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Dave Lloyd – Still Riding Hard!

| Blog, Cycling Plus, Features | 26/03/2013 09:13am

We sent Rick Robson out North Wales to see if he could keep up with former pro-turned-coach Dave Lloyd. He came back tired but with a brilliant cycling route in Wales.

Dave Lloyd ’s got something from another era, its either an old school work ethic or just pure enjoyment from riding his bike – either way he is still fast – very fast – even though he is now well into his 60’s. It made a refreshing change to spend the day with Dave. His 2013 Fondriest was cutting edge, but you see plenty of people with top end bikes plodding around. Not Dave – plodding around is an alien concept to him.  He’s fast on the flat, fast around the corners and fast up the hills. The second he feels his speed drop, he’s out of the saddle.

Dave is from a time when you had to almost justify riding a decent bike with decent performances in races, when nobody would dream of wearing a World Champion jersey – unless they actually were a World Champion. To get into cycling you had to join a club, in return for joining, the club elders would teach you how to ride. I like Dave and I like the toughness involved with riding in the 70’s & 80’s, cycling was hard and unpopular – I think in an odd way that was part of its appeal for me as a youngster.

Dave has always been fast though. Between ’73 and ‘75 he rode in the iconic red and yellow colours of the TI Raleigh Team under the legendary manager Peter Post, picking up several wins and some great results;  11th place in the Tour of Switzerland (a race he won as an amateur), 14th in the Paris Nice stage race. During 1975 Dave was diagnosed with an ectopic heart beat condition which back in the 1970’s meant stopping racing – effectively robbing Dave of the most productive years of a professional bike rider age 26 – 29.

Dave in a rare pose – stopped! ©Rick Robson

“Yeah just as I was getting there I had three years away from the sport, I was pretty much suicidal at the time but thank goodness Chris (Dave’s wife) got me through those horrendous times – I had worked so hard and was getting some great results” Once given the ‘all clear’ to race again his comeback, in 1979, saw him dominate racing in the UK. In the next six years he became as well known for his time trial starting effort roar as for his use of aero overshoes and balaclava. He won 125 out of the 133 races he rode; high quality races too, in 1981 he won the classic Isle of Man Time Trial by seven and a half minutes from Laurent Fignon, who went on the win the Tour De France in ’83 and ’84.  The same year, Dave put the 10 mile time trial record on the shelf for seven years when he recorded 19.11 – a 31mph ride on a steel bike with spoke wheels. Like I said – always been fast…

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