You're Not Trying!
If you've never heard of her, you could possibly be excused - being a woman, she's often overlooked by the press. However Beryl Burton was quite undoubtedly cycling’s champion of champions, a supreme time trialist across all distances and faster than many of her male contemporaries.
She won titles across 4 different decades, from 1958 to 1986. Perhaps most memorably, she set a 12 hour time trial record that broke the men's record and stood for 2 years - offering the fastest man in that event a liquorice allsort as she passed him on her way to glory.
On the international circuit, she won the women’s world road race championship in 1960 and 1967 and was runner-up in 1961. She specialised in individual pursuit on the track and was world champion five times, silver-medallist three times, and bronze a further three.
Domestically, she won a total of 72 RTTC Championships between 10 and 100 miles and was women's Best British All Rounder for a quite amazing 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983.
Largely self-trained and self-funded, with her husband as mentor and mechanic, when asked why she pusher herself to such achievement, she apparently answered simply "because I love cycling".
Here's to Beryl for showing the lads how it's done.