Brian Robinson, winner of Britain’s first-ever Tour de France phases and extensively recognised to be the pioneer for British biking in mainstream European racing within the Nineteen Fifties, has died on the age of 91.
The information was introduced by his household on Wednesday morning.
Born in Yorkshire in 1930, Robinson was one of many two first Britons to complete the Tour, along with Tony Hoar, in 1955. He then claimed the nation’s first Tour de France stage victory in 1957, adopted by one other in 1959 after which went on to seize Nice Britain’s first ever Criterium du Dauphiné, when France’s second hardest stage race was often called the Dauphiné Libéré.
At a time when British riders hardly ever headed throughout the English Channel, Robinson turned one of many high names in European racing, blazing a path that might later be adopted by the likes of Tom Simpson within the Sixties.
Captivated by tales of France after his brother Desmond, an novice racer, attended a coaching camp on the invitation of Simplex parts, Robinson had shaped a part of the Hercules crew that raced overseas for the primary time in 1955 and he tailored properly to the Continental racing scene.
Robinson impressed with the rapidity of his transition from greenhorn to seasoned skilled in Europe, using and finishing his first-ever Tour de France with simply half a season of full-time racing on the highest stage. Shocked by the toughness of it, however nonetheless in a position to get via, saying afterwards: “I had no thought males might do that to one another.”
Robinson’s first Tour stage win got here in fairly anti-climactic method, within the 1958 transition stage to Brest, after one other rider, Italian Arrigo Padovan was disqualified. His second, although, was taken in spectacular model, successful by a 20-minute margin in the future earlier than the tip of the 1959 Tour after solely the goodwill of the officers and a few arcane guidelines meant he had dodged exclusion from the race for lacking the time lower.
Repeated abdomen points maybe prevented him from going even larger within the general standings than his career-best 14th place within the 1956 Tour de France. He had already positioned eighth general within the Vuelta a España that very same yr – a primary ever high ten in a Grand Tour for a Briton, and like so many different of his outcomes, an inspiration for these British riders subsequently racing overseas.
Robinson retired comparatively early, at 31, returning to work as a builder in his house city of Mirfield, Yorkshire.
He remained very near the game, nevertheless. Robinson was a president of the Dave Rayner Fund which helps Britons race overseas and was additionally lively within the bringing of the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014. A vastly entertaining interviewee, Robinson might additionally usually be noticed out coaching on his bike in recent times.