Ryszard Szurkowski

Ryszard January Szurkowski ( born January 12, 1946 in Świebodów, Poland) is a Polish road racing cyclist and three-time world champion.

Szurkowski is considered the Polish Eddie Merckx, but never could measure up to him because he was not allowed to compete in professional race in the West. He dominated in the 1970s, the equivalent of the Tour de France, the Peace Race, like the Belgians, the Tour de France. After his playing days he was in the years 1984 to 1988 the trainer Radnationalmannschaft Poland.

Cycling career

The first major success of Ryszard Szurkowski was the victory in the Polish Cross Country Championships 1968. A year later he started for the first time in the Peace Race. His reckless and aggressive driving was rewarded with second place in the overall standings.

In the years 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1975 Szurkowski decided four times the Peace Race for themselves. On a total of 89 stages of the race he was 52 times the jersey of the overall leader. After his second victory at the Peace Race in 1972 he took part in the Olympic Games in Munich and finished with the Polish national team in second place in the team time trial.

This result was Szurkowski repeated four years later at the Olympic Games in Montreal. There he had the 1974 runner-up title of amateurs brought in the road race, after he had previously become two -time world champion in the individual competition as well as in the team time trial in Barcelona in the year.

With the National Team Szurkowski 1975 in Mettet again world champion of amateurs in the team time trial. In the same year he won his third Polish Champion title ( after 1969 and 1974 ); two more were to follow (1978 and 1979). Although still to this day he is the record holder with 15 stage wins at the Tour of Poland, it was not given the chance to win this race. Four times Szurkowski won the points classification (1971, 1973, 1974, 1979) and twice the mountains classification (1971 and 1974).

Throughout his career Szurkowski drove for four Polish sports or Radklubs: LZS Milicz, KS Czarni Radomsk, KS Polonia Warszawa Dolmel Wrocław and KS.

Honors and offices

The Polish sports newspaper " Przegląd Sportowy " elected Ryszard Szurkowski twice "Sportsman of the Year" (1970 and 1973). In 1970 he was awarded the Fair Play Award by UNESCO. After hanging up his racing shoes at the age of 34 years on the nail (1980 ), he was from 1984 to 1988 Polish national coach and member of the Polish - then socialist - Parliament House ( 1985-89 ).

Beginning of April 2010 Szurkowski on an annual meeting of the Polish Cycling Federation ( PZKol ) was elected as the new President of the Association. The former Chairman Wojciech Walkiewicz resigned to become President of the European Cycling Union Union Européenne de Cyclisme ( UEC ).


An important turning point in the life Szurkowskis was the terrorist attack on the WTC in New York City on 11 September 2001, in which his son Norbert was killed.


  • Four -time winner of the Peace Race (1970, 1971, 1973, 1975)
  • Two-time Olympic silver medalist in the team road race (1972, 1976)
  • Triple world champion
  • Once in a single race (1973 )
  • Twice in the team race (1973, 1975)
  • Vice World Champion in Single Race (1974 )
  • Two-time " Sportsman of the Year " of Poland ( 1971, 1973 )
  • UNESCO " Fair Play " award (1970 )