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Posted: Sunday 07th June 2020

Author: Peter Underwood & Derek Browne

Derek Browne sent details of his Woodrup which can be found in Readers’ Bikes. He also told us that Maurice Woodrup set up his business in 1947 after learning his trade with Bob Jackson, He was a superb frame builder, giving meticulous attention to the finest detail and many top Leeds riders scored wins in both road races and time trials on his machines.

Woodrup advert from Sporting Cyclist, December, 1960
Woodrup advert from Sporting Cyclist, December, 1960

Woodrup sponsored an independent team in the early 1960s comprised mainly of 1st category Leeds riders but  it is interesting to see that future Tour de France rider Pete Ryalls rode for the team in 1965 Huddersfield Examiner 2-day Cycle Race along with John Clay father of Jon Clay and Dave Hamilton who beat Barry Hoban in the Girlington Kermesse before Hoban went to France to ride as a professional. One would expect that the Woodrup team would use the Giro d’Itala or Olympic track as listed below.

Kevin Sayles worked as a framebuilder for Woodrup from 1977 to 1999 and relates:

“We used to make team frames for ‘Bantel’ which of course had Hugh Porter decals. I know for sure Hugh won at least one of his World Pursuit Championships on a frame Steve made. The team was very successful with several wins, probably thanks to Sid Barras, and Danny Horton amongst others. Later on we built the Viking team frames for Keith Lambert, Dudley Hayton and the late Paul Carbutt who broke the Land’s End to John o’ Groats record on one.  Also individual frames for the likes of Sid Barras, Dave Raynor, and I also remember building a track frame for Mick Bennett.

Steve also built frames for Barry Hoban when he rode with the Calder Clarion. Even after this Woodrup still built his frames when he rode as a professional for Mercier! The frames were badged and transferred as Mercier so it is possible that a Woodrup frame won a Tour de France stage. One of my first images of visiting Woodrup cycles at their shop in Burley Lodge Road was one of Barry’s Mercier bikes on display. Barry used to bring certain original team clothing over from France … in those days it was impossible to get team clothing. I had a silk ‘Bic’ jersey which I believe once belonged to Luis O’Cana and Maurice Woodrup was often seen out riding resplendant in a coffee brown ‘FAEMA’ team track top [could that have once belonged to Eddy Merckx!?] In later years after both Barry and Hugh had retired it was always a thrill to see them both at the shop [never together] when they came to do business as reps……the enthusiasm from either of them was amazing and I usually ended up jumping on my bike after work and riding like ten men before ‘blowing up’! We made frames for several ‘dealers’ throughout the world, both Florida and Germany were big outlets for us; even Barbados was popular for Woodrup track frames.”

Today Woodrup Cycles is owned by the late Maurice Woodrup’s son Steve who still races very sucsessfully in both L.V.R.C road races & C.T.T time trials. Steve  is still producing high quality frames to special order.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Sunday 07th June 2020

Author: Peter Underwood & Derek Browne

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