Maurice Cumberworth, prolific promoter of cycling sport, died yesterday, Thursday, June 21, at his home on Orkney. He was in his early 70s.

Cumberworth organised the Tour of Britain Milk Race from 1965 to 1971, became promotions director of the British Professional Cycle Racing Association and organised Cycling Weekly?s former International Cycling Festival at Harrogate.

Through his enthusiasm and drive, the British professional scene – which survived a few crisis?s during the 20 or so years it existed – grew from 23 pros and 11 events to supporting 40 registered home-based pros and a reasonably full calendar of events when he stepped down in 1979. He was a great believer in open sport, promoting 14 pro-am events in Britain that year.

In an interview with Cycling at the time, he regretted that open sport would probably not come about in his lifetime. Happily for him, he was proved wrong on that score.