Manchester Wheelers’ 71st Annual Grand Prix Race Meet Saturday 13-July-1963
Introduction from the Race Programme....
“80 YEARS OF SPORT
Once again we wish you the traditional welcome to the Manchester Wheelers' Race Meet and on this very special occasion we feel we can look back with justifiable pride on a great record of service to the sport of Cycling.
July, 1963 is quite some month for the Manchester Wheelers' Club, for it is the month when we celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the formation of the club, and also, the 71st running of our International Wheeler's Race Meet.
For such an occasion, only the best is good enough and we take gre'at pride in re-introducing to Manchester, Britain's greatest ever road racing cyclist. TOMMY SIMPSON.
We say" Re-introducing" because it was in 1956 that a sensational Fallowfield debut shot the 18 year-old unknown Simpson into the limelight of British Cycle Racing. On his route to the final of the British Pursuit Championship. he defeated triple reigning, British, Empire and World Champion, Norman Sheil. Quite naturally, the occasion proved a little too much for the young Simpson and he was defeated in the Final by Mike Gambrill.
It was on Easter Monday, 1959, again at Fallowfield, that TOM SIMPSON made his farewell appearance as an amateur when he won the last event of the afternoon. the 10 mile trophy race. Two days later he left for France to "Seek fame and fortune as a bike rider"!
We do not know if he has made his fortune yet, but there is certainly no doubt that he has already made himself famous.
Now resident in Ghent, Belgium, Simpson set the seal on his short professional career when on Sunday, 26th May last he won the 62nd running of the Classic Bordeaux to Paris Road Race. This event, known as "The Derby of the Road" was over a distance of 348 miles and Simpson won by over 5 minutes at an average speed of 22.25 M.P.H.
Simpson's successes have been so fantastic this year that at present he is leader of the Points Championship for Classic Road Race Placing - championship which is considered more difficult to win than the actual World Championship Race.
Today, Tommy will be taking part in a series, of four races against the great German "Six-day" and Omnium rider, Willi Altig. Also engaged in this Omnium are; John Geddes, British Pro./Ind Pursuit Champion in 1961 and 1959; Bill Bradley, twice winner of the Tour of Britain Cycle Race in 1959 and 1960; and two of Britain's leading riders; Stan Brittain and Eric Bates.
Probably the most famous 10 mile race in Great Britain is the "Muratti" Gold Cup Race. From the first winner, Tom Childs, of Newcastle, in 1899 to the last winner Barry Hoban, the "Muratti" has only been won by champions. It take a champion to win the "Muratti" and the "Muratti" makes a champion. It would indeed be a brave person to venture a forecast of the result of today's "Muratti".
Whilst we all like to relax in the exploits of the past, it is to the future we must look. If we think and talk of the past too much, we may be too busy to notice the epic struggles and the history making races of today. Champions like Simpson, Bonner, Allsopp, De Graaf, Van der Lans and the youngsters like Whitfield, Alsop, Jacques, Smith, Robinson, Gordon, Harrison, Watkins and many others are making history today.
To all - whether watching, riding, or officiating - we wish you an enjoyable afternoon of exciting. thrilling and memorable racing.”
The actual meeting started at 19:00 on the Friday with the First Round and then Quarter Finals of the 4,000 metres Team Pursuit National Championships. Eleven club teams were entered - Old Portlians, Melling Wheelers (2), Festival, Polytechnic, Abbotsford Park, De Laune, Coventry (2), Derby Wheelers and Sheffield Sports. The programme notes that the Fallowfield track record is 4:48 set 4-Sep-1956 by Simpson, Geddes, Gambrill and Burgess.
The Order of Events for Saturday was...
- International 580 yards Handicap (Heats)
- National Team Pursuit Championship (Semi-Finals)
- Pro / Independent Omnium (Match No 1)
- International 580 yards Handicap (Final)
- Three Miles Point-to-Point Race
- Pro / Independent Omnium (Match No 2)
- Grand Prix of the City of Manchester (Heats)
- Ladies Sun Cup Handicap Race (Heats)
- Grand Prix of the City of Manchester (Repecharge)
- Pro / Independent Omnium (Match No 3)
- National Team Pursuit Championship (Finals)
- International Eight Laps Handicap
- Three Miles Point-to-Point Race
- Grand Prix of the City of Manchester (Semi-Final)
- Ladies Sun Cup Handicap (Final)
- 880 Yards Open Handicap (Heats)
- Grand Prix of the City of Manchester (Final)
- Pro / Independent Omnium (Match No 4)
- 880 Yards Open Handicap (Final)
- Ladies Two Miles Point-to-Point Race
- “Muratti” Gold Cup Race
More .... if you are interested...