OBITUARY: Peter Smith

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PETER SMITH 1st May 1944 – 26th March 2021

Peter Smith, of York, who was one of three members of Clifton Cycling Club to represent Great Britain in the four-man 100km team time trial at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, died on Friday from injuries he received in an accident while riding his bike.

Smith, 76, was out riding alone on Monday when he was in collision with a vehicle at Tockwith, North Yorkshire. He suffered catastrophic injuries – including extensive damage to his neck and spinal cord – and also suffered a cardiac arrest. He was airlifted to hospital in Leeds where he was placed on a life-support machine. He never came out of the coma, and the support was withdrawn on Friday.

His club-mate and lifelong friend John Watson, who also rode in the Mexico Olympics along with Smith and the late Roy Cromack, said: “I am utterly devastated.

“Pete, who was still riding his bike three times a week, was my best friend, the one I always looked up to and wanted to emulate. I owe him so much.

“Pete was three years older than me, and when I started cycling at 18 he immediately took me under his wing. We became inseparable.

“Although we would train in a group, if the weather was inclement there would just be the two of us - we never missed - riding side by side, in all weathers.”

“I've said this so many times before, that Pete was always the strongest rider in the many events we rode, with all the different riders who were tried out for the various teams. He was a class act in every way.”

Smith led Clifton CC to the team title in the British Best All-Rounder competition in 1965, 1966 and 1967, and was again a member of the winning team in 1969. He led Tony Boswell and Alan Hargreaves to the national 100-mile team title in 1965 and 1967, and in the latter year he, John Watson and Mike Potter were also the national 50-mile team champions.

He broke the British 50-mile record twice in 1967 with times of 1hr 49min 42sec and 1-48-33, and took the 100-mile record in 1969 with 3-50-20. He was also a member of Clifton squads that broke team competition records at 25, 50 and 100 miles and 12 hours.

Smith was also an accomplished road race rider, winning the mountains classification in the 1968 Tour of Morocco, while at home he won the Grand Prix of Essex and Lincoln GP single-day classics and the Wolverhampton-Aberystwyth-Wolverhampton two-day race.

He turned professional in 1970, and rode in turn for the Clive Stuart, TI-Carlton, Falcon-Tighe, Bantel and TI-Raleigh teams.

Smith leaves his partner Margaret as well as children Chris and Amanda, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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