Roy Schuiten, the 23-year-old Dutchman who quit cycling last year, made a triumphant come-back on Saturday (8th June) by winning the gruelling round-Britain cycle race sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board.
LV PAN FROM countryside to Swiss rider Alain Haldimann cycling alone with clear lead
SV PAN main group of riders in pursuit
SV PAN British rider Ray Lewis leading through town
SV PAN main group in pursuit
TRACKING SHOT past cyclists
LV Finish point with Blackpool Tower in background
SV PAN DOWN FROM finish sign to leaders crossing line
SV Overall winner on rostrum receives kiss from the Dairy Queen
Initials OS/22.07 OS/22.33
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Background: Roy Schuiten, the 23-year-old Dutchman who quit cycling last year, made a triumphant come-back on Saturday (8th June) by winning the gruelling round-Britain cycle race sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board.
After 12 days and 1,000 miles on the road Schuiten was the overall winner at the finish in Blackpool, Lancashire, by a narrow margin of seven seconds from the Polish world champion Ryszard Szurkowski. He was supported by some fine tactical teamwork from his Dutch colleagues and they successfully overcame some powerful opposition from Swedish, Polish and West German riders.
It was hoped that the British team, which included three gold medalists at the recent Commonwealth Games, might do better than previous years, but despite some good individual efforts they lacked the team strategy necessary for success in this type of long-distance event.
SYNOPSIS: The final stage of the annual thousand-mile round-Britain cycle race sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board started in Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Saturday the eighth of June with Swiss rider Alain Haldimann leading. The main group of riders, however, was not far behind, with the Dutch rider Roy Schuiten holding a narrow overall lead and fighting off some strong opposition from the Polish world champion Ryszard Szurkowski. It was a tactical race, with every move in the final stage dictated by the Dutchman's narrow lead.
British rider Ray Lewis led for a short spurt, but the British team once again failed to show outstanding form in this event, despite some determined individual efforts. With eight miles to go a desperate Szurkowski attempted to snatch the lead, but he was immediately shadowed by Schuiten, who rode just ahead of him and then slowed. The Pole capitulated and the Dutch team tactics paid off.
At the finish in Blackpool, Lancashire, Schuiten's team-mate Herman Snoeijink crossed the line first to win the final stage, but the bulk of the applause was reserved for Schuiten, who was making a triumphant come-back from a short period of retirement. He won by a narrow margin of seven seconds. Immediately after the race Schuiten collected his honours - and a well-earned kiss from a beauty Queen.