Visualizzazione dei post da novembre 12, 2018

The Graham Jones Story

by Duncan Hamman (Abbotsford Park RC)

It began one winter's evening in 1972 when a 15 year old boy visited the clubroom of the Abbotsford Park Road Club, a Manchester cycling club, which was situated in Hart Road, Fallowfield. The other members present made the boy welcome, a membership form was produced and the boy quickly became the club's newest member. His name was Graham Jones and, like most 15-year-old cyclists, he had dreams of, one day,riding in the greatest cycle race in the world - The Tour de France. Unlike most dreams, however, this one would come true and Graham would ride in this great race no fewer than five times. 

At school Graham was sports mad. He played most sports and was good at all of them. He repesented Manchester at both football and basketball and was lined up for a test with Manchester United. Had he not been bitten by the cycling bug he…

We Can Meet Heroes


Eddy Merckx won 525 races.
Most professional riders are lucky if they win one. And he is, as we all know, the greatest cyclist that will ever live. For this reason alone he is at the top of any cyclists’ list as the number one – the cycling hero to top all cycling heroes. So what’s a man so super-human really like? Finding that out is no small challenge. Eddy is an interesting foil for journalists: not that he’s impolite or terse or difficult or anything, really. He’s just – as the gentlemen of the press will tell you – ‘a bit tricky’. I’ve met him a few times and so it’s hard to fathom why I can’t seem to get him talking. He’s just a man after all. I’m not blaming him – he’s a nice guy, Eddy. It’s clearly my problem and a strange one at that, because you usually can’t shut me up. But when Eddy Merckx shakes my hand I just can’t get the words out… He won Milan-San Remo seven times, the first time at 20 years of age.…

Franco Balmamion, "il cinese"


Franco Balmamion, è nato a Nole Canavese (Torino), l'11 gennaio 1940. Rimasto orfano all'età di tre anni, venne cresciuto con amore paterno da uno zio che era stato qualcuno nel ciclismo: Ettore Balmamion. 
Con Franco lo zio si comportò da buon piemontese, badando soprattutto al sodo. Quando capì che la scuola poco si addiceva al ragazzo e alle esigenze di tutta la famiglia, trovò al giovane un impiego alla sezione ricambi della Fiat. 
I nuovi ritmi di vita, furono decisivi per cementare in Franco la vocazione di emulare e, magari, superare lo zio nel ciclismo. Già, perché la ventina di chilometri che si frapponevano fra la casa dei Balmamion a Nole e l'Officina di Torino, da percorrere in bicicletta, diventarono per il ragazzino una palestra per provarsi. Non tardò a capire di saperci fare. Raggiunta l'età per correre nell'allora categoria allievi (equivalente all'…