INTRODUCTION: Twenty-seven-year old Ludo Peeters of Belgium scored a runaway solo win in Britain on Sunday (17 May) in a 250-mile (402-kilometre) marathon cycle race.
GV Cyclist along street
TRACKING SHOT Bunch of cyclists along road
SV Cyclists on road through countryside (3 shots)
SV Crowds watch cyclists going through village (2 shots)
SV Cyclists round Snake Pass as crowds watch (2 shots)
GV Leaders enter Odsal Stadium, Bradford, and race won by Belgian Ludo Peeters (2 shots)
SV Peeters presented with winner's sash and trophy
SPORT: CYCLE RACING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Twenty-seven-year old Ludo Peeters of Belgium scored a runaway solo win in Britain on Sunday (17 May) in a 250-mile (402-kilometre) marathon cycle race. He gave the Dutch-base T.I. Raleigh-Creda team an outstanding victory, riding alone for the last fifty miles (80 kilometres) of the route from Bristol to Bradford.
SYNOPSIS: Top professional cyclists from Britain, France, Belgium and other countries faced a gruelling day of racing in the marathon, sponsored by Empire Stores. At key towns and cities along the way there were "hot spots", points where the riders sprinted for a line to win special cash prizes. They didn't actually stop cycling but provided some middle of the race entertainment for the crowds.
Some 50 riders were averaging about 25 miles (about 40 kilometres) an hour. On the hard climbs their speed dropped to 15 miles (24 kilometres) an hour while on hair-raising descends they risked their lives at more than 60 miles (97 kilometres) an hour.
The marathon was going at a slow pace until Britain's Mick Bennett, an Olympic medal winner, moved clear. By Birmingham, his home town, he'd established a lead of 17 minutes, 30 seconds, to win the first of five 200-pound sterling (about $400) town prizes. But Ludo Peeters, who broke away with three other riders, made his winning move as the leaders left to start the gruelling climb up Snake Pass.
What is described as one of the world's longest single day events finished at Bradford's Odsal Stadium with Peeters seven minutes ahead. Keith Lambert, the British professional champion, took second place from Sean Kelly of Ireland. Victorious Ludo Peeters won the admiration of the crowds and a handsome cash prize.