TdF Sieger Jan Ullrich beim Altstadtrennen 2004 in Nürnberg
We are excited to reveal Eroica Britannia’s new poster for 2022!
Showcasing the festival’s new home at the iconic Goodwood Motor Circuit and fabulous South Downs National Park, the poster is a sign of what to expect this August. The artwork celebrates the 40th year anniversary of the UCI world championships held at Goodwood in 1982, featuring riders Mandy and Bishop Giuseppe Saronni leading the pack.
This year, on-track rides and races on the Saturday will add an entirely new element to the festival. Visitors to Goodwood will also enjoy a funfair, great entertainment, and delicious local food and drink.
The poster will be available at the festival for those looking to add this edition to their collection.
Frankens Radsportler trauern um den zweifachen Deutschen Meister Dieter Flögel, der am 26. Januar im Alter von 68 Jahren nach einer schweren Erkrankung verstorben ist. Der gebürtige Hafenlohrer begann 1969 als 15-Jähriger beim RV Concordia Karbach mit dem Radsport. Nach zahlreichen Siegen, die er als Junior für den RV 89 Schweinfurt errang, schloss sich Dieter Flögel 1975 als einer der besten Amateure Bayerns der 1973 gegründeten RSG-Katzwang an. Zusammen mit seinen Vereinskameraden Friedrich von Loeffelholz und Dieter Burkhardt zählte Flögel in den folgenden Jahren konstant zur absoluten deutschen Spitzenklasse der Straßen-Amateure. Gemeinsam prägte das außergewöhnliche fränkische Trio eine völlig neue Epoche des Amateurstraßen-Rennsports und bildete damit die Basis für die folgenden erfolgreichen Jahrzehnte der RSG-Hercules, der RSG Nürnberg und danach für das Profisteam NÜRNBERGER .
Von 1976 bis 1984 war Dieter Flögel ohne Unterbrechung Mitglied im BDR-Nationalkader 1979 gewann er mit dem RSG-Strassenvierer (Flögel, von Loeffelholz,Burkhardt,Münch), den deutschen Mannschaftstitel über 100 Kilometer. Acht Mal hat Dieter Flögel von 1976 bis 1984 an Weltmeisterschaften teilgenommen. 1981 wurde er in Prag Fünfter der Straßen-WM – damals die beste WM-Platzierung eines deutschen Rad-Amateurs seit 1963! Neben der DM im Einer-Straßenfahren, die Flögel 1983 erkämpfte, gewann er zwischen 1975 und 1983 zahlreiche Etappen bei nationalen und internationalen Rundfahrten, vier Bundesliga-Rennen und acht extrem schwere „Straßen-Klassiker“. Mit dem Vierer der RSG Katzwang ( später RSG Hercules bzw. RSG Nürnberg) wurde Dieter Flögel zwischen 1975 und 1983 dreimal Deutscher Vize-Meister und dreimal DM-Dritter.
1984 beendete Dieter Flögel nach rund 200 Siegen seine erfolgreiche Radsport-Karriere. Bis 1988 hat er zum „Abtrainieren“ noch an Steherrennen und an kleineren Radrennen teilgenommen. Dem Radsport blieb er auch danach eng verbunden durch seine Mitarbeit in der Organisation und Leitung der RSG Nürnberg, später beim Team NÜRNBERGER, sowie als Rennleiter beim Radrennen „Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt“.
Flögel, der zuletzt in Bubenreuth bei Erlangen lebte, starb im Alter von 68 Jahren an den Folgen einer Herzerkrankung im Universitätsklinikum Erlangen.
Er gewann zwei Mal Silber bei den Olympischen Spielen im Teamwettbewerb und vier Mal in Folge die Friedensfahrt. Nun ist der polnische Star-Radfahrer Ryszard Szurkowski gestorben.
Das polnische Rad-Idol Ryszard Szurkowski ist tot. Der Rennfahrer sei am Montag im Alter von 75 Jahren in einer Klinik in Radom gestorben, sagte seine Frau der Nachrichtenagentur PAP. Der aus Niederschlesien stammende Szurkowski gewann bei den Olympischen Spielen in München 1972 und in Montreal 1976 jeweils Silber im Team-Straßenrennen.
