21 Facts we Bet You Never Knew about Beryl Burton

Know your cycling icons? We bring you 21 facts about Beryl Burton, the champion of women's cycling.

21 things you may have or may have not known about the British champion of Women’s road race cycling

Think you know a lot about Beryl Burton? Get to know more about one of the most iconic British female cyclists of all time…

  1. Beryl has won more than over 90 races and seven world titles in cycling.
  2. She set a women’s world record for a 12 hour time trial in 1967 which has not yet been beaten at 277.25 miles.
  3. As she passed her fellow male racer Mike McNamara  in the 12-hour time trial, she casually offered him a liquorice allsort.
  4. Beryl Burton and her daughter Denise both set a record for a British 10- mile ride on a tandem bicycle which took them only 26 minutes and 25 seconds!
  5. She won the Bidlake Memorial Prize three times.
  6. In 2009, she was inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame.
  7. Beryl used to work on a rhubarb farm, even when racing, which was run by cyclist Nim Carline. She worked 12 hour shifts every day during the winter.
  8. She has won 72 national individual time trial titles.
  9. In 1960 she refused to sign a contract with Raleigh Bicycle Company, keeping her name as an amateur cyclist with no financial backing or professional training throughout her career.
  10. Beryl Burton was made an MBE in 1964 and an OBE in 1968.
  11. She won stage 19 of the Tour de France in 1968.
  12. Maxine Peake, a British actress, wrote and starred in ‘Beryl: a Love Story on Two Wheels’, a radio play based on her life, with contributions from her husband Charlie Burton throughout.
  13. She believed that due to her family ancestry of Aryan cyclists, she had an unusually powerful heart and set of lungs.
  14. At the first cycling club race she took part in, she came in ninth.
  15. Her autobiography ‘Personal Best’ was released in 1986. It was re-released after the 2008 Olympics off the back of a sudden huge amount of interest in UK cycling.
  16. When she was just 11 years old she had chorea and rheumatic fever and had to stay in hospital for 9 months.
  17. She won her first national medal in 1957. It was a silver in the national 100- mile individual time trial championship.
  18. Beryl Burton and her daughter Denise didn’t even shake hands on the podium after Denise won against her in the 1976 national road race championships.
  19. She met her husband Charlie Burton when she was just 17 working at a tailoring company in Leeds.
  20. Beryl Burton suffered with heart arrhythmia as a child and was told to never exercise.
  21. After dying at the age of 58 of heart failure whilst cycling a a memorial garden was made in her honour in her home town in Morley, Leeds.

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