Re: [CR]Tour de France, missing in action


Example: Framebuilders:Doug Fattic
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 21:39:31 -0400
Subject: Re: [CR]Tour de France, missing in action
From: <unreceived_dogma@mindspring.com>
To: themaaslands@comcast.net
cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

I received this interesting comment from Robin Walker in Broseley, Shropshire, the person who did the fine restoration of the 1937 Imperial Petrel Super Rigid aka The Joe Cooke "Jug Handle" that some of you may have seen at the Cirque this year:

"I am not an expert on the TdeF, but basically mass start road racing was never popular in Britain, cycle sport was time trialing and track racing. The great Percy Stallard was the first person to organize a road race in 1944 , for his trouble he was banned by the NCU (cycle sports governing body) and so formed his own organization the BLRC , from then on cyclists were divided between these two groups. You were either a "Union" man or "League" man! Good old boys still have this bias even today. Also it is not the bike that wins the race it is the cyclist. Tde F riders are supremely fit athletes. The UK has never had anyone really committed enough."

regards, Michael

----------

>From: themaaslands@comcast.net

>To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org (Classic Rendezvous)

>Subject: Re: [CR]Tour de France, missing in action

>Date: Wed, Jul 14, 2004, 7:17 PM

>


>Mike wrote:

>

>> I was poking around the NYT's TdeF web site, they have a page of all the

>> previous riders to win, place, or show.

>> To this observer, conspicuous in their absence are riders from the UK. I

>> find this odd given the depth of bicycle culture in the UK, the number of

>> fine riders and frame builders that come from there. Even Kazakistan is

>> represented!

>

>I made this exact point not long ago. Britain was perhaps the instigator of

>cycling and of most bicycle racing. They are also one of the longest

>existing members of the international governing body of international

>bicycle racing. As long standing members, they have always had a say in the

>determination of the international race calendar, as well as what are

>considered the most important race disciplines. This does not however mean

>that they have been overly successful. In fact, given the number of

>cyclists and the amount of activity and the ingrained bicycle culture,

>their results must be deemed as mediocre at best. While not quite as

>pronouncedly negative as the Tour results, the World Championship results

>of Britons are also sparse. My own personal belief is that the limitation

>of massed start races in Britain is largely the cause.

>

>If you however limit the results to the years up to and including 1983 (CR

>deadline), you will however find the following results:

>

>

>> AUSTRIA (1 podium)

>> BELGIUM (49 podiums)

>> COLUMBIA (none)

>> CZECHOSLOVAKIA (none)

>> DENMARK (none)

>> FRANCE (91 podiums)

>> GERMANY (1 podium)

>> IRELAND (none)

>> ITALY (28 podiums)

>> KAZAKISTAN (none)

>> LATVIA (none)

>> LITHUANIA (none)

>> LUXEMBOURG (10 podiums)

>> NETHERLANDS (13 podiums)

>> POLAND (none)

>> PORTUGAL (2 podiums)

>> SPAIN (10 podiums)

>> SWEDEN (1 podium)

>> USA (none)

>

>On a per capita basis, the real stars are the Belgians and the

>Luxemburgers. The absence of the Eastern European countries is readily

>explainable as they were simply not permitted to participate in

>professional races. The first American to participate only came in the

>1980's (Jonathon Boyer), so they obviously didn't get any results prior to

>the 1980's (but have since made a huge impact). What surprises me is that

>riders from Australia had 14 participations, New Zealand 3, Japan 2 (in the

>1920's!) in the pre-1983 tours against the one single American's appearance.

>

>--

>Steven Maasland

>Moorestown, NJ