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A STRANGE STORY.

After being employed in Newcastle fott the past three or four /oars it has coma to light that two cycle racing men whtf wero wont to ride at the Newcastle meetings under the name of Mills and Atkinson are in reality two riders with an EngV lish reputation named Gascoyne and Brown. T. J. Gaecoyne is a rider who ha^ had a remarkable career. "Jeb" Gascoyne, as he was known on English, European, and American tracks less than a decade ago, made a world-wide reputation 1 as an unpaoed handicap performer, and H is questionable whether any rider, Fenn o^ MacFarland included, ever quite came up to. the wonderful powers shown by Gaecoyne. He is a Jiving exception of the proved rule in cycle racing that "he who pace*; must be left at the finish." Ho possesses a unique characteristic which will not allow 1 , him to follow another competitor's wheel in a handicap. Ho must be in front. Gaps arc no bar to him. Setting his head in hi« own peculiar style on ope side, partly ove«( hie front wheel, with, grim determination and speedy pedalling he never fails to bring the field back to him. From 1896 to 1901 he raced in various parts of tha. world, and his marvellous un paced efforts never failed to. eead the crowds wild with

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excitement. Despite his great reputation on the racing track Gascoyne quietly dropped out of the game, and set sail for Australia with his mate. Brown, and ultimately arrived in Newcastle. Both men sought work, and obtained it after many vicissitudes. It was labour of a hard-toil, sweating kind, but they stuck to it, and trained whenever opportunity offered. Their racing successes were spasmodic, but, despite his laborious occupation, Mills (which tor some unaccountable reason was the name Gascoyne assumed) developed a fine turn, of speed, and won occasional handicaps. He wag relegated to the scratch mark, and became a firm favourite at the night carnivals. Persistent rumours regarding the bona fides of the men a few months ago brought to light the fact that Millfl was Gascoyne, of England, a few year* back unpaccd champion of England, whilst his chum, Atkinson, was identical with H. Brown, for several years one of the best handicap racing men in England. Both admitted their identity. There wero many good points, however, to exonerate their actions. They had given up the sport as a profession, had settled down to honest labour, had worked hard and late, and their racing had been above suspicion. Mills (or Gascoyne) had often been defeated when fairly trying, and he explained that the nature of his work, that of stoking, had caused a. deterioration of his speed abilities. Finding himeelf once igain a scratch man, Gaecoyne threw up the work he wa*i engaged at, and started training in • earnest. The result is that, the English ex- > champion is now exhibiting the old-time form which made him famous on European tracks. He is a prime favourite with the Sydney public, and when he defeated Brook on Anniversary Night and won the Five Miles Scratch Race recently from j Befitel and other good rider«. he was given a great ovation. In pursuit races Gascoyne is probably without a peer in Australia, a fact to which the New South Wales ridere Brook, Hagnev, and Larcombe are able to bear testimony from personal experience.

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A STRANGE STORY. Otago Witness, Issue 2767, 27 March 1907

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