John Allis

John Allis

Cyclist
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John Allis

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John Allis (born May 31, 1942) is an American cyclist who entered into international cycling competition in the 1960s. He was one of the strongest competitive cyclists in the United States in the early 1970s, winning the United States National Road Race Championships in 1974.

Biography

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Allis began racing while a student at Princeton University, and had not yet graduated when he led three of his Princeton teammates to compete in the world road championships in Ronse, Belgium. The team performed poorly in the road race, but better in the time trial, where they took 20th place. This was the first American presence in international cycling competition since the era of Major Taylor.

Allis stayed to race in Europe when his teammates returned to the United States, signing on as a category 1 amateur with the Paris club, ACBB. He was the first English speaker to ride for the team.

Despite the skepticism of French cycling enthusiasts, who informed him that Americans were biologically unfit to compete, Allis did achieve victories, including Paris to Cayeux-sur-Mer in 1964. The team was so surprised to see their American rider win that they had to scramble to find him a clean jersey to wear on the podium; he had been given the worst one in the shop. His victory was covered in L'Équipe and mentioned in the New......
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