News: Bob Maitland Funeral Details Announced

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Funeral Details: Olympic Hero Bob Maitland

Story Updated September 22, 2010

Funeral Service and Cremation of Tour and Olympic hero Bob Maitland, who passed away at the end of August, will take place on Monday 27th September 2010, at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium, at 11.00am. Anyone wishing to follow the Funeral Cortege Is advised to meet at The Funeral Home, at 10.00am, where parking is available. The Funeral Cortege will be leaving the Funeral Home at approximately 10.30am. The Funeral Home details are below:

Cutler Funeral Directors Ltd.
5 Little Sutton Road, Four Oaks,
Sutton Coldfield, B75 6QB.
Tel: 0121 308 3038, for further details

Floral Tributes welcome, or Donations to:
The Dave Rayner Fund
c/o Cutler Funeral Directors Ltd.
Tel: 0121 308 3038

Bob Maitland - Olympic & Tour Hero

Birmingham's Bob Maitland, who was part of the Silver medal winning Great Britain team in the London Olympic Road Race (1948), has died in France aged 86. Racing both road and track, Maitland was born in 1924 and as well as making his name in the Olympics where he placed sixth individually in the road race (London),  he also won multiple British Road Race championships. He was also a member of the first British national team to ride the Tour de France in 1955. 

British Cycling President, Brian Cookson, paid this tribute to Bob Maitland: "Bob was a real lifelong bike rider who loved our sport and played as full a part in it as it is possible to do. His career spanned many generations and he was an inspiration to so many over the years. Whilst it is so sad that he has passed away, I'm sure his family, his friends, and all of us in the sport of cycling, will celebrate a marvellous life lived to the full".

A lifelong member of the Solihull CC, he joined them after winning a Junior Road Race in 1939 and his occupation meant that he was able to continue racing through out the war (World War II). In doing so, he set several national Time Trial records before the Olympics in 1948.

Bob Maitland continued to race and keep fit through out his career and in 1989, won a UCI Masters World Road title in the 65–69 age category. Not only did he continue to ride his bike until his death  but he was also an avid volunteer, marshalling at local events and known for being a quiet and unassuming gentleman.

Bob Maitland Tribute from his friend Denis Feasey :

This tribute of Bob Maitland was written by Denis Feasey, Secretary of the Concorde Cyclist's Club.

"Bob was born here in Birmingham on 31st March 1924, and went to the local Grammer school. After leaving school he joined the Solihull Cycling Club and the BSA Company in their drawing office, little did he know that he would later be riding for BSA in their professional racing team.

Much has been written about Bob's outstanding cycle racing performances in books, articles, personal memories and in cycling ‘folk lore' and it is impossible to mention his name without referring to his racing career. This ‘potted' version is not to reduce Bob's achievements but to record our appreciation of his contribution to cycling in general and to Concorde and Solihull Cycling Clubs in particular.

In 1945 Bob came to prominence when he won the NCU National Hill Climb Championship and in the 1948 Olympics he led the Great Britain team to gain 2nd place team and a Silver Medal, being the first British rider to finish in 6th place. When the Concorde Racing Cyclist's Club was formed in December 1948 Bob was a founder member and along with 12 other riders an ideal was born as Bob led the club to win many team races.

During his 60 years membership (for over 30years as President) Bob won countless races both in the UK, (which included winning the Birmingham Division Massed Start championship for 6 successive years), and abroad including in this brief account of his professional career from 1953 to 1958.

In 1953 he had wins in the Tour of the Pennines, the Langsett Road Race, two 2nd places in the Berlin Warsaw Prague, two 2nd places in the Tour of Belgium and during this year he took the London to Pembroke RRA record, beating the old record by 16 minutes. In 1954 Bob took the lands End to London record by 20 minutes which stood for over 30 years and added to this with wins in the Stratford Grand Prix and the London to Edinburgh R/R.

