One of the most important events on the European cycle-racing calendar, the Milk Race, got underway at the seaside of Brighton Monday (29 May).
GV: Promenade in Brighton with banner to show start.
GV: Start of race massed cyclists start.
TS: Cyclist travelling along road.
GV PAN: Cyclists ride up hill with police escort.
TS: Cyclists along road.
GV: Cars held up to allow passage of cyclists and cyclists down hill and pass camera. (2 SHOTS)
SPORT: CYCLE RACING
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Background: One of the most important events on the European cycle-racing calendar, the Milk Race, got underway at the seaside of Brighton Monday (29 May).
SYNOPSIS: It was the twenty-first annual Milk race, so-called because it is sponsored by Britain's Milk Marketing Board. At Brighton, the seaside resort on the south coast, one hundred and sixteen riders from twelve countries lined up for the start.
There were cyclists from England, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Soviet Union and the United States. It was warm summer weather at the start...excellent conditions for the cyclists, who find could weather affects their muscles. From Southern England, the route goes through Wales and the English midlands to Birmingham and north-west England before finishing at Blackpool, in the north-west. The gruelling race lasts for ten days, and riders have to negotiate a lot of punishing, hilly terrain.
There is a prize of four hundred pounds (720 dollars) for the winning rider. Second prize is 300 pounds (540 dollars) and third is 210 pounds (378 dollars). There's also a prize of fifty pounds (ninety dollar) for the most unfortunate rider in the race...the man who has worse luck than anyone. And there's a prize of a bicycle lamp for whoever is last. In the past twenty Milk Races, the Netherlands have won five; England four; Great Britain Sweden and Poland two each; and Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and the British northern and midlands teams, one each.