Michael Wright (cyclist)

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Michael Wright
Denain - Grand Prix de Denain, le 17 avril 2014 (B05).JPG
Personal information
Full nameMichael Wright
NicknameMichel
Born (1941-03-25) 25 March 1941 (age 77)
 Great Britain
Team information
Current teamRetired
DisciplineRoad
RoleRider
Rider typeSprinter roadman
Amateur team(s)
1959-1961-
Professional team(s)
1962-1966Wiel's-Groene Leeuw
1967Tibetan-Groene Leeuw-Pull Over Centrale
1968-1971Bic
1972-1973Gitane
1974Sonolor-Gitane
1975Gero-Jaga Kercka
1976Ijsboerke-Colnago
Major wins
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.

Early life[edit]

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.

Professional career[edit]

Wright was too big to ride well in the high mountains, but he was a fast finisher from a small group.

Tour de France[edit]

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.

Tour record:

Vuelta a España[edit]

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.

Stage wins:

Major results[edit]

1961 - amateur
  • 21 wins
1962 - first professional year
  • 1st Grand Prix du Brabant Wallon
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1972
1973
1974
1975
  • 2nd Circuit de Wallonie
1976
  • 1st Circuit de Niel

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Fotheringham, W. (2005), Roule Britannia: A History of Britons in the Tour de France, London: Yellow Jersey, ISBN 0-224-07425-3