By Nigel Wynn
A short film about former Great Britain cyclist Tim Stevens will be shown tonight (Friday, March 3) at the Maison du Velo bike shop and café in Reigate, Surrey.
Stevens sadly passed away last year after a short illness, and the film made by Duncan Murdoch acts as a tribute to a well-liked and unassuming rider who was always very modest about his achievements.
Stevens had been one of the nation's leading junior riders, and took nearly half a minute off the national 25-mile time trial championship record in 1978. He won numerous time trials, including the 1980 North Road Hardriders. His talents weren't restricted to riding against the clock, as he also won the 1980 Perfs Pedal Race. In 1985, he was selected to represent Great Britain in the team time trial world championship.
Film-maker Murdoch originally approached Stevens several years ago to make the film to follow his comeback to time trial racing at the East Surrey Hardriders event after a spell off the bike. He shot footage with Stevens of him preparing for the event and talking about his past as a racer in Britain and on the continent.
"I had it in my mind for a few years to do a documentary," Murdoch told Cycling Weekly. "I wanted to illustrate a character in a short film, and Tim was an obvious choice."
"He was the man to beat in late 90s, and I met him a few times in race HQs, chatting over cup of tea. He was always generous with his time. He'd always ask how you got on, even though he probably won the race."
"I contacted him a couple of years ago with the idea for the film. He hadn't been riding for a while, and just missed racing and wanted to make a comeback. So it all came together. The idea of the film was Tim's comeback to do the East Surrey Hardriders, and his preparation for that."
After Murdoch had finished the filming, Stevens fell ill suddenly and died in August 2016 at the age of 55, and before Murdoch had completed editing it together.
"Suddenly the film had more significance," explained Murdoch. "Originally it was going to be 10 minutes long, so I added more footage in there to give his story more breadth."
"I hope it's true to Tim and his character, and does him justice. He was one of country's best cyclists, but because he was not a self-promoter, he went under the radar."
Former pro and Stevens' cohort, Sean Yates also makes a contribution to the film.
It is free to watch the film, with doors opening at Maison du Velo on Friday, March 3, at 7pm for an 8pm screening. The film will be available to view online at a later date.
Venue: Maison du Velo, 31 Lesbourne Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7JS.
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