Author(s): Jonathan Kennett
The second in the Cycling Legends series details the fascinating career of Harry Watson, New Zealand's first Tour de France rider. Born in 1904, Watson's quiet, unassuming persona was juxtaposed by a relentless determination over long distance cycle races. He won more road cycling championships than any other New Zealander, before or since. Watson's most interesting claim to fame, however, was racing in the grueling 1928 Tour de France, and finishing in 28th position. That year the course consisted of 5377 kilometres of gravel, sealed and cobbled roads. Only a quarter of the field managed to finish. Watson was in the first English speaking team to enter the prestigious event, and became something of a hero among the French public for his grit and determination.