1973 wurde Szurkowski in Barcelona Straßenweltmeister der Amateure sowie im Mannschaftszeitfahren. Viermal hintereinander gewann er die Friedensfahrt. Dabei trug er auf insgesamt 89 Etappen 52 Mal das Trikot des Gesamtführenden. Bald zeigten westliche Rennställe Interesse am „Eddy Merckx des Ostens“, doch Radsportlern aus sozialistischen Ländern war damals eine Profi-Karriere verwehrt.
Schwerer Sturz in Köln 2018
Nach seiner aktiven Laufbahn arbeitete er als Trainer und bekleidete von 2010 bis 2011 das Amt des Präsidenten des Polnischen Radsportverbandes. Im Jahr 2018 nahm Szurkowski am Jedermann-Rennen „Rund um Köln“ teil und stürzte schwer aufs Gesicht.
Er erlitt zahlreiche Frakturen der Wirbelsäule und wurde in Deutschland mehrfach operiert. Nach seinem Unfall blieb er teilweise gelähmt und konnte sich nur noch im Rollstuhl fortbewegen.
2010: Reconquering the Tourmalet (10/10)
At the turn of each decade, the Tour de France has gone through organisational changes and backstage struggles that have variously turned out to be decisive or utterly inconsequential. The journey back in time proposed by letour.fr comes full circle with an ending on the Tourmalet. 100 years after the peloton launched its first assault on the Giant of the Pyrenees, a stage finish at the top of the mountain thrust the technical aspects of the Tour into the spotlight. Overcoming that logistical challenge a decade ago opened the door to summit finishes on peaks such as the Galibier and the Izoard.
The Tour de France sure knows how to celebrate its anniversaries. 2010 marked the centennial of the first appearance of high mountains on the route of the race. A hundred years after Alphonse Steinès‘ odyssey (retold in episode 1 of this series), the Tourmalet again took centre stage. This time, the plan was to draw the finish line at the top of the mountain, a whopping 2,115 metres above sea level. While it was not the first time that someone had come up with the idea —Jean-Pierre Danguillaume had won a stage here in the 1974 Tour—, much had changed in the intervening 36 years. At a time when media coverage of the Tour had boomed around the globe, the resources needed to broadcast the race worldwide were at least five times as big. „I wanted to take the Tour where sport wants us to go, gambling that we would be able to adapt our resources to the terrain“, points out Christian Prudhomme. Jean-Louis Pagès was tasked with finding a solution to the logistical conundrum. In essence, the stage finish designer was asked to fit a dozen elephants into a matchbox. „I was a bit reluctant at the time because I was an old-school man“, explains the former history and geography teacher, who joined the Tour in 1984. „Having time, place and action on the same wavelength was my core tenet. This time round, we had to enter the era of resource fragmentation.“
The team had to think outside the box to make a stage finish on the Tourmalet possible. Only a handful of structures would be set up on the mountain for radio and TV crews, who would have to get there by ski lift. Guest coaches would have to park in Barèges, while the press room was to be set up in La Mongie, on the other side of the massif. On paper, at least, it seemed possible to crowbar everything into the limited space available, „although we only had half as much room as we usually had“, says Pagès. However, the weather threw a curveball on 22 July 2010. „To top it all, it started raining, so we had to improvise from the morning to save the lorries from getting bogged down. We made room for them on the road and it worked because we overhauled the layout. Cramming everything into that space was a technical wonder, but I stayed calm. I used to send Christian a picture of the finish around 11 am to let him know the finish line was ready. This time, we were still rushing to set up the timing control room at 2:30 pm, so I didn’t send him anything.“
In the end, everything was in place for Andy Schleck to outsprint Alberto Contador for the stage win on the fog-shrouded and rain-soaked Tourmalet. „Those moments were packed with strong emotions because I knew it was a test run, that it would allow us to envisage other finishes in spectacular places“, explains Pagès, who comes from the Lozère department but is now enjoying life in Nîmes. Indeed, it only took one year for the Tour to organise a stage finish on the Col de Galibier, 2,645 metres above sea level and with the technical area spread out across three levels. Sometime later, in 2017, the concept produced a spectacular finish on the Izoard, where Warren Barguil came out on top clad in the polka-dot jersey. After this string of successes, the format will be used again in the 2020 Tour, in which a similar concept was used to design the finishes on Puy Mary and the Grand Colombier.
