Londoner Frank Southall was equally at home on the track as on the roads and at any discipline between a kilometre and a twelve hour race. He took part in his first race at the age of 17 and three years later was established as the top rider in the country. Southall would often win time trials so easily that cycling magazines coined the term “Southall margin” to describe an overwhelming race victory. In 1925 he broke the national hour record and was chosen for his first World Championship road race in Amsterdam. At the 1928 Olympic Games Southall won silver medals individually and as part of the British road race team but was convinced that he had been unfairly treated and cheated out of two Olympic titles. British officials protested that the Danish gold medalist Henry Hansen had taken a short cut in one of the wooded sections of the course but no evidence was found and the appeal was rejected. Southall added another Olympic medal, a bronze, in the team pursuit at the 1932 Olympics before electing to leave his job as a plasterer to ride professionally for Hercules Bicycles. He focused on point-to-point and 24-hour record attempts during his time as a pro before gradually ending his career to focus on an executive job with Hercules which involved managing the career his employer’s female cyclists.
Data provided by OlyMADMen, led
by Hilary Evans, Arild Gjerde, Jeroen Heijmans, and Bill Mallon. Members:
David Foster, Martin Frank, Jørn Jensen, Carl-Johan Johansson, Taavi
Kalju, Martin Kellner, George Masin, Stein Opdahl, Wolf Reinhardt, Ralf
Regnitter, Paul Tchir, Magne Teigen, Christian Tugnoli, Morten Aarlia
Torp, and Ralf Schlüter.
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