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Classic Lightweights UK
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Ellis Briggs  'special build' - 1951

Owned by: Ken Russell (Custodian - Derek Browne)

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This is the machine on which Ken Russell won the 1952 Tour of Britain as sole rider in the Ellis Briggs team


Frame
Ellis Briggs 22" special built in 1951 by their frame-building manager Eric Rosbrook with help from Ken who built the forks (having worked as a framebuilder at Whitaker and Mapplebeck) and designed special features such as the bracket/cable eye on the chainstay designed to protect the chainstay from damage by the chain. Also Simplex rear ends modified by a circular depression to stop the wheel pulling over when using wheelnuts. The frame was repainted after the Tour of Britain win to include a special seat tube transfer. Frame also has a Pennine CO2 pump braze-on boss on rear of seat tube
Wheels
Fiamme sprints on Airlite SF, QR hubs
Chainset Stronglight 49C steel cotterless with 5-pin TA rings
Pedals Allez
Gears Rear Benelux with Simplex Competition front with Cyclo 5-speed block and Brampton chain
Brakes Beborex (See advert at bottom of page)
Stem/Bars Phillipe alloy bars and stem
Saddle Brooks B17 Competition Standard
Extra details Vittoria tub carrier mounted on rear of saddle. Daily Express Tour of Britain number '78'.

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Above: Beborex Brake on Ken's race-winning machine

Left: Special seat tube transfer used on Ellis Briggs  machines after Ken's win in the Tour of Britain. It shows Ken crossing the line on the final day

The story of the 1952 Daily Express Tour of Britain is one of the most remarkable in cycle racing history. For 14 days Ken Russell fought a lonely battle against the might of the main British independent teams - B.S.A, Dayton, Gnutti, Sun,Wearwell and Viking plus International teams from France, Belgium, Ireland and other smaller teams.

As a lone rider from the Ellis Briggs team Ken had to go with every dangerous breakaway on every day. His bike never let him down until the final day when first his cotterless chainset became loose and then he punctured, the only neutral rider in the break who was no threat to the yellow jersey was the Belgium rider Marcel Michaux and after a desperate plea from Russell they swapped bikes (see image of the desperate moment of the swap below) and Ken finished the tour on the Belgian's bike. Marcel is now over 80 years of age and living in Belgium but Ken still keeps in touch with him.

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Below: Ken winning the stage to Scarborough ahead of Ian Steel of the Viking Team
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Below: Ken heads nine riders to another of his three stage wins, this time at Weymouth
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Below: After the finish of Stage 5 - Aberystwyth to Blackpool won by Ken,
here at the awards ceremony in the Wintergardens being congratulated by
James (Oscar) Saville - now Sir Jimmy Saville
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Below: Advert for the Beborex brake citing Ken's win in the Tour of Britain
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