Feature Articles

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...

Shay Elliott’s fight to finish the 1958 Tour de France

By Graham Healy The Irish rider Shay Elliott made his Tour de France debut in 1956, but unfortunately had to withdraw early on in the race, having sustained injuries from a crash prior to the start of the Tour. Two years later he lined up again, and did make it to Paris this time, despite having suffered an incredible amount of...

30 years ago today, Alex Stieda became the first North American to wear the yellow jersey

The 1986 Tour de France is remembered as being one of the best editions of the race in the past few decades when Greg LeMond won after repelling repeated attacks from his own team-mate Bernard Hinault. Even though LeMond became the first and to-date the only US rider to win the Tour, he wasn't the first North American to wear...

Remembering Rudi Altig’s win at the 1966 World Championships (VIDEO)

Former German professional Rudi Altig has passed away at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer. The German Cycling Federation announced the news yesterday and he leaves behind his wife and three children. He will be remembered as one of the greatest ever German cyclists. Altig notched up some great wins during his long and varied career including...

The stolen bike which led Muhammad Ali to his remarkable boxing career

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has sadly passed away at the age of 74. His family's spokesman Bob Gunnell confirmed his death in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday evening. The three-time world heavyweight champion, who had battled Parkinson's disease for 32 years, was admitted to hospital with a respiratory condition earlier in the week. He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky...

The Bicycle Powered Cinema in Brazil

The Cine Pedal Brasil festival took place in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend and it included free, outdoor screenings of films whose projection was powered by human energy harnessed through the pedalling of bikes. The purpose of the idea was to promote alternative forms of energy and the need to maintain a healthier lifestyle. The screenings took place in...

The Giro d’Italia comedy featuring Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy Totò was one of the most popular comic actors in Italy in the 20th century and worked with many of the biggest names in Italian cinema such as Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1948, he starred in Totò al giro d'Italia which featured some of the biggest names in cycling. Totò stars as a mild-mannered professor...

“They made sure I lost” – Laurent Fignon and the controversial ’84 Giro (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy The 1984 Giro d'Italia is considered to be one of the most controversial ever with allegations that race officials were doing their utmost throughout the race to ensure that victory would go to Francesco Moser rather than the French rider Laurent Fignon. In 1984, Moser was coming towards the end of a glittering career, but had never managed...

The fight to be last at the Giro d’Italia

By Graham Healy Amongst the many defunct classifications from the Grand Tours is the maglia nera of the Giro d'Italia. The short-lived competition saw the last rider on general classification at the Italian tour being awarded a black jersey. However, such were the farcical situations that arose in the fight to win the jersey that the competition was abandoned after just...

Fastest Woman in Africa – Rwanda’s First Female Cyclist (VIDEO)

We recently posted a trailer for a new documentary about Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu who is the only woman on Rwanda’s national cycling team, based at the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC). The short film from Faustin Niyigena has now been released and it's well worth a watch. The story of how she started cycling is described where her first bike was...

Peter Paul Galligan – The cyclist courier of the Easter Rising

By Graham Healy One hundred years ago this week, the Easter Rising took place and the aim of the uprising was to end British rule in Ireland. The rising lasted just a week but it would lead to increased popular support for Irish independence. Much of the action took place that week in Dublin, but there were also engagements outside...

Archive Footage of Sean Kelly’s First Liège-Bastogne-Liège Win in 1984 (VIDEO)

By Graham Healy In 1984, Sean Kelly enjoyed one of his best seasons of an incredible career. In addition to winning Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice, the Tour of the Basque Country, Kelly also took his first victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Kelly had just come off the back of his win in Roubaix, and was considered the big favourite by many, including Greg LeMond. The race...

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...

“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...

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