The pursuit race is the ultimate battle of man against the clock and, in the end, man against man. Once upon the time the pursuit champion was the king of the boards and everyone would know his name. Australian Steele Bishop was one of those men of the ’80s.
When I first got ‘into’ cycling, back in 1970, if the World Professional Road Race Champion wasn’t riding but the World Professional Pursuit Champion was, then the track man was entitled, nay, duty bound to wear his rainbow jersey – that’s how important the title was.
Things have changed, since 1993 the championships have been ‘open’ so there’s now no distinction between amateurs and professionals, all ride the 4,000 meter distance. Before then the Pros rode 5,000 meters. No longer do the big road stars and real specialists who used the title as a big bucks calling card into the Six Days line up for the pursuit.
The late 60’s up to the mid 70’s was the time of Great Britain’s Hugh Porter and Be