Michael Wright (cyclist)
|Full name||Michael Wright|
|Born||25 March 1941|
|Rider type||Sprinter roadman|
|1967||Tibetan-Groene Leeuw-Pull Over Centrale|
|3 stage wins, Tour de France|
4 stage wins, Vuelta a España
Michael Wright - "Michel" - (born 25 March 1941) is an English former professional road bicycle racer from 1962 to 1976. He won stages in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España stage races and represented Great Britain at several world championships.
Wright was born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. His father died in World War II and his mother remarried to a Belgian soldier. The family emigrated to Belgium when Wright was only three. He grew up in Liège.
Wright's first sport was football. However, when his stepfather died leaving the family short of money, Wright turned to cycling as a more lucrative way of exploiting his athletic talent.
His first language was French and, although he represented Great Britain at the Tour de France and several World road race championships, his English was limited. During the winter of 1967-8 he took evening classes to brush up his English in preparation for riding with the British team. In 2006, he told Procycling magazine that his English is poor.
He told Procycling that he profited from his British nationality because he was never good enough to ride in a Belgian national team. Being British gave him rides in world championships and, in 1967 and 1968, in the Tour de France (held in those years for national teams). He rode with a small Union Jack sewn to the sleeves of his jerseys.
When he stopped racing, he worked as a salesman for the IJsboerke ice-cream company, which briefly had a professional team of its own.
Wright was too big to ride well in the high mountains, but he was a fast finisher from a small group.
Tour de France
Wright rode the Tour de France eight times, finishing 24th in 1965 and winning three stages. Together with Barry Hoban, Wright provided Great Britain with its most consistent period of Tour stage wins during the late sixties and early seventies. He was a member of the British team in 1967 - the year that Tommy Simpson collapsed and died on Mont Ventoux.
- 1964: 56th
- 1965: 24th - 1st stage 20: Lyon > Auxerre
- 1967: did not finish - 1st stage 7: Metz > Strasbourg
- 1968: 28th
- 1969: 71st
- 1972: 55th
- 1973: 57th - 1st stage 10: Nice > Aubagne
- 1974: 57th
Vuelta a España
Wright won 4 stages of the Vuelta a España: 2 in 1968 and 2 in 1969. In 1968 he was third in the points classification. In 1969 he came 5th on general classification, 2nd on the points classification and wore the leader's jersey for 2 days.
- 1961 - amateur
- 21 wins
- 1962 - first professional year
- 1st Grand Prix du Brabant Wallon
- 1st at Hoegaarden
- 1st Tour du Condroz
- 1st Grand Prix de Denain
- 1st Critéruim de Visé
- 1st Bruxelles-Nandrin
- 13th world road race championships
- 1st stage 2, Tour du Nord
- 56th Tour de France (2nd stages 1 and 11 and 3rd on stage 10)
- 1st Hoeilaart-Diest-Hoeilaart
- 1st Criterium of London
- 5th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
- 24th Tour de France (1st stage 20, 2nd stage 3, 3rd stage 13, 5th in points classification)
- 2nd stage 4, Tour of Belgium
- 1st Bruxelles-Verviers
- 4th Henninger Turm
- 2nd stage 2, Grand Prix du Midi Libre
- 3rd stage 3, Ronde van Nederland
- 2nd stage 3, Volta a Catalunya (also 3rd on stage 8 and 3rd on the points classification)
- 1st Vaux Grand Prix
- 1st Grand Prix de Pamel
- 3rd Manx Trophy
- 6th Omloop Het Volk
- 1st stage 7, Tour de France (part of the British team when Tom Simpson collapsed and died).
- 1st Flèche Hesbignonne
- 1st Critérium d'Hasselt
- 5th Tour de l'Oise
- 1st stage 1, Tour de Luxembourg
- 14th Vuelta a España (1st stage 2 and stage 4, 2nd stage 9, 3rd on points classification)
- 28th Tour de France (2nd stage 21, 3rd stage 15)
- 2nd stage 1, Paris–Nice
- 1st Tour du Condroz
- 5th Vuelta a España (1st stages 1 and 13, 2nd stage 12, 2nd on points classification)
- 2nd stage 4, Grand Prix du Midi Libre (3rd stage 2)
- 1st stage 1, Vuelta al País Vasco - G.P Eibar (3rd stage 4)
- 1st stages 1 and 4, Tour du Nord
- 1st stage 10, Tour de France
- 2nd Circuit de Wallonie
- 1st Circuit de Niel
- Michael Wright's palmares at memoire-du-cyclisme.net
- Michael Wright at Cycling Archives
- British riders at the Vuelta from veloarchive.com