Ed. Note: 5 Reasons is a new weekly Wednesday staple on pavedmag.com. Look for a different personality to be featured each week, and, of course, be prepared to find out why you’re most certainly not them.
Photo: Courtesy of George Mount
5 Reasons Why He's George Mount And You're Not
Former American professional road racer George Mount launched his career in Berkeley, California, once a hotbed for roadies and trackies like Mike Neel and Alex Osborne, now home to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). 'Smilin' George', as he was known, hoovered up victories in the U.S. in the 1970s before following suit in Europe. Mount works in the tech field in Silicon Valley these days, and while time has added a few kilos to his frame, he still pedals like an angel. His palmarès are impressive; too bad his time came before Al Gore's Internet Age.
1. Sixth at the 1976 Montreal Olympic road race, the highest placing by an American in Olympic history at that point;
2. Winner of the Red Zinger Classic in 1978, the predecessor to the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. Actor Robin Williams credits this race with inspiring his devotion for bicycling;
3. Mount won a stage of France’s pro-am Circuit de la Sarthe and finished first in the Tour de l’Auvergne. He raced in Italy for three years, finishing the Giro d'Italia in 20th and 25th places;
4. While still an amateur racing for the national team, under revised rules, he won $4,000 when he won the Apple Lap, a 75-mile race through New York City’s Five Boroughs, setting a national record for the distance.
5. Mount won more than 200 races in the US, Europe, and South America during his 10-year career. He competed in five world championships on the road; his professional teams included San Giacomo, Sammontana, and 7-Eleven. The great Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx told him 'if you want to win races, go to France; if you want to learn about bike racing, go to Italy.'