Top European and United States cyclists lined up for the start of one of Britain's major cycling event, the annual 1,100 mile Milk Race.
Top European and United States cyclists lined up for the start of one of Britain's major cycling event, the annual 1,100 mile Milk Race. Despite the innocuous title -- it's sponsored by Britain's milk marketers -- experts were forecasting that this year's race would be the "most vicious" ever.
This is because the prizes are worth more, and the daily stages have been shortened and are likely to be contested at much higher speeds.
Before the race, there had been hopes of a British success this year to break seven years of failure in this race. The top British team includes three winners of gold medals at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
But they face stiff competition. Holland, West Germany, Sweden and Poland have al sent strong squads. Earlier, there had been fears that the Polish team -- headed by Olympic and World Champion Ryszard Szurkowski -- might have difficulty making the journey because of a visa mix-up.
But this had no effect on the first days' racing, over a 105-mile stage from Brighton, on England's south coast. Poland's Andrzej Kaczmarek was the winner of this first stage, with Bernt Johannson of Sweden second nd Dutchman Aad van den Hoek third.