Charles Holland’s athletic career began as cricket and football player. But his main sporting career was in cycling, the sport in which already his father had excelled. Holland won his first local race in 1928. In 1936 he claimed the title as “British Best All-rounder” in time trial competitions, and was in the top three in this classification for four consecutive years. After taking part in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics, Holland turned professional in 1937, riding that year’s Tour de France, one of two Britons to do so, but he was unable to finish.
Holland’s sporting career ended when war broke out and he was called to the service. After World War II, he was a semi-professional golf player, and also opened two newsstands in Birmingham. Later he took up racing again and won several veteran races in Britain repeating some of his earlier victories in the veterans’ class. His biography with the title Dancing Uphill was published in 2007.
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