1994 was the European year for Brian Smith, riding with Motorola.
Ultimately the year was disappointing as Brian was cast aside after only one season, meaning his European career was short lived. Lance Armstrong and Co began to rise to the challenge of the unnaturally rising speeds of the peloton, and and the rest is history, much of which was recently erased from the record books.
But Brian opened 1994 with a fine win at the GP Herning (also known as the GP Midbank) in Denmark, in April, which was Motorola’s first win in Europe. This was important, as the American sponsor, a rare thing in European cycling at the time, needed to make a quick impact.
Brian described the day to me as ‘mad but a great race!’ A springtime event, it was dogged by rain at the start, before the 200 riders were sent the wrong way, and later held back by cows on the road, not to mention the challenge of wind and with rough surface sectors.
Pictures were hard to come by, 1994 was shortly before internet news became prevalent. I’d like to see what the cycling magazines of the time had to say about the race. However the image below cropped up:
I looked on Danish wikipedia and got the following summary translated: The Scot, who entered the day before the race, won when he beat Carl Christian Pedersen (Kalle) in a sprint. Kalle claimed that he didn’t hear the bell for the last lap, so he didn’t start his sprint until too late.
Sounds like an excuse to me!
After Brian’s year with Motorola was not extended, the race was won from 1996 to 1998 by Bjarne Riis, riding for Team Telekom. Say no more!