Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ole Ritter

Ole Ritter
Ole Ritter, born in Slagelse, Denmark on August 29, 1941, was a professional racing cyclist from 1967 through 1978. The year he turned professional, 1967, he won the individual time trial in the Giro'd Italia besting the time of the top cyclists of the day; Rudi Altig, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil. Jacques Anquetil was impressed by Ritter's time trial and said "If the time trial had been accurately measured, Ritter's 47.3m/km would be good enough to beat the world hour record. 
Ole Ritter 1968 Hour Record

In 1968 Ole Ritter traveled to Mexico City and set a new hour record just before the Olympic Games. His new record of 48.653 km stood for four years until Eddy Meckx beat it with a distance of 49.431 km. During the days leading up to Ritter's hour record ride he also set new world records for 5, 10 and 20 kilometers distances. 
Ole Ritter 1969
Ole Ritter rode the Giro d'Italia 9 times with his best results during the 1973 edition when he finished in 7th place overall and won 3 stages. He only rode the Tour de France once in 1975 and finished in 47th place in the general classification. 
Ole Ritter 1974 Hour record attempt
In 1974 Ritter returned to Mexico City in an attempt to best Eddy Merkx's hour record of 49.431 kilometers. He was not successful in setting a new world hour record but did beat his old record twice with distances of 48.739 kilometers and 48.879 kilometers. 

During the later years of his career Ole Ritter became famous again when he began racing 6-day races. He won a total of three 6-day races during the years 1974, 1975 and 1977. His last 6-day race was in Milan, Italy in 1978.  Ole Ritter retired from professional bicycle racing in 1978.

A Danish documentary was made in Mexico City, in 1974, about Ole Ritter's attempt to break the hour record. The movie was titled "The Impossible Hour".

Below is the film, The Impossible Hour, in 5 parts. 

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