2000: The Tour on the archi-pedal-o (9/10)
At the turn of each decade, the Tour de France has gone through organisational changes and backstage struggles that have variously turned out to be decisive or utterly inconsequential. The journey back in time proposed by letour.fr continues with the run-up to the 2000 Tour de France, when a spectacular start on Guadeloupe, almost 7,000 km from Paris, had been planned and preparations put into motion. A transatlantic Tour was almost within the realm of possibility.
Seen from the mid-1990s, the year 2000 was an equally thrilling and daunting prospect. For the Tour de France, it was an exciting opportunity to craft a route like no other. A lot of good ideas were thrown around, but one in particular stood out from the rest, especially because it came directly from the French president. Jacques Chirac told Jean-Claude Killy, the president of ASO at the time, that he would do everything in his power to support a Tour start from the French overseas territories and, especially, Guadeloupe, then governed by his ally Lucette Michaux-Chevry. No other part of overseas France was as passionate about cycling, with a generation of track cyclists bursting onto the stage and a bicycle race that had been an integral part of the archipelago’s sporting scene ever since its launch in 1948.
For Jean-Marie Leblanc, the boss of the Tour, this left-field idea hit all the right buttons: „I liked the idea because we needed something compelling for 2000. It was a powerful symbol and a great way of showing that the French overseas territories are an integral part of the Republic.“ Meetings were soon held and reconnaissance trips organised to study the feasibility of the project. Jean-François Pescheux, who at the time served as director of competitions, took on the leading role in meticulously analysing the plan: „The key issue was taking as little material to the other side of the Atlantic as possible. We had decided to get rid of the prologue to preclude the need for time-trialling bikes, to allow each team a single car and to significantly cut down the size of the publicity caravan. The route itself was interesting and featured a flat stage in Grande-Terre and a hillier one in Basse-Terre, both of which would have finished in the same place near Pointe-à-Pitre Airport“ Indeed, the second big problem with taking the Tour to the Antilles was „shortening the distance“ and mitigating the impact of the time difference with mainland France.
The „Guadeloupe plan“ hinged on a significant logistical assumption: the Concorde was the only aircraft that could be used to transfer the riders without putting them through the wringer of jet lag.
In order to avoid throwing the riders‘ circadian rhythm out of whack, the idea was to travel to the island as late as possible and get out as quickly as possible. Furthermore, Brest was chosen to host the first European stage to gain an extra 20-odd minutes. Pescheux’s timetable covered all the bases: „If we scheduled stage 2 to finish at noon, when it was 4 pm in metropolitan France, riders could be in bed in Brest by midnight and ready to tackle a short 120 km stage to Quimper the next morning. This overcame all the problems.“ Guadeloupe had more than enough hotels to host the Grande Boucle, while ASO communications manager Philippe Sudres, at the time in charge of relations with broadcasters, had already designed the outline of the TV production set-up: „The idea was to source the helicopters used to cover the race, along with other heavy equipment, from Florida.“
However, the „Guadeloupe plan“ hinged on a significant logistical assumption: the Concorde was the only aircraft that could be used to transfer the riders without putting them through the wringer of jet lag. Pescheux recalls that the talks with Air France were what finally buried the dream: „We met with the Minister of Transport and we came to the conclusion that our plan required six Concorde aircraft. However, their fleet was not big enough and, at any rate, they could not stop all their other operations just for us. It was a real pity because it would have been amazing to use the Tour to show just how close the Antilles are.“ At the time, the waivers that have since allowed the 2009 Vuelta a España to start in the Netherlands and the 2018 Giro d’Italia to start in Israel by starting the race on Friday and/or adding an extra rest day did not exist yet. In the end, the Tour gave up on its dreams of coconut palms and got the show on the road in Futuroscope near Poitiers, where the prologue saw a promising young power rider, David Millar, seize the last yellow jersey of the 20th century in his race debut.
1970: Leblanc, a team rider with huge potential (7/10)
At the turn of each decade, the Tour de France has gone through organisational changes and backstage struggles that have variously turned out to be decisive or utterly inconsequential. The journey back in time proposed by letour.fr continues in 1970, in the slipstream of Jean-Marie Leblanc, a rider competing in his second Tour de France after some minor successes in other races. A career in journalism beckons for the man from northern France, who has no idea yet that he will one day become the director of the Tour. Yet the seeds of the attributes needed to helm the race have already taken root in this humble team rider.
