Winner of the Tour of Britain in 1951 and the Peace Race in 1952, Ian Steel's performances on the bike helped unite fueding British cycling bodies
Scottish cyclist Ian Steel, who won the Tour of Britain and the Peace Race, has died at the age of 86.
Born in Glasgow in 1928, Steel joined the Glasgow United club in 1946 and soon became a force in time trials, winning races of 25, 50 and 100-miles, as well as 12-hour efforts.
His second-place finish in the 1951 Paris-Lens caught the eye of semi-professional team Viking Cycles, with whom he rode and won the Tour of Britain in the same year – indeed it was reportedly the first time Steel had ever been to England.
The following year he became national champion and rode in the Peace Race – an event held in communist Europe aimed at uniting members of the Eastern Bloc.
The 12-stage race passed between Warsaw, Berlin and Prague, with Steel taking the lead on stage eight as Britain won both the individual and team titles.
Steel’s win had the profound effect of uniting the two clashing cycling bodies in the UK, the National Cyclists Union and the British League of Racing Cyclists – the two later combined to formed to become the British Cycling Federation.
The Scot rode the Tour de France in 1955 in the first team that Britain had entered, alongside Brian Robinson, but left the race early after he reportedly was not allowed to ride for his own success on a team made up of riders from a rival British domestic team, Hercules.
Steel retired from cycling in 1956.