Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Ian Steel – Peace Race WInner


The story that the East European propaganda machine circulated after the 1952 Peace Race was that the “Westerner” winner Ian Steel had been approached by his country’s intelligence agency before he travelled to the race and was asked to; ‘keep his eyes open’ whilst behind the Iron Curtain – to spy, in other words.

The rider declined and received a telegram from his employer on the day he won, firing him from his job.

All nonsense, of course.

But the Peace Race wasn’t just a bike race; it was where the East could battle with the West in the Cold War – and demonstrate their physical and mental superiority over the decadent Capitalists.

‘The Peace Race,’ Warsaw to Berlin to Prague.

When I was a boy it was spoken of in hushed tones.

Ian Steel
The 1952 East German book devoted to Steel’s win , the only book ever published dealing with a single Peace Race.

The East European riders were the hardest of the hard – as they had no problems demonstrating when they came to the UK to ride the Milk Race and its little brother, the Scottish Milk Race.