Michael Wright (cyclist)

Michael Wright
Personal information
Full name Michael Wright
Nickname Michel
Born (1941-03-25) March 25, 1941
 United Kingdom
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Sprinter roadman
Amateur team(s)
1959-1961 -
Professional team(s)
1962-1966 Wiel's-Groene Leeuw
1967 Tibetan-Groene Leeuw-Pull Over Centrale
1968-1971 Bic
1972-1973 Gitane
1974 Sonolor-Gitane
1975 Gero-Jaga Kercka
1976 Ijsboerke-Colnago
Major wins
3 stage wins, Tour de France
4 stage wins, Vuelta a España
Infobox last updated on
March 28, 2007

Michael Wright - "Michel" - (born 25 March 1941) is an English former professional road bicycle racer from 1962 to 1976. He won stages in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España stage races and represented Great Britain at several world championships.

Early life

Wright was born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. His father died in World War II and his mother remarried to a Belgian soldier. The family emigrated to Belgium when Wright was only three. He grew up in Liège.

Wright's first sport was football. However, when his stepfather died leaving the family short of money, Wright turned to cycling as a more lucrative way of exploiting his athletic talent.

His first language was French and, although he represented Great Britain at the Tour de France and several World road race championships, his English was limited. During the winter of 1967-8 he took evening classes to brush up his English in preparation for riding with the British team. In 2006, he told Procycling magazine that his English is poor.

He told Procycling that he profited from his British nationality because he was never good enough to ride in a Belgian national team. Being British gave him rides in world championships and, in 1967 and 1968, in the Tour de France (held in those years for national teams). He rode with a small Union Jack sewn to the sleeves of his jerseys.

When he stopped racing, he worked as a salesman for the IJsboerke ice-cream company, which briefly had a professional team of its own.

Professional career

Wright was too big to ride well in the high mountains, but he was a fast finisher from a small group.

Tour de France

Wright rode the Tour de France eight times, finishing 24th in 1965 and winning three stages. Together with Barry Hoban, Wright provided Great Britain with its most consistent period of Tour stage wins during the late sixties and early seventies. He was a member of the British team in 1967 - the year that Tommy Simpson collapsed and died on Mont Ventoux.

Tour record:

Vuelta a España

Wright won 4 stages of the Vuelta a España: 2 in 1968 and 2 in 1969. In 1968 he was third in the points classification. In 1969 he came 5th on general classification, 2nd on the points classification and wore the leader's jersey for 2 days.

Stage wins:

Major results

1961 - amateur
  • 21 wins
1962 - first professional year
  • 1st Grand Prix du Brabant Wallon
  • 1st Tour du Condroz
  • 5th Vuelta a España (1st stages 1 and 13, 2nd stage 12, 2nd on points classification)
  • 2nd stage 4, Grand Prix du Midi Libre (3rd stage 2)
  • 1st stage 1, Vuelta al País Vasco - G.P Eibar (3rd stage 4)
  • 1st stages 1 and 4, Tour du Nord
  • 2nd Circuit de Wallonie
  • 1st Circuit de Niel


Fotheringham, W. (2005), Roule Britannia: A History of Britons in the Tour de France, London: Yellow Jersey, ISBN 0-224-07425-3

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