British Tour de France winners are now commonplace but back in my youth, we could only dream of such things; however we had warriors out there, battling Johnny Foreigner in his back yard – Barry Hoban, Mike Wright and a chap called Derek Harrison.
But somehow it passed me by that I’d lost one of my boyhood heroes.
Derek Harrison died in Pernes-les-Fontaines, Provence, France on May 12th last year at 74 years-of-age.
Like many, I was introduced to continental racing through the pages of the late lamented International Cycle Sport magazine.
Most of the names pictured and written about were foreign, there was no ‘Mondialisation’ in 1970; but one rider who I thought looked super-cool and whose name I didn’t have to wrestle with was Englishman Harrison with his perfect ‘born to ride a racing bicycle’ position and tinted shades.