In 1955 Bob rode the Tour de France and the Paris Nice, finishing one stage in 3rd place to Bobet and Darrigade. One race that gave him much pleasure was to finish 6th in the Crit.Devmelin, in Paris, finishing in the break, with Coppi and Van Steenburgen back in the bunch. This year he finished 2nd in the British Pro National Road Race Championships.

In 1956 only 14 Pro Races were available, Bob won 7 of these, was 2nd in four of them, 3rd and 4th in the others. Follow that ! In 1957 Ron Coe was dominant - but Bob won the Church Gresley R/R, the Preston Grand Prix and had eight 2nd places, five 3rd places and was 25th in the World Pro. Road Race Championships (which was won by Van Steenburgan - no doubt to get his own back on Bob.) 1958 was Bob's last as a Pro and he had two wins and several top places

Bob continued to races as a Veteran, winning the Vet. European Road Race Championship and was Veteran World Road Race Champion twice. Phew.

Those of us who knew Bob well, and some of us have known him for many years will know that successful sportsmen and women are very dedicated to achieve success and this single mindedness, which Bob had, was often misunderstood, failing to realise that his determination to win was essential for success.

Bob, however, was not selfish and instances that we have on record verify this. When Ben Thomas heard about Bob's death he expressed the sadness that both he and his wife, Joyce, felt, but added that he, Ben, had appreciated those times when Bob sacrificed his own chances to help Ben to win. I, myself, when racing with Bob in a Veteran road race worked hard to help Bob to stay away in the ‘break' and when the race was over Bob sought me out, thanked me for my help and gave me his prize money, hardly the actions of a selfish man.

He was, however, forgetful, particularly in his later life (aren't we all), he was regularly late for committee meetings, and on one occasion turned up on the wrong night. We pulled his leg over these things and threatened not to attend committee meetings unless he provided the chocolate biscuits...I am sure we all have memories of Bob which shows his human side. He was very generous in his help for riders less gifted than he was, freely giving good advice, equipment and support. He will be sadly missed by all of us.

Bob Maitland Palmarès

Olympic Games Road Race - London 1948
• Silver Medal

Road Records Association - Place to place records
• Pembroke to London 1953
• Liverpool to Edinburgh 1953
• Lands End to London 1953
• Lands End to London 1954 ( unbeaten for 40 yrs)

Tour de France
• In first British Team in T.D.F. 1955. Crashed in mountains, Retired on 9th day.

Paris -Nice 1955
• 3rd place in 3rdstage behind Bobet 1st & Darrigade 2nd

Tour of Belgium Independants & Professionals 1953
• 2nd place on two stages . 5th place on General Classification.

Prague - Berlin -Warsaw 1952 (Peace Race )
• 2nd place on two stages

Rome - Naples - Rome Classic Stage Race
(36 riders. Motor bike paced last hour each day. World Champions. T.D.F. Winners. Olympic Gold riders, Coppi, Moser etc)
• 3rd Place Salerno to Naples Stage

U.C.I.World Championships Road Race - National Team :
• sprint for 7th
• solo 21st
• solo 12th
• sprint for 9th
• solo 15th
• main group
• 1957 Professional solo 30th

National Hill Climb Championship
• Winner 1945 / 1949

Best Allrounder Competition
• 2nd & 3rd Places

Winner of 19 R.T.T.C Championship Medals

Birmingham & Midland N.C.U. Centre Road Race
Champion 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 & 1951

National Road Race Champion - 1948

National Independent (Professional) - 1953

Winner of 150 Races as an amateur in Great Britain

Veteran Races

Veterans Road Race Championships of the World - St Johann in Tyrol Austria
1986 3rd
1987 2nd
1989 Winner
1991 2nd
1992 2nd
1996 3rd

World Masters Road Race (held every 5 Years )
• Champion Denmark 1989
• Champion Brisbane 1994

European Veteran Road Race Championship(U.C.I.) - Formies France
• Winner 1986

British Road Race Vets Champs - Peter Fryer Age Related
• Winner 1980, 1983, 1984