Backpedal: From the Archives, Stephen Swart & Dave Mann...

The Backpedal Series will revisit some of the more popular posts from the Claremont Cyclist. They may be posts that I liked, even though they weren't widely read, or they may be posts that struck a chord with the blog's readers and picked up larger numbers of hits. Some of the posts may contain new or revised information as facts have come to light. This one was originally published February 4, 2010.

Stephen Swart (left) and Dave Mann wait around prior to the start of the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, ca. 1993, the year that the race was won by Mann. Being a lowly Cat. 4 with the Chevrolet-L.A. Sheriff club at the time, I was partial to the old green and yellow, but it was quite impressive the way the Silver Bullets dominated so many of the races they entered.

In late 2012 the New Zealand Herald (newspaper) named Stephen Swart as their New Zealander of the Year. Swart, a one-time teammate of Lance Armstrong, was amongst the first (and according to the Herald article, the very first) to implicate Armstrong for his use of performance enhancing drugs. Awarded largely based on Swart's unwavering honesty and integrity in coming forward with personal accounts of the sports drug problem, Swart has cited more personal reasons for coming clean, so to speak: "One reason for Stephen deciding to come out was that Logan [Swart's son] was becoming really keen on cycling. He said he'd never forgive himself if Logan followed him into the sport and he hadn't tried to change it." It is nearly a month past by now, but you can read the full story at the New Zealand Herald by clicking this link, if you have not already read it.

The majority of Swart's years as a professional were ridden with the Coors Light team (1989-1993), before a final two years with Motorola. He won numerous stages of some of the biggest races in North America and Australia, including the Herald Sun Tour, Cascade Classic, Tour de Canada, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, and Tour of the Adirondacks. He also won the New Zealand Post Tour (1990), the USPro Criterium Championship (1992). He rode the Tour de France both of the years he was with Motorola.

Like his teammate, Dave Mann, had picked up various wins at multi-day and one-day races in the US and Australia and, prior to those, in his native England. Most of his racing years were spent with the Raleigh and Coors Light teams.