In 1973 Raleigh Bicycles took a bold step by inviting an American four-rider team to compete in the 8 day, 750-mile Tour of Ireland. This was unprecedented as no American team had ever raced in such a prestigious European bike event. And no one gave them a chance.
However, the Raleigh team was young and excited and came out with some impressive firsts. Team member John Howard won a stage and finished 3rd overall, another finished 5th and Bill Humphreys was 3rd in a stage and was awarded the “Most Aggressive Rider” for that day.
Phil Liggett, the commaisare of the race was so impressed that he and invited the team (on the spot) to compete in his prestigious Milk Race the following year.
From that year forward, cycling would change forever as an entire new continent of talent and skill would participant and make its mark on European cycling.
The Raleigh Team will be rejoining next summer to relive the glory of the experience at the Tour of Ireland reunion.
Bill will be showing a 25-minute film of the race and a quick slideshow of the Tour of Ireland Reunion held this past summer at the Philly Bike Expo on November 2, 2019.
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