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The sport has lost a true champion with the passing of Ray Booty. The slightly built Booty was equally at home against the watch and in the cut and trust of road racing at the highest level.

Although in the record books as the first man to get inside four hours in a 100-mile time trial his other claims to fame include winning the Commonwealth Games road race in 1958 and the coveted Manx International road race, in 1954, on the Isle of Man.

From the early Fifties he was the dominant figure in distance time trialling. From 1954 until 1958 he was the National 12-hour champion, setting National competition records in 1956 and 1957. His run of `100` championships covered the years from 1955 to 1959. It is no surprise that he won the British Best All-Rounder competition in 1955, 1956 and 1957.

In 1955 he set the `100` competition record, 4-04-30, but that was only a foretaste of what was to come the next year when he reduced that to 4-01-52. It was on the Bath Road, in August, that Booty at last cracked the four-hour barrier with his amazing 3-58-28, on a fixed wheel.

On a roll, Booty then went for the Road Records Association’s straight out 100-mile record and succeeded with his 3-28-40. It was 34 years before Ian Cammish bettered this.

Little wonder that his 1956 efforts earned him the prized FT Bidlake Memorial Prize.


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