Tag Archive for ‘Great English Riders’
Phil Edwards (Comments Off)
It was Phil Edwards’ friend and former team mate back in their amateur days, respected cycling photographer John Pierce who broke the sad news to us that the big man from Bristol, who won both the British Junior and Professional Road race Championships and was right hand man to Italian ‘campionissimo’ Francesco Moser at ‘super squadra’ Sanson for five seasons had died of a suspected heart attack at his home in Monaco on Sunday, April 23rd aged 67 – he was born 03:09:1949.
Phil Edwards, British Champion, Olympian, respected member of an elite peloton, successful businessman and gentleman, rest in peace.
‘When I were a lad’ next to the Milk Race the biggest deal in UK cycling was the BBAR (Best British All Rounder) to find Britain’s best ‘tester’ – over 50 and 100 miles plus the 12 hour. The competition still exists but do you know who the BBAR is? Me neither.
Yorkshire’s Peter Hill won the BBAR twice in the 60’s but instead of going for his ‘hat trick’ he completely changed direction and headed across the English Channel to France and established himself as one of the world’s leading amateur time trial exponents before turning professional with Peugeot – but in those Machiavellian days it didn’t work out. Here’s his story…
Dave Rollinson – The Road That Led to Gold (Comments Off)
We recently ran an interview with Liverpool Mercury stalwart, Ricky Garcia; we’re sure that Ricky would agree that perhaps the best rider The Mercury ever produced never really realised his full potential.
His name is Dave Rollinson; twice British Amateur Road Race Champion, Tour de L’Avenir stage winner, French amateur Classic winner and twice a Worlds top 20 finisher.
We caught up with Dave at his home in Spain recently to discuss a career which looked headed for continental professionalism – and not just to make up the numbers.
The 70’s; great music, great cars and great riders – Merckx, De Vlaeminck, Gimondi, Thevenet, Raas, Knetemann, and the biggest rivalry British cycle sport has ever seen – Liverpool’s clubs, the Kirkby versus the Mercury; their rivalry was anything but friendly.
In conversation I mentioned Phil Thomas who had left the Kirkby to join the Mercury; the room went quiet, Matthews fixed me with a stare; ‘we don’t talk about him in this house’. I nodded and changed the subject, quickly.
Recently we had a chat with a man who was at the centre of it all, tells a good tale and still rides his bike at 77 years-of-age, Ricardo, ‘Ricky’ Garcia.
Steve Douce – Seven Times British Cyclo-Cross Champion (Comments Off)
Over the last couple of winters we’ve tracked down and spoken to some of the ‘greats’ of British cyclo-cross, John Atkins, Keith Mernickle, Chris Wreghitt and Barry Davies to name four.
But our Spanish mentor, Al Hamilton pointed out to us that we hadn’t spoken to the man who won the title seven times in the 80’s and 90’s – Steve Douce.
The VV View: Sky, Wiggins and the TUE Grey Area (Comments Off)
TUE’s – once again I’m reminded of Elton John’s words; ‘and all this science I don’t understand…’
The forums are ablaze with righteous indignation from carpet fitters and bike shop mechanics, all of whom are well versed in conditions which affect an athlete’s breathing and the treatment of any ailments related thereto.
Me? I’m a glazier originally and I can’t remember Prednisolone ever cropping up once during my ‘apprenticeship.’
The Skol Six Day 1980, Wembley, London and I’m down to watch those brilliant late night chases, along with Sandy Gilchrist, Phil Griffiths and Stuart Sutherland. We’re staying with a larger than life Londoner called Johnny Morris.
Griffiths has the patter and the cheek but he he’s no match for Johnny – a tousle-haired bear of a man who sells loft conversions and who’s greeted as a king when we appear at the Indian restaurant each night, en route back from the Six; with his Jag parked outside at a jaunty angle on the double yellow lines on the corner, just beside the traffic lights. Needless to say, he didn’t get a ticket.
If you were on the UK race scene in the late 70’s through to the mid-90’s then you’ll be familiar with the name ‘Paul Curran.’ The man could do the lot – he was British Champion in the team pursuit, madison, points, motorpaced, pro criterium, amateur road race, team time trial and hill climb.
