From the ar­chive

Fe­bru­ary 4, 1990

Cycling Weekly - - Contents -

David Baker (cen­tre) strug­gles to keep up as he races to 12th in the heat of Getxo, Spain. Baker was the Bri­tish squad’s high­est fin­isher, one place ahead of team-mate Steve Douce. The course was dry and fast and the race was even­tu­ally won by Henk Baars from the Nether­lands.

It prompted David Tay­lor, writ­ing in Cy­cling Weekly, to ask: “What must we do to im­prove stan­dards? The an­swer must be harder, faster rac­ing at home with cour­ses laid out ac­cord­ingly.” Well, Bri­tain’s cur­rent crop of world-class cross rid­ers and a rapidly grow­ing do­mes­tic scene would seem to in­di­cate Tay­lor’s wish has been ful­filled.

Pic­tured to the right, just in front of Baker, is Adri Van der Poel, fa­ther of Mathieu Van der Poel, who has spent this sea­son dom­i­nat­ing World Cup races. It was pri­mar­ily to soften up Adri’s ri­vals for the sprint that even­tual win­ner Baars had at­tacked from the front group. Only when Baars re­alised no one was will­ing to chase him down, least of all his own team­mate, did he ride for the line with “his face lit with joy as he threw his arms aloft in tri­umph”.

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