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 Post subject: The Peace Race
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:31 pm 
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Was talking to a chap goes to my local furniture workshop.Names Andy something[ :oops: forgot]He used to race in the 70's,He raced a lot against Billy bilsland and was one of his main rivals and also a contender for the 1968 Olympics
.He was telling me about the peace race and how Mr B got the Olympic spot and Andy went on to do the Peace race instead.And said it was far better as it was a fortnight racing as opposed to the Olympics which was only the one race
I've given Andy the forum address,hopefully he'll remember and come on to share some tales of the road 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:32 am 
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Surely one of you roadies has a comment or a story on the race :?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:44 am 
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dyna-ti wrote:
Surely one of you roadies has a comment or a story on the race :?


I'm sure some do. But given you posted this in the wrong section only a few hours ago you may need to wait before someone adds some insightful comments.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Sorry chap,i keep forgetting about the other dedicated sections


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:32 pm 
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IIRC, this was also called Warsaw-Berlin-Prague (or summat like that) and was usually won by Uwe Ampler of East Germany in the 1980s when it received good coverage in The Comic. Haven't heard anthing about it in the last few years, though. :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:43 am 
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It was probably set up as an alternative Grand tour. In ye days of old (pre 90's) cyclists were either declared pro or amateur. Given that the eastern block riders were all amateur status, they werent able to ride the tour or giro, so set up their own grand tour for the cream of amateurs and named it the peace race (sounds politically good in the cold war era). Of course the russians and GDR riders (who were pros in all but name) dominated.
These days with the pro/am distinction and the east/west difference resolved, anyone whos anyone in the former eastern block states rides on the pro tour and the peace race (if it still runs??) is for second tier elites.
My mate (not going to name him on a public forum) rode it one year (prob 1988-90ish not sure) and thoroughly enjoyed it. He even got a mention in the comic as the only Brit to actually have a go instead of being intimidated and sitting in


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:00 pm 
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WBP - a real hardman's race. Won in 1952 by Ian Steel from Scotland, the only British winner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Steel

We had a few stage winners (including Billy Bilsland possibly?) but the eastern bloc riders tended to dominate. Even our hardest riders were put in the shade. Whether it was because it was their 'home' race or for some other reason, we couldn't possibly comment


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Andy was saying these eastern block guys were indeed pro in all but name,they road daily where Andy and the British contingent were all working and only practised after work and on the weekends.
He called it the poor mans tour but said the atmosphere amongst competitors was second to none and without the professional rivalry,plus two full weeks of racing.
I hope hes in the workshop tomorrow :D ,i can grill him further :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Was there connotations between this race and early cycling clubs perceived lefty communist leanings. I seem to remember reading something political about it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:19 pm 
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kaiser wrote:
Was there connotations between this race and early cycling clubs perceived lefty communist leanings. I seem to remember reading something political about it.


Highly unlikely I would have thought. WBP was organised by the Soviet Bloc countries as a showpiece of international amateur sport - which it was. The socialist leanings of early cycling organisations in the UK probably date from much earlier and had no international influence. They were basically working class clubs for working class people to enjoy some leisure time. The fact that there was often a bias towards the left was a reflection of the social conditions of the time. Whereas at one time cycling was seen as a pastime of the rich and wealthy (you had to be to be able to buy a bike!), around the 1920's the r & w took to motor cars and bikes became 'demoted' down the social pecking order to become a mode of transport and recreation of the working class. This led some politically active left wing cyclists to form such organisations as the National Clarion with all its localised branches, many of which still survive as very active clubs but thankfully nowadays without the political element. I think I'm correct in saying (and will gladly be advised otherwise) that at one time a percentage of the membership fee went to the Labour Party.


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