Colin Lewis

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Colin Lewis
Personal information
Full name Colin Lewis
Born (1942-07-27) 27 July 1942 (age 71)
Torquay, England, United Kingdom
Team information
Current team Mid devon cycling club
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Amateur team(s)
1958-1966
Current
Mid-Devon Cycling Club
Professional team(s)
1967
1969
1967-1969 Mackeson-Condor,1970-1974
Holdsworth-Campagnolo
Major wins
British National Road Race Champion (1967, 1968)
250 victories including 38 professional
The Golden Wheel Trophy
1968 - Linz am Rhine
Infobox last updated on
November 2008

Colin Lewis (born Torquay, England, 27 July 1942)[1] is an ex-professional racing cyclist. He started racing at 19 and rode the Milk Race in 1960, finishing 7th.

Cycling career[edit]

Lewis represented Britain in the Tour de l'Avenir and the world championships at San Sebastian.[2] He came 25th, the best British rider, in the Olympic Games road race in Tokyo in 1964.

After racing in France he received offers to join the AC Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, often a stepping stone to professional teams and especially to Peugeot or to ride for a smaller British team, Mackeson-Condor. The sponsors were a brewing company and a London bicycle shop. He turned pro for £4 per week.[3][4] Average weekly pay in Britain at the time was about £25. In 1967 he finished the Tour de France 84th and won the national road championship. Mackeson-Condor doubled his pay.[4] In 1968 he won the road championship again, the only rider to win in successive years.[4] He moved to another team, Holdsworth-Campagnolo, in 1969 and stayed there until he retired from professional racing in 1975.

In the 1967 Tour de France, Lewis rode with and shared a room with Tom Simpson, who died during the race while climbing Mont Ventoux.[5] Lewis said:

"On the climb, I heard that Tom had fallen off about a kilometre from the summit, then I saw a commotion and saw him lying on the ground. I shouted to Alex [Taylor, the team manager] 'What's up?' but he told me to go on and that everything was all right. I was expecting him to catch me on the descent and that we would work together. I was tucked up in bed after the stage, feeling pretty rough, when I heard the news. Barry (Hoban) came into my room and said 'Tom's dead.' I couldn't believe it, he was so lighthearted before the start."[6]

The biggest lesson he learned on the Tour was that the ability to suffer for prolonged periods, Lewis said that this was the difference between British and Continental professionals at the time.[6]

Lewis was the last Welshman to ride the Tour de France in 1968 until Geraint Thomas in 2007.

He said British professional racing scene was good but there were too few hard races and too much "chasing round straw bales all the time", a reference to races held up and down straight roads, often on seafronts.[6] Lewis said the promise of development exited with compainies such as Yellow Pages, V&G Insurance and Redifusion sponsoring races, although the deals never lasted long, frequently sending them back to square one looking for new sponsors.[4]

Lewis had 250 victories, 38 professional, including the Golden Wheel Trophy and the Linz am Rhine.[2]

Other work and personal life[edit]

He opened a cycle shop in 1976. He was manager of Eastway Cycle Circuit in Hackney, London, and spent seven years as training director at the South East Centre of Excellence.[2]

Lewis lives in Devon. His wife, Pam, died in August 2010. Colin is president of Mid-Devon Cycling Club.[5]

Palmarès[edit]

1960
7th Milk Race
1966
25th Individual road race, Commonwealth Games
1967
1st United Kingdom British National Road Race Championships
1968
1st United Kingdom British National Road Race Championships
Linz am Rhine
?
Golden Wheel Trophy Herne Hill

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cyclingwebsite.net/coureurploegfiche.php?coureurid=12477
  2. ^ a b c "Biography of Colin Lewis". Fisher Outdoor.co.uk. 
  3. ^ "W.F.Holdsworth, Holdsworth-Campagnolo Pro Team". Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Article". Cycling Weekly (London): p16. 17 February 1996. 
  5. ^ a b "Colin Lewis Bio". Eurocycler. 
  6. ^ a b c "Article". Cycling (London). 12 August 1967.