This film was mentioned in the Rouleur 18 article about Ian Steel, but disappeared from Y0uTube. It has since reappeared- It’s in four parts, in Polish, but patience will reward enthusiasts of this era. It’s the most sustained footage of one bike race from that age that I’ve seen. You get to see the bikes, kit, pace and attacks all at close quarters. And of course Ian Steel won it – the toughest amateur stage race in the world.
Part 1 is mainly background and preamble, but worth a watch for the ceremonial start in the Polish Army Stadium, at 7min. The sheer number of spectators, and the noise, is incredible, and gives you a sense of the scale of the race. Part 2 focuses on riders I don’t know, but by parts 3 and 4 you are getting good chunks of Steel against his rivals.
I’ve blogged quite a bit about this, mainly as I share the discoveries I make. It’s a part of our cycling history that few seem to know about, and should be celebrated. Almost like the Tom Simpson of Scotland. Thanks to “Ivan” from the Braveheart forums for the heads up. Read this thread for the story of the race.