As it turns out, the first Road Cycling Champion ever was a Jewish man by the name of A.A. (Arthur) "Zimmy" Zimmerman. Zimmy was a fun-loving, agreeable character from New Jersey who could get three hours of sleep the night before a race and then go out and break the course or distance record.
From all accounts, it seems that Zimmy was the first true sprinter. Today, his strategy does not seem all that creative: sitting in until the last possible moment, then unleashing a short burst of incredible speed to win the race by several bike lengths. However, in 1890, these "come from behind" "effortless" victories were awe-inspiring magic tricks; making him America's first international athletic star.
Zimmerman changed amateur racing from a sport for the wealthy to a sport with universal appeal. In 1897, Zimmy became the first World Cycling Champion. Like all sports stars, he appeared in advertisements for bicycle companies, such as Raleigh and Sterling.
Zimmy didn't just stop at winning races and wowing the crowds. After retiring from the world of bicycle racing he settled down in his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey and began making bikes of his own. His most popular model was called the "Zimmy."
From the Boston Globe, circa 1895. Just cut out and assemble.
Advertisement for Sterling Bicycles (the same bike Annie "Londonderry" Kopchovsky rode around the world).