jonsgym wrote:Thanks for the info, I will try again after I have completed 10 posts. I was looking through some old pictures of sprinters in the late 1950's and 60's and came across a report of the 1962 world championships in Milan where the reporter was saying how Ron Baensch, the great Australian sprinter was the fastest bloke in the amateur competition, though he did not win it. As often happened when Ron raced against any Italian rider, there was fireworks and the occasional punch up, at the '62 worlds Ron met the Italian Petenella in the quarter finals. Ron lost 5 spokes from his front wheel and a protest in race one, he won race two and lost the decision in a photo finnish and a protest in race three. So pretty normal stuff for Ron.
All this reminded me of a story that the English sprinter told me 40 or so years ago, concerning Ron Baensch, I really admire Ron Baensch, this is in no way judgmental of him, just what I was told.
This English sprinter was at a later Worlds when Ron was riding as a pro, Ron was warming up on the rollers and shall we say representatives of the Italian camp approached Ron and had an earnest conversation with him, Ron shook his head and the delegation left. They returned a couple of times, with the same result, Ron shaking his head. The Englishman said the last time they approached Ron, he nodded and they left. When queried, " what was that all about then Ron? ". Baensch replied that they had wanted him to lose the race but weren't offering enough money, eventually they met his price.
Only Ron Baensch knows if this is true or not. I firmly believe that Ron was the fastest sprinter in the world at his peak and no one, not even Maspes, could beat him in a fair race. The Italians had to use all of their finalists to rough him up in the rounds preceding the final in order to get an Italian win.
Ron still rides his bike on a weekly basis he is now in his seventies and looks great on a bike even now .I remember as a kid watching him race at our local track
once ,it was a big carnival and some how he rode with the Italian Cardi in the madison, at one point in the race Cardi missed a change while chatting to the local girls, great laugh but Ron didn't see it that way and he simply rolled around the bottom and got off the bike no money for the Italian that race.There is some great footage of Anthony [weapon] Pedan racing the 99 or 2000? oceanic keirin titles when Ron was overseeing a lot of his training ,Garry Sutton is calling the race and talks about weapon being rough and playing to the crowds like there was something wrong with a good showman but i could see Ron,s influence in Anthony that night and it was the best race of the night .Showmen like Ron are whats lacking in track cycling these days they were the riders that put bums on seats.