Beryl Burton was born in Yorkshire on May 12th 1937. Her upbringing was tough. Her school report described her as a ‘stubborn little mule. At the age of 10 she spent 9 months in hospital and doctors told her never to ride a bike uphill. She went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes – of either sex – and a cycling world champion seven times over. She was the country’s ‘best all-rounder’ female cyclist for 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983. She died, cycling, a few days short of her 59th birthday in 1996. Jeremy Wilson – chief sports reporter for The Daily Telegraph – has written an awarding-winning book about the life of this cycling enigma who remains little known outside her home county or the world of cycle racing.
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