For Throwback Thursday today, we’ve got a fun video that offers up great racing and some surprising history lessons at the same time.
Remember when cyclocross national championships were televised, title races featured head-high barriers racers had to duck under, mountain bike Worlds medalists toed the line, Raleigh sponsored some of the top racers and famed race announcer Paul Sherwen managed cyclocross racers?
We don’t. Sure, this decade offered a tease of some of this. Murphy Mack’s underpass at the 2011 SSCXWC in San Francisco surprised some of us and left some scars, while Raleigh-sponsored Caroline Mani won her Worlds medal on a cantilever-equipped Raleigh RXC.
However, thanks to xantheinmidget’s recent video share below, we can relive all the goodness from this 80s era.
In 1988, the Great Britain boasted two racers in David Baker and Tim Gould who were both top cyclocross and mountain bike racers. Both would end up medaling at Mountain Bike World Championships, with Baker winning silver in 1989 (behind American winner Tomac) and bronze in 1992, and Gould winning bronze in 1988 and 1990 (and winning the infamous Three Peaks race no less than six times).
While some remember the two-discipline success of racers like Henrik Djernis and Thomas Frischknecht, winning Worlds titles in both cyclocross and mountain biking, Baker and Gould found Elite success a bit earlier.
In the winter, both were cyclocross stars, contesting the British National Championships and lined up as perpetual medal threats. But in 1988, Raleigh-sponsored Steve Douce was king on the day, as he was for most of the decade, riding away from Gould and winning his fifth of six National Championships (his sixth medal in a row after finishing second in 1983).
After he crossed the line, a young Paul Sherwin wasn’t there to narrate the victory, but to help his repeat National Champion get warm and dry.
Whether it’s to ogle the leather hairnets, metal toe clips and a young Paul Sherwin, or to simply appreciate great cyclocross racing on a difficult course, and impressive camerawork and coverage (especially for a race nearly 30 years ago), the video of the 1988 British Cyclocross National Championships from Sutton Park is worth a watch.