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1955 France
1955 France 2

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1955 42nd Tour de France - Part 2

The news that a British team could possibly ride in the 1955 Tour generated plenty of advance interest - not least in The Bicycle, where there was a reader poll for potential GB team members -

“BRITAIN'S TOUR de FRANCE TEAM - Our readers' selections

DAVE BEDWELL COMES IN

IT was too much to expect that readers of THE BICYCLE and I would see eye to eye on selecting a British team for next year's Tour de France (writes Peter Bryan).
So it came as no surprise that the five riders named in our recent readers' poll, differ very slightly from the list which I originally proposed in THE BICYCLE of October 27.
My five riders - considered to be the best we had who would fit in well as a demi-equipe joined up with a Luxembourg team - were: Brian Robinson, Fred Krebs, Ian Steel, Ian Greenfield and Bob Maitland.

92.9

per cent of readers voting named

Fred KREBS (Hercules)

89.2

 

Brian ROBINSON (Hercules)

58.3

 

Ian STEEL (Viking)

57.1

 

Dave BEDWELL (Hercules)

53.5

 

Bob MAITLAND (B.S.A.)

But THE BICYCLE readers have other ideas, and of the hundreds of votes cast, the final result works out like this:-

I proposed Greenfield, but the readers' vote brought stocky little Dave Bedwell into his place. And how his supporters took me to task for not including him in the first place!
Altogether there were 24 different names suggested, with amateurs Brian Haskell and Bernard Pusey prominent among them. One reader even wanted to include Ireland's Shay Elliott in her list!
Several readers refused to name a five-man team, and were furious to hear it suggested that Britain should even contemplate sending over a "half-team"
"Ten men or none at all!” was the theme taken in their letters, but. while I admire their fervent patriotism, my own opinion is that if an invitation comes along for five men it should be accepted.
I cannot see the French newspaper "l'Equipe", the organisers of the "Tour", being persuaded to accept a 100 per cent. British team until a smaller number of our riders have proved that we can produce roadmen of the class necessary for the Grand Boucle. "I'Equipe” by the way, published most of my article in a recent issue, inserting the comment that while British representation in the Tour would be welcomed, an invitation was unlikely while the present political differences remained unsolved.”
Credit: The Bicycle 17-Nov-1954

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THE 10 ARE CHOSEN FOR TOUR de FRANCE

ON July 7 the first-ever British team to contest the Tour de France will line up at Le Havre. On Monday of this week the selection committee met in London to decide the 10-man team.
One of the 14 committee men was Monsieur Jean Garnault, the Tour de France organiser (although in London purely in an advisory capacity), and he must have contrasted the British way of selecting the team with the situations in France and Italy, where Marcel Bidot and Alfredo Binda are alone responsible for the choice of the national teams.
The committee's task was really confined to choosing the five men to back up Fred Krebs, Brian Robinson, Bob Maitland, Ian Steel, and Tony Hoar - who were, on their records, automatic choices - and the list was eventually decided as follows:-
 Tony Hoar (Hercules), Fred Krebs (Hercules), Bob Maitland (Hercules), Brian Robinson (Hercules), Bernard Pusey (Hercules). Ian Steel (Viking), Dave Bedwell (Hercules), Stan Jones (unattached independent), Ken Mitchell (Wearwell), and Bev Wood (Viking). Reserves : John Pottier (Wearwell), and Ken Jowett (Viking). Team manager will be Syd Cozens (Hercules), and chief mechanic Bob Thom; Julian Shramm will be chief soigneur. Two further mechanics and two further soigneurs will be selected later.
The selected 10 men, with Pottier, will shortly travel to France for a training period, making their base at Grenoble, where they will have the opportunity of reconnoitring the Alpine mountain passes.
Chairman of the meeting was Mr. Evan-Price, president of the Manufacturers' Union, and the committee consisted of representatives of the manufacturers who are sponsoring teams and cycling journalists, including Rene de la Tour, of Paris.
Credit: The Bicycle 15-Jun-1955

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