IN 1961, KEN LAIDLAW WAS AT THE TOP OF THE CYCLING WORLD — OR AT LEAST AS CLOSE TO THE TOP AS A SCOTSMAN HAD EVER COME.
A year after representing Great Britain in the World Championships and the Rome Olympics in 1960, Laidlaw became the first Scottish rider to complete the Tour de France when he finished 65th, earning most aggressive rider honors during the race’s 16th stage.
Then he quit. At age 26 and a world-class rider at the peak of his career, Laidlaw walked away.
“I was an angry young man,” the 77-year-old Sun City resident recalls. “I did what I was supposed to do — I was the first Scotsman to finish the Tour de France — and nothing happened afterward.”