It is with sadness to have to report that we have recently lost one of our older stalwarts of the Wessex Cyclo-Cross scene.
Gordon MacDonald passed away on 22nd March after a short illness, he was 80.
Those new to Cross in last few seasons wouldn’t have come across Gordon as he hasn’t been too active on Wessex races for a few years, but before that he was involved in everything that helped build our league into a nice, friendly popular league. He raced back in the mid 60’s and at end of 60’s started to organise races, he then became Wessex Treasurer and Chairman.
He was involved Nationally as a National Committee member, Drug Control co-ordinator and League co-ordinator for the then Halfords National Trophy series. Locally if there was a job to do he would volunteer for it, he was a regular lap scorer and his career spanned fields of less than 20 to 90+ all with paper and pen. He was also a registered starter for the Southampton Track League and would often bring his starting pistol to cross races, much more exciting for everyone with a gun going off than just a whistle being blown.
Before all these National posts he did a lot of work with Youth riders and organised from early 70’s an International Youth Stage race at Butlins in Skegness and Filey, this involved teams from the UK and Europe with many of the riders going on to greater things with contracts as pro’s in UK and Europe. The greatest success was Stephen Roche, who rode this mini stage race on his first visit outside of Ireland and then went on in 1987 to win the Tour De France, Giro Italia and World Road Race Championships all in one year.
Other top riders to come from this race when Gordon was organiser also include, Chris Boardman, Roger Hammond former World Junior Cross Champ, Youth, Junior and Senior National Cross Champion along with a 3rd place in Paris Roubaix one day classic. Erik Dekker, Pro with Rabobank and back to back Tour de France stage winner. Neil Martin, top cross and road rider and father of Dan Martin top pro with Garmin team and recent winner of tour of Catalonia. Chris Lillywhite, former Milk Race winner and Paul Kimmage, former pro rider and author who is Lance Armstrong’s public enemy number one. Gordon land his team liked to think that by organising this event that they helped all these riders onto greater things.
Gordon was first of a local cyclo-cross dynasty being the father of Ian Macdonald (Current Secretary), Andrew Macdonald (Multi Wessex senior Champion and a current Commissaire) and grandfather of Matt Macdonald.