Feature Articles

Eddy Merckx’s first Grand Tour stage win on Blockhaus (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy On 20 May 1967, Eddy Merckx started his first ever Grand Tour when he lined up at the start of the 50th edition of the Giro d'Italia in Treviglio in the province of Bergamo. It was a star-studded peloton which started that year. In addition to the 1966 winner Gianni Motta, other main contenders included previous winners...

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...

Stephen Roche and the Poggio descent time-trial of the ’87 Giro d’Italia (VIDEO)

For the 1987 Giro d'Italia, the organisers announced that the riders would face three time-trials in the opening four days - a 4-kilometre prologue in San Remo, a 43-kilometre team time-trial on day four, and sandwiched in between was a rather unusual test - an 8-kilometre descent of the Poggio - the famous climb from Milan-San Remo. The opening prologue...

The most unbelievable Flèche Wallonne ever (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy To say that the performances in the 1994 Flèche Wallone raised eyebrows would be to put it mildly. The Italian Moreno Argentin and two of his Gewiss team-mates, Evgeni Berzin and Giorgio Furlan filled the podium, but it was the manner of the win which was astounding. The trio just rode away from the...

Roche, Kelly and the ’82 Amstel Gold (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy In addition to Fleche Wallonne and the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold is one of the few top races that has never been won by an Irish rider. They have come close on occasion though with Sean Kelly taking third in 1980 and sixth in 1981. Perhaps the best chance of an Irish win though came in the...

Bernard Hinault, the adult movie and his Paris-Roubaix win

In 1981, Bernard Hinault took his one and only victory in Paris-Roubaix, outsprinting a number of the big favourites on the velodrome in Roubaix and becoming the first French winner of the country’s biggest one-day race in 25 years. Prior to the race, Hinault and his Renault team-mates had been seen on their team bus watching a video on the...

The Evil Stones of Arenberg – The 1988 Paris-Roubaix (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy In the 1980s, the US TV channel CBS would show highlights of Paris-Roubaix and the video below is from their coverage of the 1988 race. Paris-Roubaix that year was unusual in that the early break that invariably goes clear managed to stay away until the end. The 12-man break which went away in the first hour of...

“My whole body ached” – Sean Kelly’s first victory in Paris-Roubaix (VIDEO)

In the opening months of the 1984 season, Sean Kelly had an incredible run of results which would prompt him to later describe the first half of the season as the best period of his career. Amongst the wins he took that spring were a third consecutive Paris-Nice, the Tour of the Basque Country, Criterium International and the first of...

Archive footage of the 1936 Dublin-Drogheda-Dublin race (VIDEO)

A race on the Irish calendar which is no longer run but traditionally took place on St. Patrick's Day was Dublin-Drogheda-Dublin. It was a handicap race starting in the capital, travelling north to the County Louth town, before returning back to Dublin. For many who took part in the race, they will recall the race starting on the outskirts of...

Remembering the hardest classic ever – the 1910 Milan-San Remo

By Graham Healy A number of editions of Monuments have gone down in history as epic races due to the conditions that they were run off in. The riders at the 1980 Liège–Bastogne–Liège faced blizzards with only 21 making it to the finish. The 1994 edition of Paris-Roubaix is also well remembered for the muddy conditions the riders endured, resulting...

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....

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