“To have that jersey hanging up in the wardrobe, in the context of who has won it subsequently and before – Simpson, Wiggins, Cavendish, Thomas – to be on the trophy and on that list of names that I admire is very special.”
Matt Stephens recalls the feeling of being British national champion, a title he took in 1998. He was then promptly fined £500, and spilt tea down his gleaming white jersey, the stain stubbornly visible to this day. Ned Boulting and Ian Cleverly share the anecdotes and a few laughs along the way.
Lisa Brambani knows all about national champion’s jerseys – she claimed a remarkable four in a row in the 1980s. Now with her daughter Abby-Mae Parkinson making a name for herself on the road racing scene, Lisa is now more likely to be referred to as “Abby’s mum”. But that’s how she likes it: “I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet.”
And how do you top being national champion? The 20-year-old Mandy Jones from Rochdale caused a major upset winning the 1982 World Championships at Goodwood. How was that, asks Ian Parkinson? “Absolutely fantastic, euphoric, and the best moment of my life.”
Plus Desire Editor Start Clapp is reading a fine book by Paul Fournel, a new reprint of the excellent Need for the Bike. Will he finish telling Ian about it before we lose the signal from deepest Essex? Probably not…
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