Cyclo catalogue 531

Cyclo Catalogue 531 scan 1 main image

This 1953 catalogue is identical in content to Cyclo’s 1951 catalogue 519, with the notable exception of the list of victories on the front page. In 1951 Cyclo was trumpeting Ian Steel’s success in winning the 1951 Tour of Britain. Here they are celebrating Ken Russell’s 1952 victory in the same event.

Which is all well and good until you notice, in tiny writing just below the Sheffield-Ashbourn-Sheffield Road race and the Holcombe Circuit Road Race, a diffident and obscure mention of victory in something called the Warsaw-Berlin-Prague Road Race. This, of course refers to Ian Steel’s victory in the 1952 Peace Race - arguably the greatest road racing achievement by a British cyclist until Robert Millar’s 4th place and King of the Mountains in the 1984 Tour de France or even until Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 victory in the Tour. For a variety of bizarre reasons, mostly involving the paranoid and egotistical men in blazers who haunt cycling (Hein Verbruggen was the heir to a long tradition), Ian Steel’s victory was never properly celebrated at the time. Cyclo are certainly not trying to put that right with this catalogue!

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