50 Years Of British Cycling - The Sixties

50 Years Of British Cycling - The Sixties


50 Years Of British Cycling News

We've dipped into the archives to provide you with a whistle-stop tour of just some of the headline news from the 50 years since the British Cycling Federation was formed, in 1959. It's not an exhaustive list by any means, but gives a flavour of the great performances and significant events during a half century that saw the face of cycling change forever.

Part 1 - The Sixties

Images: PA

The sixties began with the newly former British Cycling Federation finding its feet. Of the riders who dominated the decade, two really stand out: Beryl Burton was equally at home in Road Races, Time Trial and Pursuiting on the Track. She won numerous titles at home and abroad and was arguably one of the finest cycing athletes of all time; and Tom Simpson, a superb Road rider, who was for a time a genuine contender for the Tour de France and is to date the only British winner of the Men's World Road Championship - his death in the 1967 Tour was a tragic end to a career in which his charisma shone through.

Beryl Burton and Graham Webb won world amateur Road titles in 1967 (PA Images)


  • 1 February The British Cycling Federation is formed through the amalgamation of the National Cyclists Union and the British League of Racing Cyclists. The first President is Eddie Lawton and other posts include Hon Secretary - Geoff T Bassett; Treasurer - R Smith; F & M -Ken Wells, A Dixon, George Taylor, & Eddie Lawton (all BLRC) and Edward Chippendale, R Taylor, John Penn, C Darwent (NCU); Racing Committee- Chas Messenger, B Cox, Norman Shelmerdine, A Foster (BLRC) and Benny Foster, Peter Itter, Bill McCormack and R Taylor (NCU). UCI Delegates - Eddie Lawton, Chas Messenger, Peter Itter and R Taylor plus Arthur Campbell (SCU)
  • Beryl Burton becomes the first British women to win a world title - the Pursuit


  • First Annual General Meeting of the BCF National Council.
  • Beryl Burton wins World Road and Pursuit titles
  • Bill Bradley wins the Milk race for the second successive year


  • The Women's World Road Race Championships are held in the Isle of Man
  • Tom Simpson wins the Tour of Flanders
  • The Milk Race is won by Billy Holmes


  • Mike Parkins wins the World Cycle Speedway title in Edinburgh
  • Wes Mason wins the Commonwealth Games Road Race in Perth, Australia


  • The Milk Race is won by Pete Chisman


  • First BCF Part Time National Coach appointed - Tommy Godwin. He resigned in the same year.
  • The Milk Race is won by Arthur Metcalfe


  • Tom Simpson (right) becomes the first British rider to win the World Professional Road Race Championship
  • Michael Wright wins stage 20 of the Tour de France
  • Les West wins the Milk Race


  • The Milk Race is won by Josef Gawliczec from Poland


  • Crash hats became compulsory for BCF closed circuit events
  • Tom Simpson dies on Mont Ventoux during the 13th stage of the Tour de France - compatriot Barry Hoban wins the following day's stage.
  • Beryl Burton wins her final world title, the Road Race - Graham Webb makes it a British double by winning the men's race.


  • Hugh Porter wins the first of his four World Professional Individual Pursuit Titles in Rome
  • Beryl Burton is awarded the OBE
  • Barry Hoban wins stage 19 of the Tour de france


  • Barry Hoban wins back-to-back stages at the Tour de France

Our look back at the last 50 years is not intended to be an exhaustive list of events and performances, but a flavour of  a half century that saw the face of cycling change forever. If you would like to share your memories of the period with us, please send them to editor@britishcycling.org.uk - we'll publish the best.