Raleigh’s Pre 1930’s:
Arthur Augustus “Zimmy” Zimmerman was a prolific winner and has the honor of being cycling’s first World Champion, an award he won in 1893, the year in which he became a sponsored Raleigh athlete. In that year he was reported to have won 15 bicycles, 15 jewellery rings, 15 diamonds, 14 medals, two cups, seven studs, eight watches, a tract of land, six clocks, four scarf pins, nine pieces of silverware, two bronzes, two wagons and a piano. With his exceptional acceleration and the ability to pedal unusually fast Zimmerman won more than 1,000 races during his career.
In 1908 Harry rode the 837 miles of LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats) in under three days. He did it on a Raleigh fitted with the latest integrated hub gear/coaster brake components.
Despite achieving it in 1939 Tommy still holds the world record for most miles covered in a year (75,065 – an average of 205 miles per day) and the fastest completion of 100,000 miles. A cast-iron record we think!
This no-nonsense Lancastrian hard man became the first Englishman to win the world professional sprint championship in 1949. Sponsored by Raleigh, Reg won again in 1950, 1951 and 1954, becoming one of the best-known and most popular sportsmen of his era. His track bike can be found in the halls of Raleigh’s current UK home, which is in Eastwood, Nottingham.
Standing 6’3″ tall, weighing 14st and never seen without his trademark thick rimmed spectacles, time trial specialist Booty became the first man to record a sub four hour time for the 100 mile time trial on his Raleigh Record Ace. Booty also held 50 mile, 100 mile and 12 hour records between 1956-1959, plus the 1958 Commonwealth road race title.
Raleigh 1970’s and early 1980’s:
Coached by the legendary Peter Post, Joop claimed an impressive 11 stages of the 1980 Tour de France to win cycling’s most famous race for the TI-Raleigh team. The bike Zoetemelk rode is the only British manufactured bike to have won the Tour de France.
This master tactician and punchy sprinter amassed over 60 top flight wins for Raleigh during his career including the World Road Race Championship, the Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Milan – San Remo, ten stages in the Tour de France and five victories at the Amstel Gold Race.
With his sharp sense of humor and ease with the media, Gerrie became a fan’s favorite in the 1970’s and 80’s when he rode for TI-Raleigh. A 1978 World Championship win and Champs Elysees triumph cemented his legendary status for Raleigh.
The bikes of Zoetemelk, Raas and Knetemann were made in Nottingham at Ilkeston Raleigh Special Products division, headed up by Gerald O’Donovan. The Special Products division lives on today in the name of Raleigh’s RSP range of components.
Raleigh’s Late 1980’s:
Elliott rose to prominence in the 1980s, in what’s generally considered the first golden era of British cycling. He turned professional with the Raleigh-Weinmann team in 1984 winning the National Circuit Race and Track Championships before going onto further success on the continent, and most recently as a team manager.
Better known today commentator, most notably at the Tour de France, Sherwen raced for Raleigh in 1986 and 1987 towards the end of his career. He won the British National Road Race championship and the British Criterium Championship in his final seasons, before going on to manage the Raleigh – Banana team.
The Raleigh-Banana bikes ridden by Elliott and Sherwen are now sought-after items for single speed convertions and retro bike fans alike.
Riding for the Super U – Raleigh team between 1986-1989 Laurent Fignon (nicknamed the Professor) won the 1989 Giro D’Italia and a host of famous one day races including Milan – San Remo, the Grand Prix des Nations, Ronde Van Nederland on his Raleigh.
Ever ridden a mountain bike? Say thanks to Barrie then as he was responsible for the mountain biking explosion in the UK in the 1990s. During his time riding for Raleigh he helped the company develop its racing line and he also won the British Mountain Bike Championship in 1995, 1996 and 1998 plus the British Cyclo-cross Championship in 1995 and 1997.
One of the most successful women cyclists of her generation, Cooke rode for Raleigh between 2006 to 2007 winning the Grande Boucle (the women’s Tour de France) and the Geelong World Cup amongst a plethora of other world cup and classic events.
Now a World Champion and Olympic silver medalist, Raleigh helped set Armistead on her course to victory through the foundation of the Raleigh ERV development team. Whilst riding for Raleigh Lizzie won the British National Circuit Race Championship on her Raleigh Airlite team bike, becoming another famous recipient of the red, white and blue striped jersey.
Raleigh Present day: Team Raleigh
Team Raleigh 2010 to the present day
Following the reformation of its elite racing squad, Team Raleigh has helped demonstrate the race-winning history of Raleigh bikes once again. With Bernie Sulzberger and Tom Scully winning the UK Tour Series sprints jersey competition in 2012 and 2013, plus Graham Briggs and Evan Oliphant also wrapping up the Elite Men’s Overall standings competition in respective seasons, the Team are proving to be one of the strongest on the domestic circuit.
Information Provided by Global Bikes