Scottish cyclist Ian Steel, one of the country’s first ever successful international road racers, has died at the age of 86.
John “Ian” Steel was born in Glasgow in 1928 and competed in his first 25 mile Time Trial aged 18, then going on to win races of 50 and 100-miles, as well as 12-hour efforts.
He started off at Glasgow United, rode for Glasgow Wheelers as an amateur and then went on to ride for Viking as a pro. On Ian’s first ever trip to England he won the 1951 Tour of Britain and three of its stages. He won another stage the following year and became national champion.
Ian was an outstanding figure in British cycling in the 1950s on the road and became British RR (BLRC) Champion and more impressively, the only British winner of the Peace Race, in 1952, the biggest amateur stage race in the world.
Ian retired from cycling in 1956, however remained well known in the cycling community.
Sean Murphy, Chair of Scottish Cycling said, “He was a hero to those who knew him and a true giant: Scotland & Britain's first great road racer of international standing, a generation before Billy Bilsland and, even later, Robert Millar. Scottish Cycling want to extend their condolences to Ian’s family and all that knew him.”
Cyclist have been posting their condolences on social media:
Ian Steel (2nd left) with GB team en route for the 1952 Peace Race. pic.twitter.com/wTtENnSOWM— Herbie Sykes (@herbiesykes) October 21, 2015