson... and for the USA twice courtesy of Lemond... On the Track (sprint) Britain produced a 3rd - Bailey (1902) and a massive 4 1st's 2 x 2nd's and a 3rd from Harris. For the USA, it was two 1st's courtesy of Lawson and Kramer.
This isn't about building a case, but by comparison with the domination of Italian, French, German, Belgian (I've probably missed a country or three) "we" neither Britain nor the USA were (and to some extent continue to be) anything but bit-part players in this predominantly (mainland) European game. Apart of course from a few individual talented riders. Hardly grounds for calling the USA a "powerhouse cycling nation". If we sent even 50 guy's to the USA and let's say they all became top American football pro's, would you say then that the GB was a "powerhouse football nation" ? I don't think so.
I would add that you also wrote "that sales of British cycles were solely successful in commonwealth countries where preferential tariffs favored them financially or in racing backwaters (the majority of the USA included), or in markets where they had a presence through the purchase of local company. Perhaps Norris will offer an insight into this but one of the main reasons post-war that sales of British cycles for example in France were not succesfull was not the lack of a preferential tariff, but in fact the addition of severe punitive duties applied to imports.