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2026 Worlds in Montreal!
Last Post 02/25/2023 08:30 PM by Frederick Jones. 7 Replies.
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02/22/2023 06:55 PM
In 1974 I was just a starry eyed kid getting into bike racing. I watched Eddy, yes that Eddy, the Micheal Jordan (Wayne Gretzky for you Canucks) of cycling win a fantastic race on a fantastic course. France and Belgium made a deal, and caught magic in a bottle. And Montreal, so beautiful. Oh to recapture that magic! I'd book hotels now if I could.


02/23/2023 12:02 AM
Didn't George Mount figure in and finish with the break? (Might have the year wrong.)

I have a soft spot for that city. Visited it three times. 1967. The World's Fair with my pseudo uncle.. (A friend of both my parents from before their marriage.) Loved the BRM Formula 1 race car with its pancaked twin flat 8s. An "H-16" 1973 for spring break. Stayed with an English speaker I knew from sailing. He took us college guys to a French pub, alerting us that we were welcome as long as we stayed quiet.

Then the bike visit; 1975, a life changer. I was invited by the Charles River Wheelman pres to go visit the pres of Club Cycliste du Quebec (sp, etc. both my French and that visit are distant memories). 5 hour or more drive up. Arrive late afternoon Friday. The two club CEOs exchange greetings and catch-ups, then the Canadian pres turns to me, spends a good minute or more studying my shorts and T-shirted body, then announces that I am a hill climber and I needed to show everyone what I could do on tomorrow morning's ride.

He told me the landmarks going in to the hill and showed me the gear I was to use (42-19). Also which way to go at the fork at the hilltop. I was already at info overload, so that didn't get retained. Next morning we rolled slowly out of the city and across the river. And everyone took off save myself and about 5 other slowpokes. We finally got up to sorta speed and kept them as a dot far up the road. Pulled off the highway, regrouped at a country store then mosyed past the landmarks. Saw the hill. A short, steep climb. 42-19, out of the saddle, hard and breathing deeply, hit the top with no one around. Huh? Looked ahead. more climbing at about half the past grade for a km or more. OK, so that's why they're saving their matches. Buckle down to a sit and spin to the top. Top? False summit and another kilo to go. And again, another. By this time I am far out of sight so I cheat and dump the chain onto the inner ring.

Get to the top. The fork! Which way was I supposed to turn? I did remember that taking the wrong fork, I would not get back to Montreal. Better wait. About 2 minutes later, a young man on a Raleigh Grand Prix with steel rims shows up, impressed by what I've just done and tells me to get on his wheel. We descend down to another highway. A few miles later, the gang shows up. At the same speed they horizon-ed me a couple of hours ago. I get dropped twice. Both times that young man pulled me back. Then I had a breakthrough! It was easier to do whatever I had to do to stay at this ridiculous speed in the group then follow just one rider and go faster. Didn't get dropped again and we did that 20 mile stretch faster than I thought was possible for this skinny guy. Then "I could race! There's drafting and I have a gift in the hills."

That young man on steel rimmed clinchers - racer.  Rode his heavy bike for training while riding with the middle aged guys.  I had sewups.

Later that summer I rode to and up Mt Washington. On the way up I caught a Canadian my age on a racing bike (from Quebec or Montreal; English speaker). We rode together 'till near the top and I hung out till he finished. (He had the usual 42-28 NR setup. I had a 28 inner and a 21 cog so I had gear about 11% lower. Not really fair.)

Oh, that club, CCQ, put on the Quebec-Montreal race which was happening the day of my eye-opening ride. Don't know but wouldn't be surprised if it had a hand in the race you saw.

And my favorite race - the Maine International where English was not the only language in the peloton.


02/23/2023 05:14 AM
George mount raced well in the 76 Montreal Olympics (amateur). Same course I think.
Orange Crush


02/23/2023 06:50 PM
That's a long time ago lads. My cycling memory only starts in 1983. Hennie Kuiper's Roubaix win. Reliving that one this year with a live visit to Roubaix. Exactly 40 years on.

Montreal is nice but 2026 is a ways out. Let's see who racing then and whether there's still any domestic flights eastward left. It may be easier to get there from US.


02/23/2023 07:40 PM
I remember watching Wild World of Sports in July 1972 and seeing a TdF segment each week and getting a recap and update of where Merckx was.


02/25/2023 06:09 PM
I was at the '74 Worlds in Montreal too, LSD. It was a thrill to see the big name cyclists in person, in a real, live race. The silver medalist was Poulidor, Mathieu VdP's uncle, and in the top ten were a couple of guys named Moser and Battaglin. Two years later we returned to Montreal for the Olympics, where we also saw some track racing. I was curious and looked up the results for the Olympic RR, and was surprised to see that the silver medal winner was Giuseppe Martinelli. After a pro career, he went on the be a DS, including with the Carrara team of Chiapucci and Pantani, and then Mercatone with Pantani, and is currently a DS with Astana. A life in cycling!


02/25/2023 08:10 PM
Donna, thanks for sharing your remembrances of that epic worlds. I'll say again that the French Belgium combine was brilliant, one for the ages. The French acknowledged that this course was tailor made for the best there ever was, and got two on the podium. The amateur race back then was small potatoes (like the Olympics). In hindsight, the amateur worlds and Olympics from that era were a massive mirror on the real world during the cold war. "Poles on the Podium" featuring bloc amateur champs Szurkowski https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryszard_Szurkowski#:~:text=Ryszard%20Jan%20Szurkowski%20(12%20January,of%20the%20sport%20in%20Poland.
and in 74 Kowalski
The USSR kept these prime athletes on the "amateur" stage for political reasons, in the shamateur era. Szurkowski in particular might have been a big star on the pro circuit if he was allowed.
I am a fan.


02/25/2023 08:30 PM
Just looked into it further. Per this link Eddy himself offered Szurkowski a contract.
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