Peter Nowell, one of Britain?s first ?independent? racers, has died at 77. A founder member of Lune RCC and an early recruit to the British League of Racing Cyclists he rode with Doug Petty in the Croad Automatic semi-professional team.

He competed in many races including the Quaker Oats Tour of Britain, the 1958 Milk Race, the Corona Tour of the West, and still held the Morecambe to Bradford record he set 57 years ago.

Dr Nowell, well known throughout Merseyside and North West cycling, managed to combine an active racing career with almost half a century at the University of Liverpool where was a senior lecturer in pharmacology.

He worked as technical advisor at British Cycling Federation disciplinary hearings and was a board member of the Professional Racing Association.

Chris Welton who worked with him said: ?He was a wise old figure who we looked up to for advice. He did sterling service for the Federation and the Association.

When the professionals and amateurs were at loggerheads, he bridged their difficulties and was deeply respected by both sides.?

Apart from his passion for bikes, he was still building t hem weeks before his death, Dr Nowell enjoyed restoring two vintage Rolls Royce cars.