Now in its 3rd year, the origins of today’s Stafford GP go back to the Stafford Town Centre Races held in the 1980s. Criteriums were an important part of professional cycling, just as they are today. And whilst the Stafford races were never part of the televised Kelloggs series, it was an important date on the calendar, attracting a star studded field and huge crowds.
The undisputed king of those Stafford Town Centre Races was Steve Joughin. Steve was the Mark Cavendish of his day. Born in Douglas on the Isle of Man, it was cycling which brought him to the mainland and eventually to settle in Stoke-on-Trent. After an outstanding amateur career he turned professional in 1983 for local Stafford sponsors Moduce, establishing himself as one of the best criterium riders of his generation and a fearsome sprinter amongst his clleagues. In the Kelloggs series he was one of the British based riders who regularly took on and beat some of the biggest names from the continent including Sean Kelly, Stepehen Roche and Phil Anderson. But it was the Stafford races which Steve made his own. Of the 3 edition he raced, Steve remained undefeated, the true King of Stafford and a record of which he is rightly proud.
Steve now runs Pro Vision clothing based in Stoke-on-Trent supplying cycle clothing to club cyclists and professional alike and is official supplier to the Tour of Britain. On Wednesday Steve will be in Stafford to keep an eye on those eyeing up his crown, though with his 3 wins there is still a long way to go to dethrone him. At some point in the evening we hope to have Steve on the podium for a short interview – and no doubt he’ll be available to sell you some merchandise should you chose.