Elite cycle racer Alan dies in exile
FORMER professional racing cyclist Alan Huntington, who rode in the first ever Milk Race Tour of Britain in 1958 before forging a career racing in France, has died aged 72.
The former Sheffield-based rider was a regular on the local cycling circuit in the 1950s and ’60s, originally with the Grimesthorpe Olympic before moving on to the Falcon Road Club.
Strong performances earned him elite status.
He rode in the Milk Race for the North Midlands team, and then joined Yorkshiremen Tony Hewson and Vic Sutton to earn his living racing full time abroad in France.
Hewson said: “One of his favourite tales concerned the 1959 Tour de L’Ariege through the mountainous Pyrenees.
“He suffered mechanical trouble and fell far behind the main field. An impatient rearguard motorcycle gendarme with an eye on the watch eventually ordered him to take a 40mph tow to the finish, fearing otherwise to arrive too late for his post-race police perk of a gourmet food and wine spread.”
Huntington, who spent much of his time in France all his life, died after a stroke while at his home in France. He leaves a widow, Shirley, and two stepsons.