Rugby cyclists challenged to match feat of town record-breaker - The Rugby Observer

Rugby cyclists challenged to match feat of town record-breaker

Rugby Editorial 15th Sep, 2023   0

A CHALLENGE has been set for cyclists in Rugby, in memory of a record-breaker from the town.

Rugby Racing Cycling Club (RRCC) will be holding a 25-mile cycling time trial on Sunday (September 17) to commemorate the achievements of one of its previous record-breaking members, Ralph Dougherty (1913-1990) – also known as ‘The Rugby Flyer’.

Ralph made competition history in 1939 by becoming the first cyclist to ‘beat the hour’ on English roads when he won the Solihull Cycling Club 25-mile time trial in 59 minutes 29 seconds.

A permanent sculpture dedicated to Ralph was created in 2012 on the Rugby Viaduct Cycleway off Consul Road.

RRCC Chairman Martin Orrill said: “We wanted to challenge today’s cyclists to have a go at achieving 25 miles in less than an hour.

“Of course, today our bikes and other equipment are far more advanced than those made in the 1930s which makes Ralph’s time even more remarkable.

“Our event, which we hope to run each year, is open to any competent cyclist who has a road bike and the will to ride as hard as they can.

“Ralph’s grandson, Andrew Dougherty, will be joining us on the day and will also be bringing the legendary bike that took his grandfather under the hour.”

The event will start at 9am on Sunday (September 17) at the top of Princethorpe Hill on the B4453 near Princethorpe. Each rider will be started at one-minute intervals. To recreate a similar experience to Ralph’s, only road bikes will be permitted.

The winner will be presented with the ‘Rugby Flyer Trophy’ for one year. Anyone finishing in under an hour will receive a commemorative medal.

Visit for entry and race route details.

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