Editorial [not attributed]
At the turn of the year we say good-bye to Ken Matthews and welcome Harry Jackson to the B.C.F. Racing Committee. Although Harry's election probably owed something to the free publicity he received, this does not prevent him from being a useful acquisition and we trust that his track experience will be reflected in progressive and rational policies.
One major change in 1973 road racing, brought about by a decision of the 1972 National Council, will be the alteration to Star Trophy and Peter Buckley Trophy regulations, to the effect that riders will no longer need to ride every event but will obtain points from a minimum number of events, as was the case in 1972 in the Golden Wheel.
Changes are announced, too, abroad, with the welcome decision to switch Bordeaux-Paris back to May and to replace the Grand Prix des Nations as the final Classic by the far more spectacular Tour of Lombardy. Unfortunately the move to re-introduce Paris-Brussels has been delayed for a further year, but it is good to see the premier events taking priority again.
Nowhere is the mixture of conservatism and change better blended than in the Tour de France. The race profile for 1973 -detailed preview next month-includes several of the features popular in recent years such as a stage-finish at the Puy-de-Dome and a rest day at high altitude. It contains also the usual innovations, of which the most noteworthy is the institution of a stage-finish at Aspro-Gaillard, in other words outside the Aspro laboratories in the Savoy Alps: welcome reward for one of the Tour's oldest and most faithful sponsors. Would that all sponsors could receive some recognition of their efforts.
There will be few British riders in the 1973 Tour, which will again be ridden by trade teams. Although this is not what the public wants, it is so obviously fairer to team interests. How many readers recall a wonderful piece of aggressive riding by Arthur Metcalfe in one of the last British teams to ride the Tour?
Few riders have offered as much to the sport as Arthur: brilliant Milk Race winner, national champion and best all rounder in the same year, and Tour de France finisher; now a bike-builder and budding administrator, Arthur hopes to be riding again in 1973 as an amateur. To Arthur Metcalfe, as to Harry Jackson, we say "welcome", for both have a great deal still to offer.