Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

June 6, 2017

In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Démare sprints to victory on stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné; Stephens soloes to Dirty Kanza victory, Tetrick wins women’s race in record time; Recovering Kristoff accepts second place; Martin: “I feel good”; Cavendish to return to racing at the Tour of Slovenia; Frustrated Viviani could leave Team Sky over racing programme; Bahamontes’ unusual pathway to pro cycling; Self-driving cars have ‘frightening’ inability to spot cyclists; Video: Critérium du Dauphiné 2017 Stage 1 – Onboard GoPro Highlights; Video: Junior Womens Track Cycling

Bahamontes’ unusual pathway to pro cycling

by VeloClub

Spain’s Federico Bahamontes is one of the best climbers of all time, having won the Tour de France King of the Mountains award six times and taken the general classification in 1959. On the publication of the new book Higher Calling: Road Cycling’s Obsession with the Mountains, Rouleur has published an interview with Bahamontes by author Max Leonard.

Here’s an excerpt, which details how dealing with poverty led him to pro cycling.

Riding a bike was part of this struggle to survive. By 18, Bahamontes was working as a market trader, unloading lorries and then picking out and selling on the rotten fruit the stall-holders didn’t want, and he saved the money he made to buy a bike.

The plan was he would ride from village to village, illegally picking up bread and beans and flour which he would then sell on the black market in Toledo. Anyone caught doing this by the Guardia Civil, who patrolled the roads, faced a prison sentence. Often he would ride in the middle of the day, when it was hottest and the police would be on their siesta; needless to say, speed and cunning were an asset.

“All my strength came from the market,” he tells me. It is difficult to imagine this poverty as he sits here now in his of office, behind a huge desk, in front of a picture of himself as a handsome young man and next to a stern statue of an eagle. Bahamontes entered his first race almost by accident, when he met some friends on the road who were going and he tagged along. He came second. From his earliest races he always excelled in the mountains. “Whenever I arrived in the mountains I was happy,” he says.

Click through to read more at Rouleur: