Charly Wegelius

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Charly Wegelius
Wegelius at the 2010 Giro d'Italia
Personal information
Full nameCharles Wegelius
Born (1978-04-26) 26 April 1978 (age 40)
Espoo, Finland
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight62 kg (137 lb)
Team information
Current teamRetired
Rider typeClimber/Mountain Domestique
Amateur team(s)
1996–1998Vendée U
1999Linda McCartney Racing Team (stagiaire)
Professional team(s)
2003–2004De Nardi
Managerial team(s)
Major wins
1 stage TTT Giro d'Italia (2007)

Charles "Charly" Wegelius (born 26 April 1978 in Espoo, Finland) is a British former professional road racing cyclist.

Never a winner of a professional race individually, Wegelius nevertheless made a career out of being a reliable and strong domestique, most notably in the mountains.


Early career[edit]

Wegelius started his career in France, riding for the Vendée U team managed by Jean-René Bernaudeau, thanks to the influence of former pro Graham Jones.[1] His team-mates included Walter Bénéteau, Christian Guiberteau, Roger Hammond, Samuel Plouhinec, and Janek Tombak.[2] He won a number of races in his first season, including beating Sandy Casar, who was the brightest prospect in the local area. His biggest result was winning the Under-23 section of the Grand Prix des Nations, after which Le Télégramme reported that Wegelius was one of the most promising riders of his generation.[1]

Wegelius' cycling aspirations suffered an early setback, after being injured in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle, which resulted in his spleen being removed and the news that he would never cycle again.[3] He recovered, however, and had his first professional break in 1999, when he rode as a stagiaire for the ill-fated Linda McCartney Racing Team.[4]

Wegelius participated in the cycling at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, where he finished 5th in the individual time trial and 28th in the road race.[5] He also started the road race at the 2004 Summer Olympics, but failed to finish.

Italian years[edit]

Wegelius raced in Italy for a succession of teams between 2000 and 2009. At Mapei he was part of a generation of young cyclists that included Fabian Cancellara, Luca Paolini, Dario Cioni, Rinaldo Nocentini, Filippo Pozzato, Leif Hoste, Bernhard Eisel, Allan Davis, and Michael Rogers. Wegelius took part in his first Grand Tour, Mapei's last, at the 2002 Vuelta a España. After the team's sponsor pulled out at the end of 2002, Wegelius moved to the smaller De Nardi team, which raced on the Italian domestic scene. They were invited to the Giro d'Italia in 2003 and 2004. In 2004, Wegelius notably helped Serhiy Honchar to an unexpected second place, often driving the leading group up the difficult mountain stages.[6]

World Championship controversy[edit]

Wegelius was involved in controversy in 2005 when he and teammate Tom Southam chose not to ride to protect Roger Hammond, their team leader, in the World Championship road race, and instead took instructions from the Italian team for a fee.[7] Wegelius later repaid the costs associated with his participation in the event, and was never selected to represent his national team again.[8] He later said that he regretted the incident.[9]

Giro d'Italia[edit]

Having been on the Liquigas-Bianchi team since they reached the top level of cycling, Wegelius was a key domestique in the Giro d'Italia supporting Dario Cioni, Danilo Di Luca, and Stefano Garzelli.[10] Wegelius competed in every Giro d'Italia between 2003 and 2010, and successfully supported Di Luca to victory in 2007, which was ironically the only Giro Wegelius failed to finish.

Participation in the Tour de France[edit]

Having previously ridden in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, Wegelius made his Tour de France début in the 2007 edition. By finishing 45th, he was the best placed British rider in the general classification at 1 hour, 41 minutes and 5 seconds behind yellow jersey winner Alberto Contador. He received a call-up to participate in the 2009 Tour de France as a replacement for Thomas Dekker, who was ruled out following a positive drug test.[11] He finished 60th in the general classification, 1 hour, 14 minutes and 25 seconds behind the winning Contador. Wegelius also began the 2010 Tour de France. However, much to his disappointment, he had to pull out after suffering from a sickness.[12] It was his last participation in the Tour de France, as he retired after the 2011 Giro di Padania.[9]

Following his retirement, he joined the then Garmin-Cervélo team as Directeur sportif.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Wegelius is the son of Christopher Wegelius, a Finnish former banker and the most successful show jumper ever to have represented Finland.[3] His mother was English-born Elizabeth Jane Murray. Wegelius moved, as a small boy, with his mother, to England. He grew up in Yorkshire.

Wegelius was educated at Bootham School in York from 1989 to 1994.[14]

Wegelius has a wife, Camilla, and two sons. They live in Finland.[4]

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]

1st Overall Junior Tour of Wales
1st U23 Grand Prix des Nations
2nd Overall Tour of Slovakia
1st Stage 4 U23 Le Transalsace International
2nd European Under-23 Time Trial Championships
3rd U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege
1st TTT Settimana Ciclista Bergamasca
3rd Stage 4 Tour de Suisse
5th Commonwealth Games Time Trial
8th Stage 1 Tour de Langkawi
3rd Overall Vuelta a Aragón
2nd Stage 4 & 10th Stage 5
10th Stage 1 Giro del Trentino
5th Stage 18 Giro d'Italia
5th Overall Giro dell'Appennino
6th Stage 5 Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 1 TTT Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 1b (TTT) Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali
8th Stage 7 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
3rd Stage 6 Vuelta a Asturias
10th Coppa Papà Carlo

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Giro d'Italia 51 48 46 58 DNF 69 105 29
Tour de France 45 60 DNF
Vuelta a España 109 60 DNF DNF
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish


  1. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Vendée U 1997".
  3. ^ a b Cyclingnews talks with Charly Wegelius Accessed 26 September 2011
  4. ^ a b Wegelius calls time on cycling career Accessed 26 September 2011
  5. ^ Commonwealth Sports – Sports Programme Archived 1 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Commonwealth Games Federation Accessed 26 September 2011
  6. ^ " presents the 87th Giro d'Italia, 2004".
  7. ^ Herety resigns over team tactics The Daily Telegraph Accessed 26 September 2011
  8. ^ Charly Wegelius: Rider Profile Cycling Weekly Accessed 1 September 2009
  9. ^ a b Charly Wegelius retires from cycling Cycling Weekly Accessed 26 September 2011
  10. ^ " presents the 88th Giro d'Italia".
  11. ^ Briton Wegelius gains Tour slot BBC Sport Accessed 26 September 2011
  12. ^ I felt like a water bucket with dozens of bullet holes Canyon HEROES Blog Accessed 26 September 2011
  13. ^ Daniel Benson. "Wegelius to Garmin-Cervelo as Director Sportif".
  14. ^ Bootham School Register. York, England: Bootham Old Scholars Association. 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]