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Dave Blase

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Name  Dave Blase

Dave Blase httpsjimsbikeblogfileswordpresscom201101d

Former Little 5 rider inspired classic movie

Dave Blase is an American cyclist whose story served as the inspiration for the movie Breaking Away.


Dave Blase httpswwwgannettcdncommm34406c4e5fb3cfed4

Little 500

Blase attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana from 1958-1962. In his freshman year, he started cycling and joined a team for the Little 500 bike race. He quickly became a dominant rider and was recruited by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. However, eligibility rules for the race were changed to require transferring team members to sit out one year. Blase continued to ride in outside races waiting to become eligible to ride for Phi Kappa Psi, a move which precluded him from competing the following year when a new rule was enacted requiring those who participated in outside races to wait 1 year to become eligible. Blase spent that year off campus and returned to ride in the 1962 Little 500. Blase led Phi Kappa Psi to a victory, riding 139 of the 200 laps himself.

Breaking Away

Breaking Away was written by Steve Tesich, an Indiana University graduate who served as an alternate rider on the Phi Kappa Psi Little 500 Team in 1962. He was teammates with Dave Blase and used him as an inspiration for the Dave Stoller character and for the overall story. Like Blase, the Stoller character developed an appreciation for Italian culture and the Italian cycling team.

After Indiana University

Blase cycled professionally after leaving college and eventually became a high school biology teacher in Indianapolis, Indiana at Thomas Carr Howe High School and Arlington High School.


Dave Blase Wikipedia