News From The MBRC

A spirited group of cyclists, riding in & around Southern Ontario escarpment for sport and fitness

2021 Looking back to the 1970's

2021 Looking back to the 1970's


1971 A Very Good Year

In 1971 the Tour de France Eddy Merckx of the Molteni team won the overall general classification, defending his title to win his third Tour de France in a row.

Road racing bikes were built with Chromoly steel brazed and assembled by hand for the most part, classic names of bikes reined supreme like Colonago, Pinarello, CIOCC, Motobecane, Bianchi, Benotto, De Rosa, Raleigh and others. Gearing was limited to 2 chainrings in the front and 5 cogs on a freewheel, the bicycle shifters were located on the downtube of the bike, cycling shoes laced up and cleats were nailed to the wooden soles of the shoe then strapped into pedals, wool jerseys were the norm and tubular tires were king.

Meanwhile back in Ontario cycling was still not as popular as other Canadian past times, but there was a cycling boom happening, most of the cycling clubs that raced in Ontario were regional clubs based in their respective towns and cities, many Ontario cycling clubs established that same year as MBRC in 1971.


There is a little information online about the Ontario cycling scene in the 1970's but some examples of the Clubs active in Ontario:

  • St. Catherines Cycling Club est. 1971
  • Ottawa Cycling Club est. 1971
  • London Cycling Club est. 1971
  • Brampton Cycling Club est. 1972
  • To be added...
Other clubs in Ontario had already been established such as:
  • Hamilton Cycling Club est. 1881
  • Waterloo Cycling Club est. 1968
  • London Centennial Wheelers est. 1967
  • To be added...

Mississauga City Road Race 1974

A few years later in 1974 the club put on one of the few road races that had rolling road closures and police escort. Which featured a rolling race course set in Mississauga starting in Port Credit and snaked its way up to the region of Caledon and returned to Port Credit for the finish. One of the victors of the race was Marc Polsinelli a long time racer and historian of cycling in the Ontario scene, and as a junior placed 1st in the Junior category. We asked Marc to give us a race report from his junior category race.

In Marc's words.

In 1974 l was 14 years old and in my second year of racing competitively. It was a hot summer. l was a junior B rider but that day the junior B riders were mixed with the older junior A riders which made the race even harder. l was a nervous wreck like always before a race with these guys, I just wanted to survive the day.

The race was almost 50 miles long with some horrible hills. It was almost time to start our race, we watched the seniors 1 and 2 start their race. Now it was our turn for the countdown. 3, 2, 1 and we are off. The juniors always took off fast from the gun. Some of the junior B riders were already falling off the pace within five to ten miles (this was before kilometres).

The pack kept leaving riders behind as the race was so fast, at the 30 mile mark, l started suffering bad, my breathing was heavy and there were attacks constantly within the field. l came off the group; l was in trouble and I thought this was the end of my day, l was ten seconds behind but I did not give up, l started clawing my way back up to the pack, l pushed as hard as l could and got back on! l was safe for a moment as I managed to recover.

There were about twenty riders left in the group, as l looked around l saw only one other green junior B number of Danny Faurlin. At this point, I knew l would be first or second in my race since all other numbers were orange for junior A.

l finally started to relax, maybe too much as I hit a pothole, my arms came off the handle bars l came so close to crashing that l remember Rob Vellend, a junior A rider saying "boy you got lucky".

We were getting close to the end. All l had to do was beat the seventeen year old Faurlin. We were separated from the junior A riders. We had to sprint for our win. When l could see the finish banner, l looked over at the more experienced Danny and l decided it was time to go. l started sprinting with 200 meters to go. Danny could not match my sprint. l crossed the line a bike length ahead.

My dad was ecstatic, he was happier than me, I was in shock! It was my first win and It had not sunk in yet when Brian Brill finished third a few minutes later.

The Mississauga Cycling Road Race was only held once and I was glad to have won it. The following year Faurlin and Brill joined my team.

-- Marc Polsinelli

Read the Mississauga City Road Race 1974 race program pdf in it's entirety CLICK HERE
In the end Marc Polsinelli placed 1st in the juniors race, & Chris Hollinshead placed 1st in the seniors race. Have a look at the course map in the race program you may know a few of the roads that the race included.

Here are the 2 routes for Juniors & Seniors races plotted on, but time has brought changes to the roads some being busier, these routes are for demonstration purposes only. 

Mississauga City Road Race 1974 - Juniors

Mississauga City Road Race 1974 - Seniors

In the years to come The Mississauga Bicycle Racing Club continued to host criterium races in Mississauga at Sheridan Park, Flavelle Boulvard and Square One shopping center parking lot, along with a Learn To Race program that was done to encourage and guide new and novice riders with the techniques and hone skills for the enjoyment of racing.  

The MBRC looks forward to many years of riding to come on the sweet roads of Southern Ontario and to continue to support it’s members in their cycling interests, and love of the cycling sport.

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