When you visit our Newcastle shop, you’ll probably know Simon Telford as the friendly shop manager. Simon’s not one to blow his own trumpet so you might not realise that he was once a contender in UK road bike circles.
Racing in the highly competitive amateur scene of the early 1990s, Simon loved to test himself against the best – never overawed: always learning.
‘I thought of myself as a proper racer. I loved to get stuck in. I would go from the gun. I always maintained that the best view was from the front. I never waited for a sprint because I didn’t have one. My prefered tactic was to finish alone.’
Finishing alone, Simon indeed enjoyed many significant wins. His palmarès (a word Simon is far too Northern and unpretentious to ever use) include the 1990 Easter 4-day Stage Race when he was just 19, the Sunbrite Grand Prix in Chesterfield against an elite field in 1991, and the Drummond Trophy in Scotland in 1993. Following this run of form, Simon was honoured to represent GB at the Tour of Hainaut stage race in Belgium in 1992.
For all his victories, Simon also took pride in playing his part in some of the bigger races he didn’t win. It says a lot for his ability back then that he was 3rd in the Girvan 3-day stage race in 1992, finishing on the same time as the winner in a top field, which included the major Olympians of that era: Chris Boardman, Steve Farrell and John Tanner.