He won every big race on the UK calendar from Girvan to the Isle of Man to Essex via The Peak and Cotswolds. And that’s before we mention the Commonwealth Games Road Race and Team Time Trial the Tour of Normandie and Circuit des Mines. High times we had a word …
If you go out for a ‘steady state’ run of perhaps three hours and you average 22.4 mph then you’ve not been hanging about. But how about holding that tempo for 24 hours ? that’s ‘twenty four’ hours, a full day or three consecutive shifts at work?
That’s exactly what Michael Broadwith (Arctic Tacx) did in the recent British 24 Hour Time Trial Championship, recording an event record for the Merseyside course of 537 miles; we felt that anyone who can average 22.4 mph for 24 hours has to be worth speaking to…
My eyes snap open to golden dappled rays silhouetting pine branches above – beneath me a pillow of twigs and earth, nearby a lake nestled between snowy peaks shimmers enticingly. My legs are in a tent, my body protruding out. I think I’m naked.
I used to be a cyclist but you’d be forgiven for not knowing it. Six months ago I was living in a room in France, riding for a division one team – Nantes Atlantique – and racing some of the highest level amateur events in the country. I dreamt of being Bradley Wiggins or Fabian Cancellara; now I only dream of being myself. How did I go from aspiring to the World Tour to touring the world?
Bob Chadwick – Riding in the Service of Thurau and Schuiten (Comments Off)
Most will have forgotten that Bob Chadwick rode for the mighty and still revered TI-Raleigh team of Peter Post which rode beautiful bicycles made with pride and precision in Nottingham – not churned out of moulds in the Far East.
Four decades have passed and it’s still debated; 1970’s Raleigh – was their legendary manager, the late Peter Post anti-British or just anti-failure? We decided to ask Bob his opinion on the matter.
Phil Edwards – Part Two; All in the Service of Moser (Comments Off)
In Part One of our Phil Edwards interview we heard how he was hugely successful on the ‘truly amateur’ British scene as he racked up the wins, competed in the fated Munich Olympics before heading to Italy in 1973 and making a name for himself in their savage amateur scene, winning big races by 1975.
He was able to step smoothly up into the glamorous – but cutthroat – Italian professional world, but not just with any old team, with Sanson, the ice cream company sponsored squadra of Italian Capo, Francesco Moser…
Phil Edwards – Part One; Moser’s Gregario, the Early Years (Comments Off)
He looked super cool on a Fred Baker with a Western Road Club jersey on his back; plonk him atop a silver all-Campag Benotto clad in Sanson strip – complete with crumpled Oppy cap at just the right angle – and well, you were into the Simpson/Ocana/Merckx zone on the CooloMeter.
Phil Edwards is that man; omnipresent on the GB amateur scene he piled up the wins then headed to Italy, made a name for himself in the savage amateur scene there before stepping smoothly up into the glamorous but cutthroat Italian professional world – but not just with any old team, with Sanson, the ice cream company sponsored squadra (even the sponsor’s product was cool) of Italian Capo, Francesco Moser.
Edwards owns a restaurant now in the south of France; here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas about those Golden Days back in the 70’s – and despite all those years in Italy and now France he still retains that distinctive but not unpleasant Bristol ‘burr.’
Tom Southam – Behind the Wheel in the Drapac Team Car (Comments Off)
The last time we spoke to ex-pro Tom Southam he was Rapha Condor’s press officer – but he’s moved on again and is now the man behind the steering wheel in the Drapac team car.
We recently interviewed the Pro Continental squad’s Sam Spokes after his excellent top five placing in the Australian Road race Championship behind IAM’s Heinrich Haussler; since then the team have been rampant with stage wins in the Tour Down Under and most recently the Jayco Herald Sun Tour courtesy of Wouter Wippert and Will Clarke, respectively.
Tom took time recently to chat to VeloVeritas about his move from word processor to team car.
John Atkins is Britain’s greatest ever cyclo-cross rider; 13 times a British champion and still the nation’s best ever finisher in the Worlds – and at a time when ‘cross gods, the de Vlaeminck brothers were at their zenith. He lives quietly in retirement in Wales, doesn’t ‘do the internet’ and isn’t a man for the ‘stats.’
He was surprised we wanted to speak to him but gave freely of his time and anecdotes. Here’s what John had to say to VeloVeritas just after young van der Poel had won the Worlds in Tabor.