Tour of Britain

Viking heavily linked itself to the Tour of Britain with its seat tube transfers extolling Tour of Britain “Firsts” ever since Ian Steel’s victory in the first Tour in 1951.  That was their one and only individual win, but they did win the Team classification on several occasions as well as King of the Mountains – and they included the 1958 Team win by Belgium, having supplied them with bikes following the theft of their own. A fortunate bit of magnanimity by Viking, but then it would have garnered favourable publicity anyway.

During the 1960s, the “5 Firsts” transfer appeared and the question is often asked what they were.  And they were as follows (as far as I know):

  1. 1951 – Individual First: Ian Steel, Viking
  2. 1951 – Team First: Viking
  3. 1955 – Team First: Viking
  4. 1958 – Team First: Belgium (riding bicycles provided by Viking
  5. 1959 – King of the Mountains: Brian Haskell, Viking

Arguably they could have claimed a sixth First on the basis of a Belgian rider winning the Points Classification in 1958.

I am not absolutely sure about this and would like to be corrected if I am wrong.  Before the “5 Firsts” transfer, the seat tube transfers bore the dates 1951 – 1955 – 1958 – 1959, so one is inclined to look for a victory in the 1960s, but I couldn’t find one, which is why I assumed that 1951 became two victories (which it was) so that Viking could change the transfer, making it appear that there was another victory.

Links to Tour of Britain content: