Rene "Flat Top" Paquin
Born in 1920, Rene "Flat Top" Paquin began his cycling career in 1937. As a matter of fact, he won his very first race which ended at the Laval Coliseum in the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul ward. During his career, one of his top wins was the race he won in 1947, Montreal/St-Jerome and return, that is 62 1/2 miles in 2 hours and 19 minutes, an excellent performance.
Last year during an interview, Rene Paquin stated that it was one of his greatest victories. "This is something that happened at the beginning of my career and allowed me to be treated with a lot of respect" .
Eighteen 6-Day races
After having tried with professionals, (he participated in 6-Day races in U.S.A.) Rene decided to organize 6-Day races at the Paul-Sauve Centre along with Guy Morin, Jean Ladouceur, Rene Cyr and Oswald Van Delabelle.
It took place in 1954. A total of 18 6-Day races were organized, 10 of which took place at Paul-Sauve Centre, over and above the many Quebec-Montreal races with brothers Comeli, Pepe and Frederico.
In 1988, the Cycling Federation of Quebec recognized his efforts by inducting him to the Quebec Cycling Hall of Fame.
The Death of Rene Flat Top Paquin:
Quebec cycling lost a great celebrity on Thursday January 10, 2006. Rene was a leader in cycling, passed away after a long illness. He was 86 years old.TOP
- Chicago: Oct 11-18, 1947 with unknown rider, abandoned
- Cleveland: Dec 7-13, 1947 with unknown rider - (The Lima News, Ohio, mentions Paquin as signed up for this race)
- New York; Feb 26-Mar 2, 1948, with Jack Eyamie (Can), abandoned
- New York; Oct 18-23, 1948, with unknown rider, abandoned
- Washington: Nov 29 - Dec 5, 1948, with Gregoire (?), 5th place
- New York; Mar 1-5, 1950, with Benny Mangano, abandoned
Induction into the Quebec Federation of Sports Cyclists in 1988
Rene Paquin had good performances as a cyclist, but it was as an organizer of competitions that he made his mark. He was the organizer of the classic Quebec - Montreal from 1956 to 1974, one of the most prestigious races in North America. He was also the organizer of eighteen Six-Days on the track from 1963 to 1980, including twelve at the Center Paul-Sauve in Montreal from 1963 to 1976, two at the Coliseum de Quebec in 1964 and 1965, one at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in 1965, one at the Montreal Forum in 1967, and two at the Olympic velodrome in Montreal in 1979 and 1980. Finally, he acted as director of the professional Tour de la Nouvelle-France in 1968.