Welcome to these pages, in which I am aiming to chronicle the history of men's professional cycle road racing from the "heroic era" of the last century right up to today's slickly high-tech sport. The pages fall into four main groups. Firstly, a listing of all the riders who have won at least one of the Sport's great races, from Paolo Magretti, winner of Milan - Turin in 1876 to the winners of today's races - over 1800 riders at the last count. Secondly, I have lists of winners of all the races organised race by race, with details of which riders have the best overall records in each race, what have been the notable British performances, and topographic details of some of these races. Thirdly, the exploits series - stories of epic races from the past. And finally a miscellany of other information, including the ever-popular riders' nicknames page and an online bookshop. Dip in and look around!
Another season passes; and I suspect there are many people who are glad that it is over. Certainly the events in Italy (particularly at the Giro) have hardly been encouraging. On the other hand, a new generation - led by the likes of David Millar (just pipped by Jan Ullrich in the World Time Trial championship) in France, Oscar Sevilla in Spain and Ivan Basso in Italy - has started to emerge; perhaps these are the first "post-EPO generation"?
The most significant winners of the last month have been Oscar Freire, who incredibly won a second world title, and the ever-consistent Erik Dekker, who easily won the World Cup. Freire's ride was a masterpiece of discipline by the Spanish team, who rode with the sole intention of placing Freire on the winner's spot. In marked contrast to the Italians, who finished with ten riders in the leading group, but seemingly all riding for themselves. Well, at least most were riding for themselves, though Gilberto Simoni (Lampre and Italy) is probably justified in feeling that Paolo Lanfranchi (Mapei and Italy) was actually riding for Freire (also Mapei...) Meanwhile the Bettini - Bartoli war continued, with the result that Bettini had no-one to lead him out at the finish. The scalps that Freire took - significantly, Erik Zabel in 5th place - has led Freire to target Milan San Remo next year.
On historical point of note: Lisbon was Freire's third consecutive podium finish at the World's (as well as silver medal at under-23 level). Only André Darrigade has a better record of four consecutive podiums. (3rd in 1957; 3rd in 1958; 1st in 1959; 2nd in 1960).