Classic Lightweights UK
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While doing research for the Horn brothers entries on this website I became aware that Dennis Horn had been a hero for the generation I was riding with in the early 1950s. Most were older than me as they had been riding pre-war and I think some had bikes that Dennis had ridden in his heyday. As I did more and more research I began to visualise a book describing Dennis's feats in the decade or so before WWII and I am taking the liberty of promoting the resulting book which is being published by Adrian Bell of Mousehold Press.
Dennis Horn – racing for an English Rose by Peter Underwood is available from: www.mousehold-press.co.uk :
Toni Merkens, the German track rider who had great international success in the 1930s.
He often rode in the UK and, as an amateur, was one of Claud Butler's 'team' for several years.
He was Amateur World Sprint Champion in 1935 (Brussels)
He won a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in a controversial fashion and turned professional soon after,
riding a Hetchins track frame at the Wembley 6-day race.
For many years he used a Major Taylor adjustable stem but when he finally found his ideal position he
commissioned a 'droopy' stem, seen above, which was soon marketed as the 'Merkens' stem.
He served in the German army during WWII and sadly was killed on the Russian Front.
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