DANES FIRST AND SECOND IN RACE TO WARSAW
Pedersen Beats Andresen : Jones 15th, Thomas 16th
CHRISTIAN PEDERSEN, 32 years old, three times Denmark's road-race champion and twice time-trial champion, won the 12-stage, 14-day race which finished in Warsaw last Thursday. Hans Edmund Andresen, a member of the 1952 Danish Olympic team, was second, 2 min. 45 sec. down after 1,457 miles of racing spread over 12 stages in Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Poland with two rest days at the frontiers. Of the six B.L.R.C. independents (four of them former N.C.U. champions) who started, only two finished. They were Midlander Stan Jones in 15th place, 58 min. 56 sec. behind the winner, and Yorkshireman Gordon Thomas in 16th place, 59 min. 10 sec. down.
Crashes (Bill Bellamy on the second stage and Peter Procter on the sixth); knee trouble (Alf Newman on the seventh); sickness (team captain Bob Maitland at the start of the eighth) accounted for the retirements. and appalling weather, extra long stages, cobbles and the high speed of racing accounted for the eventual relatively low placing of Jones and Thomas, who, after spending the early days of the race in domestic team capacities, were left to tight on alone over the final gruelling stages.
That they finished in 15th and 16th positions, let alone at all, is much to their credit. By the time the final stage was reached the original internationally-represented field of 96, had been depleted almost by two-thirds. And on the very last stage, from Lodz to Warsaw, both our remaining riders crashed. Jones receiving face lacerations when he tumbled at 15 miles to go. and Thomas finishing on a spare machine after falling almost within sight of the line. Winner of this final stage was Pole Krolak, who, with French - Polishman Pavlisiak (eventually fifth), had been prominent in daily finishing lists over the middle and final stages of the race. Also in the picture towards the end was Ruzicka, Czechoslovakia: but it was Schur, of East Germany, not in the first two on any stage, who forged ahead on general classification to eventual third place behind the two Danes, 4 1/4 min. down on Pedersen at the end. Led by Schur and Treffling (fourth, 7 min. 50 sec down), winner of the eighth stage, East Germany beat Denmark in the team race by 2 min. 31 sec. Eloot of Belgium was a rider who figured well early on, as was Austrian Franz Deutsch, eventually sixth.
Pedersen, the winner, rode purely to achieve ultimate victory. After a third on the first day from Bratislava in Czechoslovakia. his only stage win came on the second day when he beat Maitland into second place, Andresen was more to the fore in the daily lists, winning the seventh stage and taking two seconds (on the fourth and sixth stages) and a third (on the third stage). Pedersen went into race lead on the second day, lost it for three days when first Deutsch and then Andresen took over after the third, seventh and eighth stages, and then with steady riding held his lead to the end once he had regained race lead at Goerlitz after the eighth stage.
The gradual downfall of the British team, after a fine start, commenced on the second stage. Maitland was second, but Bill Bellamy, not long out of the amateur ranks, crashed and was forced to retire. On the third stage Maitland could do no better than 10th, with Newman and Procter together, 19th and 20th, and on the fourth stage all five remaining Britons - the B.S.A. independent team intact - finished 6 min. 8 sec, down on winner Ruzicka. Maitland finished 14 min. 53 sec. down on the sixth stage and Procter was out. A ray of hope gleamed on the next day when Thomas finished 9th with Jones 22nd, and despite the retirement of Newman and Maitland following this seventh stage, it gleamed even more brightly when Jones finished third to Traffling of East Germany and Pavlisiak the next day. Thomas was also well up. in ninth position, but that was the best the pair could manage as adverse conditions increased and the long daily stages began to take their toll.
Ninth stage (Zgorzelec—Wroclaw): Krolak, Poland, 1: Thomas, Britain, at 5 min. 46 sec., 13; Jones, Britain, at 21 min. 40 sec., 36.
Gen. Class.: Pedersen, Denmark, 1; Andresen, Denmark, 2. Team: Denmark.
Tenth stage (Wroclaw—Stalinogrod): Wilczewski. Poland, 1; Jones, at 12 min. 3 sec., 24; Thomas. at 12 min. 3 sec., 27
Gen. Class.: Pedersen. 1: Andresen. 2. Team: Denmark.
Eleventh stage (Stalinogrod—Lodz): Pavlisiak, France-Poland, 1; Ruzicka. Czechoslovakia, 2; Krolak, 3; Thomas, at 7 min. 56, sec., 24; Jones, at 12 min. 32 sec., 32. Team: Poland.
Gen. Class.: Pedersen, 1; Andresen. 2; Schur, East Germany, 3: Jones, 15; Thomas, 17. Team: East Germany. 1; Denmark, 2.,
Twelfth stage (Lodz—Warsaw): Krolak, 1; Kunes, Czechoslovakia, 2. Team: Poland.
Final Gen. Class. Pedersen, 62.41.12, 1; Andresen. at 2 min. 45 sec., 2, Schur, East Germany, at 4 min. 15 sec.. 3: Jones, at 58 min. 56 sec., 15; Thomas. at 59 min, 10 sec., 16. Team.—East Germany. 188.14.15, 1: Denmark, at 2 min., 31 sec., 2.
96 started: 38 finished.