Those who still have vivid memories of cycling in the late 1960s would no doubt argue that Jean-Marie Leblanc was a good rider despite his modest results -no offence meant to the Grand Prix d’Aix-en-Provence or the Circuit d’Armorique. He was also what journalists know as „a good customer“, someone who can be relied upon to offer a quote that will grab the reader’s attention before the start of the race and never fails to spice up conversations with anecdotes that can be used to flesh out the „news in brief“ section. A paradigmatic example can be found in the coverage of the 1970 Tour by L’Équipe. The Bic rider was working as a devoted domestique for Jan Janssen and Luis Ocaña in what was only his second Tour de France (58th in 1968), but he seemed to appear in the newspapers far more often than would have been expected from his performance on the road. The mystery was solved in the first week of racing, when author Guy Lagorce wrote A brief portrait of a future colleague and gave the floor to Leblanc: „Starting a career in journalism would also be a way for me to prove to the world that cyclists are more than just a bunch of lads with big thighs […] I won’t deny it: every time that things get tough out there and a press car overtakes me, I feel a pang of jealousy when I peek inside. You have no idea how soft the cushions of a car look when seen from the saddle of a bike.“
Just as Leblanc showed glimpses of the potential of a future journalist, he also had the makings of a man devoted to the best interests of cycling.
Aware that he would never be good enough to earn a champion’s wages, the young father and media darling was already planning his future in a different field. By 1970, he had ample experience in this area after taking advantage of the winter breaks to lay the groundwork for his transition. Half a century later, he still remembers his first foray into the sports press clearly: „I was shy, but in the winter of 1966–67 my friend Philippe Crépel persuaded me to call Émile Parmentier, the sports editor of La Voix du Nord. He welcomed me with open arms and I’ll never be able to thank him enough for it. He sent me to report on cyclo-cross, of course, and put me in charge of the boxing section. I loved it and I even obtained a coaching diploma to be a credible source in such a special world.“ A cyclist in the summer and journalist in the winter, the young Economics graduate was definitely not your average cyclist.
Jean-Marie Leblanc continued to learn in the 1970 Tour, eagerly fielding questions. „I loved hearing them talk about this profession I wanted to practise“, insisted the aspiring reporter, who would eventually be hired by La Voix du Nord in 1971, right after the end of his final season in the peloton. Just as Leblanc showed the promise of the future journalist who a few years later would receive a call from the chief editor of L’Équipe, Noël Couëdel, offering him the post of cycling editor, he also had the makings of a man devoted to the best interests of cycling. It was his thorough understanding of the matter that led to him becoming the secretary-general of the National Union of Professional Cyclists (UNCP), where he proved his mettle as a leader: „At UNCP, for example, we fought to get two-year contracts for neo-pros, which did not exist before that. I had always wanted to help organise my profession, and when I became a journalist, I took on an active role in the trade union of French sports journalists (USJSF)“. Jean-Marie Leblanc took it to a whole new level in 1988, when he became the director of the Tour de France a mere 20 years after his first participation as a rider.
Discover or rediscover the previous episodes in the series:
1960: When President de Gaulle greeted the Tour (6/10)
1950: Divorce Italian style (5/10)
1940: The Tour that wasn’t (4/10)
1930: The Tour revolutionizes (3/10)
1920: “sportsmen”according to Desgrange (2/10)
1910: Alphonse Steinès’great deception (1/10)
More information on www.letour.fr/en/
1960: When President de Gaulle greeted the Tour (6/10)
At the turn of each decade, the Tour de France has gone through organisational changes and backstage struggles that have variously turned out to be decisive or utterly inconsequential. The journey back in time proposed by letour.fr continues in 1960, specifically on the penultimate stage, when the peloton was paid a visit for the first time by a President of the Republic when the Tour passed through Colombey-les-Deux-Églises where General de Gaulle was staying. A form of mutual reverence between the statesman and the champions marked this unprecedented moment.
