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1956 Tour de France winner Roger Walkowiak passes away

Roger Walkowiak, the winner of the 1956 Tour de France has passed away. At 89 years-old, Walkowiak was the oldest winner of the Tour still alive. His family confirmed the news today that he had died overnight near Vichy. Walkowiak who raced as a professional from 1950 to 1960 was a surprise winner of the '56 Tour. Racing for the...

The challenge of the Giro-Tour double

The Movistar team of Nairo Quintana announced last week that the Colombian would target both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France this year. If he does somehow manage to win both Grand Tours, he would join an exclusive group of riders who have completed the double in the one season. However, it's a daunting task that Quintana faces and...

The Irish Olympic cyclist who survived the sinking of the Lusitania

By Graham Healy In 1915, the RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 off the Old Head of Kinsale off the south coast of Ireland. The ship sank in eighteen minutes and resulted in the deaths of 1,198 people. It was considered to be one of the contributory factors for the US entering World War One. The Cunard...

Robert Millar’s 1995 National Championships win on the Isle of Man (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy In 1995, the Scot Robert Millar won the British Professional Road Race Championships on the Isle of Man for the first and only time in his career. It was to be his last ever victory, as soon afterwards his team Le Groupement folded and Millar retired from the sport. That year, the renowned Manx Trophy doubled up...

Jacques Anquetil’s remarkable Dauphiné – Bordeaux-Paris double

By Graham Healy In 1965, Jacques Anquetil achieved a remarkable double when he won the eight-day Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré in the Alps and the 557-km Bordeaux-Paris directly afterwards. The Dauphiné finished on May 31st at 3.00pm with Bordeaux-Paris starting on the other side of the country at 1.30am the following morning. It was a remarkable idea to aim to win...

1950 Tour de France winner Ferdi Kübler passes away at the age of 97

The Swiss cyclist Ferdi Kübler who was the oldest living Tour de France winner passed away in a Zurich hospital on Thursday at the age of 97. Kübler who was known as "the cowboy" because of his penchant for Stetson hats won the Tour de France in 1950 and the following year, went on to become World Road Race champion....

The Tour de France stage which inspired Freddie Mercury

By Graham Healy In the summer of 1978, Bernard Hinault was emerging as the next big thing in cycling. That July, the Breton was on his way to winning the first of five Tours de France. Hinault had been one of the pre-race favourites after his Vuelta a Espana win earlier that year. What was also helping to position Hinault as...

“Paris-Roubaix is bulls**t” – Bernard Hinault after winning the 1981 race (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy By the time of the 1981 Paris-Roubaix, it had been 25 years since the last French winner of the country's biggest one-day race. Louison Bobet had been the last home winner in 1956 and the race had been dominated by Belgians and to a lesser extent Italian riders in the decades after. In the run-up to the 1981...

The Tragic Downfall of Frank Vandenbroucke

By Graham Healy The Belgian rider Frank Vandenbroucke was just a teenager when he won his first professional race - a stage of the Tour of the Mediterranean where he beat the likes of Davide Cassani and Evgeni Berzin. Vandenbroucke who was racing for the Lotto team would later claim that Cassani and Berzin had "been prepared by doctor Michele...

“This isn’t cycling, it’s war” – Looking back at the Kelly-Vanderaerden rivalry

By Graham Healy One of the greatest sprint rivalries of the 1980s was that between Sean Kelly and Eric Vanderaerden which would see the pair clash numerous times during the decade. Their rivalry first came to prominence in 1983. Early on in the season, 21 year-old Vanderaerden had clashed with Kelly causing the Irishman to crash at Paris-Nice. A few months...

Plugger Bill Martin – The Dublin-born cyclist who became “champion of the world”

By Graham Healy One of the most remarkable cyclists ever to emerge from Ireland, is a name that may be unfamiliar to many - "Plugger" Bill Martin. Not only did he make his mark with his performances on the bike, but he has also been credited with some innovations which helped to revolutionise the sport. Amongst the wins that Martin took...

When Conor Henry became the first and only Irish rider to win the Milk Race

By Graham Healy Back in 1992, a young man from Belfast had one of the best ever performances by an Irish amateur cyclist. The particular performance was when Conor Henry took the overall win in The Milk Race. The top amateur race in Britain had its inaugural edition back in 1958 and Irish riders had come close to victory a...

Remarkable cycling photos from 1960 Olympics discovered in attic – Part 2

Dubliner Ronan Fox recently discovered a box of slides in his father’s attic which had been forgotten about for decades. Ronan subsequently digitised the slides and the photos that were revealed provided some great images from the bike races at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. We published the first set of the photos in a previous post. Ronan's father Seán...

Remarkable cycling photos from 1960 Olympics discovered in attic – Part 1

Fifty six years ago, the Olympics took place in Rome and featured 5338 athletes from 83 countries. The Games of the XVII Olympiad was where an 18 year-old Cassius Clay first made his name on an international stage when he won the light heavyweight gold medal. Other highlights from the Games included Australia's Herb Elliott winning the 1500 metres...

When Irish Teams clashed at the 1972 Olympics Road Race

By Graham Healy Prior to 1987 when the Federation of Irish Cyclists was formed, the governance of the sport on the island was very much divided with a number of different bodies representing cyclists. In the 1930s and 40s, the sport was governed by the National Cycling Association (NCA), an all-Ireland organisation. However, in 1947 the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), decreed...

When Gino Bartali was ‘attacked’ on the Col d’Aspin by a man with a salami

By Graham Healy The Col d’Aspin may not be the hardest or most iconic climb that features in the Tour de France, but in the 1950 edition of the race, it was the scene of considerable drama. The climb featured on the eleventh stage of the race from Pau to St. Gaudens and two-time Tour winner Gino Bartali was away with...

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Jerusalem could host 2018 Giro d’Italia start according to report

Jerusalem is in the running to host the start of the 101st Giro d'Italia next year, according to a report in today's Het Nieuwsblad. The...

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