Feature Articles

Archive footage of Shay Elliott’s 1960 Giro d’Italia stage win (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy In 1960, Shay Elliott became the first English-speaking cyclist to win a stage of the Giro d'Italia when he took victory on the 18th stage of the race from Trieste to Belluno, and below is some footage from that stage. Going into the stage, Elliott's Fynsec-Helyett team-mate Jacques Anquetil held a comfortable 3 minute lead over Gastone Nencini...

Victor Fastré – The Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner killed in World War One

By Graham Healy In 1909, the Belgian cyclist Victor Fastré took the biggest victory of his career when he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège, despite not being the first rider across the line. He had been second fastest in the eight-man sprint but was awarded the victory when the original winner was disqualified. Fastré was just 18 years and 362 days old when...

Bernard Hinault and his epic win in the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège (VIDEO)

In 1980, Bernard Hinault won what turned out to be an incredible edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. That year, snow fell right from the start, leading commentators to call it ‘Neige-Bastogne-Neige’ (Snow-Bastogne-Snow’) and after one hour of racing, more than half of all starters had already abandoned the race. After 70 kilometres of racing, only sixty survivors were left. Hinault himself even...

“This wasn’t a race. It was a pilgrimage” – The story of the 1919 Paris-Roubaix

Paris-Roubaix is also known as the 'Hell of the North', and even though the sectors of pavé can rightfully be described as hellish, the name actually comes from a description a journalist gave to the battle-scarred terrain that the cyclists race over. At the end of January 1919, Henri Desgrange, the boss of L'Auto, decided to organise Paris-Roubaix again Paris-Roubaix...

Ernest Hemingway and the Tour of the Basque Country

One of the literary giants of the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway, first moved to Europe during World War One and during his stay on the continent, he came to really appreciate bicycle racing, in particular, six-day races in Paris. He even makes a reference to the Tour of the Basque Country in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises....

Wonderful Losers: A Different World – Trailer (VIDEO)

Wonderful Losers: A Different World is a new documentary by Arūnas Matelis about the world of pro cycling, and in particular, the work of the domestiques. According to the producers of the film, it covers "the relationship between those who lead, and those who are ready to sacrifice themselves to help their teammates achieve the victory. "For most of us, those...

Why cycling is much more than a sport in Colombia (VIDEO)

The BBC have produced a radio documentary on the passion for cycling in Colombia. 'The Flying Colombians' tells the background of the Vuelta a Colombia and how the race captured the imagination of the public. Alongside the radio documentary, a short video has also been produced on the topic, which describes the early years of the Vuelta a Colombia. The video...

Archive footage of the 1986 Kelloggs City Centre races in Dublin and Cork (VIDEO)

In 1983, a new exciting series of bike races started in the U.K. and the following year the series would expand across the Irish Sea. The Kelloggs Channel 4 City Centre Cycling Championship was the brainchild of Alan Rushton and that first series consisted of five races in Bristol, Nottingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. Races would take place over the next...

Servais Knaven’s mud-covered 2001 Paris-Roubaix race winning bike

In 2001, Dutch rider Servais Knaven led a clean sweep for the Domo-Farm Frites-Latexco team at Paris-Roubaix. Knaven soloed to victory with team mates Johan Museeuw and Romāns Vainšteins finishing 34” and 41” behind him respectively. It marked the biggest win in Knaven’s long career in which he also won the Dutch Championships, Scheldeprijs and a stage of the Tour...

The ‘Bicycle Phone’ – The telephone of the future from 1985 (VIDEO)

Back in 1985, the Dutch TV programme Wondere Wereld featured what they called the ‘phone of the future.’ The show’s presenter Chriet Titulaer showed the prototype of the mobile phone which was small enough to be transported by bicycle. Titulaer predicted that users of the “PTT bicycle phone” which would be charged using an alternator, would even be making calls...

Jacques Anquetil: The Man, The Mystery, The Legend (VIDEO)

Jacques Anquetil - The Man, the Mystery, the Legend is the story of the first five-time winner of the Tour de France. Narrated by Phil Liggett, it features interviews with Raphael Geminiani, Janine Anquetil and Jean-Pierre Ollivier. The film was produced by Philippe Kohly and also includes footage from some of Anquetil's races and archive interviews with the Frenchman. Amongst the...

Tom Gascoyne – The English champion cyclist killed at Passchendaele

By Graham Healy One of the many well-known cyclists killed in action during World War 1 was Tom “Jeb” Gascoyne. Although he was from England, Gascoyne ended up fighting for the Australians in France and Belgium. He had started bike racing back in 1893 and would go on to set a number of world records, including that for twenty-five miles, which...

RTÉ Release Archive Footage of the Inaugural Nissan Classic

Irish state broadcaster RTÉ, with financial support from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, has been digitising its archive and the first series of news reports, available for viewing from today, are from 1985. The first phase of the project is accessible to anyone on the RTÉ website. RTÉ Archives digitised 13,332 tapes for the News Collection, featuring approximately 9,000 hours...

Jacques Anquetil and the first Vuelta-Tour double

By Graham Healy When Chris Froome won the Vuelta a España on Sunday, he became just the third rider to have won the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same season. It hasn’t happened since 1978 when Bernard Hinault won both races and prior to that, it was Jacques Anquetil who achieved the feat back in 1963, becoming the...

100 years since 1910 Tour de France winner Octave Lapize was killed in action

One hundred years ago this month, the winner of the 1910 Tour de France Octave Lapize, was killed in action in the First World War. Not only did Lapize win the Tour, he also won Paris-Roubaix on three consecutive occasions, in addition to Paris-Brussels and Paris-Tours amongst other races. When war broke out in 1914 Lapize signed up to fight within...

When a rider protest led to Urs Zimmermann’s Tour expulsion being overturned (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy Riders are rarely thrown off the Tour de France but it happened in 1991 when Swiss rider Urs Zimmermann was kicked out of the race. His offence was that he had refused to travel by airplane during a rest day transfer from Nantes to Pau after the eleventh stage but instead went by car It was said that Zimmermann...

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Louis Meintjes withdraws from the Giro d’Italia due to illness

Louis Meintjes has been forced to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia due to illness, his Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has announced. The 26-year-old, riding...

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