Feature Articles

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...

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...

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...

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