On the 1960 Tour de France, the battle on the road was severely hampered by a cascade of no-shows and retirements that limited the competition. Anquetil opted out, exhausted after his victory on the Giro, while defending champion Federico Bahamontes withdrew after not even completing stage two. And to add injury to insult, the French team, already in the throes of a malaise, lost any chance of victory when Roger Rivière fell tragically on the descent following the Col de Perjuret in the Lozère Department. There were barely any more combatants after the Avignon stage, one week prior to the finish, to contest Gastone Nencini. And even less so on the penultimate stage, which he tackled with a more than five-minute lead from his closest challenger, Graziano Battistini. Between Besançon and Troyes, the peloton dawdled with little motivation, but as they approached Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, rumour had it that a spectator like no other could offer an historic tone to this dreary day.
Staying in his family property of La Boisserie, General de Gaulle mingled with the public gathered on the sidewalks of the Haut-Marne village as he awaited the passage of the Grande Boucle. With no social networks or mobile phones, Jacques Goddet was alerted to this presidential surprise when he passed the support station in Chaumont, some twenty kilometres away. There was just enough time to get the message to the peloton that a stop would be observed, the absence of a breakaway allowing a quick neutralisation. When the peloton arrived and without even getting out of his convertible, the Tour boss used his megaphone to declare that „The Tour sends its affectionate greetings to President De Gaulle“. A little embarrassed by this impromptu ceremony, the president made the most of the encounter to congratulate a few riders and in particular the Italian in the Yellow Jersey, who was honoured with a handshake and the encouragement of a connoisseur: „you are going to win the Tour“.
With or without a suit and tie, on the roadside or in a car during the race, the presidential visit has become a ritual pioneered by Charles de Gaulle.
In the past, the Tour had been stopped by a railway crossing, but never by a spectator. From a purely sporting point of view, this unique stop was a Godsend for Pierre Beuffeuil. The rider from the Centre-Midi regional team had been delayed by a puncture, but thanks to the general, this was his lucky day. Beuffeuil regained contact with the peloton in Colombey as well as his confidence. With 26 kilometres to go to the finish, he put in a solo attack to claim his first stage victory on the Tour de France. „I’ve always voted de Gaulle“, said Beuffeuil after his victory in Troyes.
With or without a suit and tie, on the roadside or in a car during the race, the presidential visit has become a ritual pioneered by Charles de Gaulle. Only his immediate successor, Georges Pompidou, did not come to meet the riders, while Valéry Giscard d’Estaing waited for them in Paris to present the Yellow Jersey to Bernard Thévenet for the first final finish on the Champs-Elysées in 1975. As for François Mitterrand, he had played the spectator-photographer card on an alpine stage in 1985 and Jacques Chirac, already very familiar with the event as Mayor of Paris, followed a stage in Jean-Marie Leblanc’s car on the 1998 Tour.
However, it was during Nicolas Sarkozy’s term of office, himself a cyclist in his own right, that presidential visits became more frequent… and better organised. A few months after his election, Jacques Chirac’s successor went to the Briançon stage of the 2007 Tour, won by Colombian Mauricio Soler. At that time, the reception of a president on the Tour began to be part of a much more rigorous process than that of Colombey, as explained by the Tour’s deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault, who was notably in charge of preparing these special invitations: „We usually get in touch with the services of the Elysée Palace in the spring, in order to think first about a date that corresponds to the president’s itinerary, and then about a stage that sometimes comes naturally. For example, François Hollande made the trip in 2014 to the Arras-Reims stage, which went past places of remembrance of the First World War on the occasion of the centenary celebrations. But the previous year, he drastically changed his schedule to go to the Bagnères-de-Bigorre stage to support the residents of the towns flooded by the Garonne a month earlier“. In any case, the planning of this visit, which is kept secret for as long as possible, is carefully tracked to ensure the security of the president by all law enforcement agencies: „Nothing is left to chance, Thouault says. We know exactly where his helicopter will land to meet us, and then how he will be evacuated at the end of the stage. However, you have to be able to adapt to any last-minute changes.” Last year, Emmanuel Macron was lucky enough to witness Thibaut Pinot’s victory on the Col du Tourmalet, while Julian Alaphilippe continued to wear the Yellow Jersey around the country. The Tour is also a certain idea of France, as the general could have said…