Cycling -- and Denmark's Jan Hoegh won the second stage of Britain's premier cycle race -- the Milk Race -- which ended in the seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare on Tuesday (29 May).
Cycling -- and Denmark's Jan Hoegh won the second stage of Britain's premier cycle race -- the Milk Race -- which ended in the seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare on Tuesday (29 May). He was closely followed over the line by Janusy Pozach of Poland, and Sweden's Thomas Eriksson. After two stages, he now lies in second place overall, behind Kachinine of the Soviet Union led from Denmark and Czechoslovakia.
SYNOPSIS: The Norwegians are among the three Scandinavian teams competing for the team prize. At the start in Swindon, the winner of the previous day's stage, Stefan Ciekanski of Poland, donned the leader's yellow jersey. But the day was to be without further glory for him.
He was to spend most of the 80 miles (129 kms) of hard-fought stage struggling at the rear of the pack, collecting mud splashes on the coveted cloth.
Britain has entered two teams for this year's race, and challenged well on the first stage, with Gerry Taylor of Team "B" finishing third. On the second stage, Ray Lewis of the "A" team, led early on, but was later to fall back.
Conditions were poor as the pack headed over the Wiltshire countryside with an unfavourable head wind making it difficult for speed bonuses to be won. The pace though, was still gruelling.
As the race progressed, the red-shirted Soviet team took up the challenge, looking for yet another overall team victory.
The Soviets, with two riders from the team who won the gold medal in the World Championship 100-kilometre (62 m.) time trial in Venezuela in 1977, have an experienced squad. They have also the youngest rider in the race and are well fancied to win. But at the 400-yard flat finish straight it was 33-year-old Jan Hoegh from Denmark -- one of the oldest competitors -- who took the flag.
Victory gave him the leader's yellow shirt for the third stage.