My old dad used to say to me that you knew you were getting old when it seemed like every other week you had to attend a friend’s funeral. I scoffed; but now I understand what he meant – it’s not funerals with me but rather writing cyclists’ obituaries and sadly, I must another to the list, my old GS Modena, Brummie team mate, Steve Beech.
Colin Lewis was a top British professional in the 60’s and 70’s and if you are of a certain age he will have been one of your heroes. Tour de France rider, multi-national champion and many wins to his name, we look back over the life of a true champion.
Randy Allsopp was 25 and 50 mile champion, stage racer of renown with multiple victories, top 10 finisher in the world’s fastest amateur stage race, The Olympia Tour in the Netherlands, and - along with Ferdi Bracke - one of the very few people ever to catch Hugh Porter in a Pursuit race.
Pete Matthews was a sprinter and while many of his staggering 366 total of wins in the 60's and 70's came from mass charges, he could also win from the break. Impressive and prolific by any measure, high times we caught up with the man I remember Cycling Weekly magazine – our ‘bible’ of the day – describing as, ‘a cheeky chappie.’
Often, when we're talking to riders about those Golden Days for bike racing, the 60’s and 70’s, the name Phil Cheetham crops up. Cheetham was a quality rider with some big results in France in the early 70’s and he very kindly agreed to share his memories with us.
Stuart Hallam, Ian’s elder brother was there, road and track side for virtually all of his younger brother’s successes and is also a man who has made major contributions to the sport of cycling over the years. We thought we should catch up with, ‘Big Bruv.’