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Shay Elliott

Shay Elliott at 1963 Tour de France
Elliott wins the Yellow Jersey at Roubaix in the 1963 Tour de France

Shay Elliott joined the Dublin Wheelers in 1952 at the start of his amateur racing career. That year he won the Mannin Veg one lap classic in the Isle Of Man Cycling Week (Noel Tully also of Dublin Wheelers won the two lap Viking Trophy the same day!). Shay also won the Coast To Coast Dublin-Galway-Dublin Classic in 1952. The following year he finished 4th in the Manx International’ when a crash at the final bend robbed him of victory. He placed 10th overall in the 1953 An Tostal Tour of Ireland and won the King of the Mountains. He finished 2nd in 1954, winning the King of the Mountains again plus winning Stage 5 from Killarney to Cork. In 1954 he won the Tourmalet mountain stage in the Route de France and finished 4th on general classification. In 1955 he was 5th in the world Championships Amateur Road Race in Frascati, Italy, after mechanical trouble cost him his chance of victory.

In 1956 he was elected an honorary member of Dublin Wheelers and turned professional in France. That year he won the GP Algiers and GP Marseilles. He rode the Tour de France initially on a Great Britain and Ireland team which included the pioneering professional Brian Robinson. His stature was such that he became a top lieutenant of multi Tour de France winner Jacques Anquetil on the number one team in the world, St Raphael Gitane. Anquetil’s first tour win was in 1957 with four more wins in succession from 1961-64. In 1962 Shay had two brilliant performances. He finished 3rd overall in the Tour of Spain and at Salo, Italy wearing the Irish National jersey he finished second in the World Championships Professional Road Race. In the 1963 Tour de France, on the 140 mile stage third to Roubaix, Shay punctured twice but rejoined splendidly to win the stage over cobbled roads and take the Yellow Jersey which he wore for three days.

During his decade of Tour de France, Shay also won stages in the Tour of Spain and the Giro d’Italia. Other great wins included the Het Volk Belgian classic and the Grand Prix Stan Ockters. Certain victory escaped him in Paris-Brussels when his forks broke and probable victory in Paris-Roubaix though a broken saddle. The former amateur road race champion of Ireland retired from professional cycling with the greatest record of any Irish cyclist up to that time.

Steve Lawless

Major results

1952

1st Mannin Veg Isle of Man

1953

Irish amateur road champion 4th Manx International

1955

5th World Amateur Road Race Italy
2nd Overall Tour of Ireland

1956

1st GP d’Isbergues

1957

1st Semaine Bretonne
1st Circuit de la Vienne
3rd Paris-Bourges
1st points classification Paris- Nice

1958

1st GP Sigrand
2nd GP de Nice
2nd Tour de Picardie
1st points classification and 2 stages Four Days of Dunkirk

1959

1st Het Volk
1st GP de Denain
1st GP de Nice

1960

1st Trophée Peugeot (Rennes-Brest)
1st Stage 3a GP Ciclomotoristico
2nd Circuit de l'Indre
2nd Nice-Genoa
1st stage 18 Giro d’Italia

1961

1st stage 2 Four Days of Dunkirk

1962

2nd World Championship Road Race
2nd Circuit de la Vienne
2nd Paris-Camembert
2nd GP du Vercors
3rd GC Tour of Spain (1st stage 4 and 2nd on points classification)
3rd Circuit Mandel-Lys-Escaut
3rd GP d'Orchies

1963

1st GP de Vayrac
2nd Paris-Camembert
2nd Tour de l'Oise
1st stage 13 Vuelta a España
1st stage 3 Tour de France (and wore the yellow jersey)

1965

1st Tour de l'Oise (1st stage 1)
1st GP de Saint-Raphaël
1st GP d'Espéraza
1st GP d'Orchies
2nd London-Holyhead

1966

1st GP du Trégor

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