International Cycle Sport | October 1973 | Issue No 65
Editor P Fretwell
Tour of Ireland
GP Cycliste du Port de Dunkerque - Verstraeten, Vianen, Hoban, Barras
Veterans World Championship
Skol 6-Day by Peter Kent
Tour of the Peak
Cover : Duyndam and Karstens at the final presentation after winning Skol 6 1973
INSTEAD of being the London event with the peculiar formula the Skol-Six is now generally accepted as the opener for the Continental six day programme and as such attracts the promoters who will contract the riders throughout the winter. It has come a long way since the first one held at Earls Court in 1967 in conjunction with the cycle show, indeed it is probably big enough now to have a cycle show run in a supporting role at Wembley. With a ready made venue and a ready made attraction in the Skol event Wembley could be the answer to the cycle trade's prayer for there is enough room for there to be a show on a much larger scale than there has been for some time. With both the trade and the public coming to the Six in vast numbers, there were 7,000 on the final night, it could only be a success.
The last night of the Skol event provided the finest Madison yet seen at Wembley when the leading four teams set about each other with un-parallelled ferocity. The British fan, who can now tell the difference between the real thing and the soft pedalling that sometimes occurs in favour of the home riders, raised the roof when the Dutch pair of Leo Duyndam and Gerben Karstens ran out winners on points from the Italo-Belgian combination of Gianni Motta and Patrick Sercu. With Motta likely to retire at the end of the season this was the last chance for his many British fans to see him. From a British point of view Tony Gowland rode well despite illness to finish fourth with Australian Graeme Gilmore and Nigel Dean impressed the Continental promoters sufficiently for them to offer him 5 contracts for the coming months.
With the world championships over Norman Sheil has resigned from his position as National Coach to the British Cycling Federation, a resignation that leaves the B.C.F. with a gap in the ranks that will be hard to fill with a man of comparable talents. Although he would never claim too much credit himself the pursuit team that won Bronze in the Olympics and Silver in the Worlds will tell you that without the Sheil knowledge and guidance they could never have achieved their success. Far from dropping out of the sport Norman will now concentrate his time to the particular aspects that please him most. This means that the pursuiters could get his undivided attention, who knows ? Whatever he decides we at International Cycle Sport will go on record as saying a big thank you for his work in the past, and hope that he will enjoy his "retirement".
October sees the cyclo-cross season gathering momentum and the first of the five events counting towards the International Cycle Sport Trophy will be held, the Smirnoff Scramble at Harlow, Essex. Once again this winter our series of events will bring leading riders from European countries to race against the top British cyclo-cross men in events all over the country.