Vic Sutton: British climber who was ahead of his time

In the golden era of cycling, one talented British climber proved he was ahead of his time in pursuit of the KoM crown

Sutton starting the mountain time trial to Puy de Dôme in the 1959 Tour de France.
This original photograph was touched up by hand in the 1950s, using the technique of applying paint to pick out Sutton’s face and limbs, initially in shadow. Photo: Cycling Weekly Archive

It’s 1959 and only four years since the first British rider finished the Tour de France. It’s only 16 years ago a proper road race was held in Britain during the war. It was a long time before road racing could establish any sort of foothold.

But here we are on the 10th stage of the Tour de France, and a British rider is leading a select group up the Col du Tourmalet.

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