Sunday, September 19, 2010
Old Days - Part One
In light of my recent blog posts concerning my genesis as an obsessive bike nut and the research that writing those posts involved, I've been in a furious frenzy of scanning old postcards, magazines and books for more of what visually inspired and continues to inspire me. I've been posting this stuff on my Facebook site but I thought it might be good to post them here for those of you who choose not to be under the direct control of the CIA. The pictures are all ripped off, but the text is all mine. Follow the links if you wish to find out more about any of the riders or events featured.
In future posts I will try to showcase some of the NZ riders who I idolised as a youth, as well as the women riders I admire who are so far are very poorly represented. I'll also be adding some mountainbike perspective hopefully. In the meantime, here is a semi-chronological plethora of old school roadie goodness for you to peruse and hopefully enjoy...
This is an ad for disc wheels from November 28th 1891 (!) reproduced in Cycling Weekly in November 1984.
Riders goofing off in a Tour de France of the 1920s. I believe this shot is staged, but surprisingly some riders apparently actually believed that smoking opened up the lungs!
Il Campionissimo Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) ponders his Campagnolo Roubaix gears during the 1951 Giro, the last year he would use them before moving to the more modern format of the Gran Sport derailleur.
The Cannibal. Belgium's Eddy Merckx (Faema) was so dominant in his first of five Tour de France wins that he won every classification in that 1969 edition. Here he is on his way to a magnificent 140km solo victory (by 8 minutes!) on Stage17 to Mourenx/Ville Nouvelle.
A postcard from the 1973 Bianchi-Campagnolo team - DS Vittorio Adorni, World Champion Marino Basso, "Cochise" Rodriguez (Colombia) and Italian Champion Felice Gimondi.
Belgian hard man and four-time winner of the Paris-Roubaix Classic Roger de Vlaeminck (Brooklyn) powers through the cobbles of the Arenberg Forest in the 1973 edition, won this particular year by Eddy Merckx.
Spain's Luis Ocana (Bic) climbs in the Pyrenees on his way to victory in the '73 Tour.
A Bianchi-Campagnolo rider time trials past the Colosseum in Rome, Giro d'Italia 1974.
Another picture of Roger de Vlaeminck (Brooklyn) shows the great aero form that helped net him an unequalled four Paris-Roubaix wins, among many other great victories.
Another cycling great who I'm happy to show more than once is Eddy Merckx; here's his "hero card" from 1975. He's wearing the Maillot Arc en Ciel he won on the famed Mont Royal circuit in the Montreal World Championships in 1974.
Belgian two-time World Champion Freddy Maertens (Velda-Flandria) races the 1978 Milan-San Remo classic.
English domestique Paul Sherwen (Fiat) drives a break in the 1978 Tour. Sherwen is now famous of course for being a TV cycling commentator for many of the world's biggest pro races.
TI Raleigh-McGregor's young Dutch star Henk Lubberding relaxes pre-stage in his young riders jersey, Tour '78. Note his 753 Raleigh...
A classic profile shot of the great Bernard Hinault (France: Gitane-Campagnolo) on his way to winning the famed Grand Prix des Nations in 1978, the second of his five victories in this once highly prized time trial event.
Giovanni Battaglin (Inoxpran) won the KOM competition in the 1979 Tour de France for Italy on a Colnago.
French super champion Bernard Hinault (Renault-Gitane) responds to Joop Zoetemelk's (Miko-Mercier) attack on the Champs-Élysées final stage of the Tour de France 1979 to set up the unusual scenario of the first and second place overall riders battling for what is typically a classic sprinter's stage. Hinault naturally rolled Dutchman Zoetemelk to put a fine chapeau on his second victory in the Tour...
Hinault again, this time on his way to winning the 1980 Tour prologue. Tendonitis took him out of this Tour though, allowing six-time(!) 2nd place finisher Zoetemelk riding for the great TI Raleigh squad to finally seize his chance and take what would be his only Tour win.
Italian phenomenon Guiseppe Saronni (Gis-Gelati) wearing the pink jersey of the leader of the Giro d'Italia in 1981, won in the end by Inoxpran's Giovanni Battaglin.
Norwegian time triallist Knut Knudsen (Bianchi-Piaggio) throws down in the '81 Giro.
Vittoria postcard for Francesco Moser (Famcucine-Campagnolo) - a great side-on view of his aggressive style. He is wearing the tricolore of the Italian National Champion, a title he won three times; '75, '79 and here in '81.
Italian Roberto Visentini (Sammontana-Benotto) rides a very rare aero Benotto (see an earlier blog for a similar one that just passed through my shop!) in the 1981 Giro d'Italia.
I always loved this shot of TI Raleigh-Creda Dutchman Johan Van de Velde, as he crests a rise on his way to one of the two stage wins he took in the 1981 Tour de France.
Italian legend Francesco Moser (Famcucine-Campagnolo) wears the Maglia Rosa during the 1982 Giro, won finally by France's Bernard Hinault.
The earliest issue I still have of English magazine Cycling Weekly that I collected avidly between 1979 and 2000 is dated 12th June 1982. The cover shows Oleg Czougeda (USSR) outsprinting Poland's Zbigniew Szczepkowski for a stage of the Milk Race into Weston-super-Mare.
A Campagnolo advertisement from the same issue. The love affair never ends...
Australian Phil Anderson (Peugeot) held the Maillot Jaune for nine days in the 1982 Tour de France won, of course, by Hinault.
USA pursuiter Steve Hegg rocks a cool Raleigh USA track bike in 1983. The US strip has never looked better than this era, in my opinion, and the Raleigh USA paint job is cool also.
Four-time World Cyclo-Cross Champion Roland Liboton (Belgium: Guerciotti-Campagnolo) in an event in the New Year of 1983.
Ireland's Sean Kelly (SEM France-Loire) outsprints Frenchman Francis Castaing (Peugeot) and Dutchman Jos Lieckens (Safir-Van de Ven) for stage 3 of the '83 Paris-Nice stage race.
The mighty Bianchi-Piaggio squadra, led here by Swede Tommy Prim, dominating the TTT in the '83 Giro.
Guiseppe Saronni (Del Tongo-Colnago) leads failed wunderkind and teammate Dietrich Thurau through the Dolomites during the '83 Giro.
Dutchman Peter Winnen (TI Raleigh) signs an autograph for an, erm, enthusiastic fan during the 1983 Tour de France.
Spaniard Pedro Delgado (Reynolds) leads French ace (and recently sadly passed away) Laurent Fignon (Renault-Gitane) and Phil Anderson (Peugeot) on the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées as Fignon is about to celebrate his inaugural Tour win in 1983.
Greg LeMond (USA: Renault-Gitane) wins the 1983 World Professional Road Race in Altenrhein, Switzerland. Issue dated 17th September 1983.
Peugeot ace Stephen Roche (Ireland) wins the time trial and the overall of the 1983 Etoile des Espoirs stage race.
Being a reader of Cycling Weekly I was au fait with the small but vital English pro team scene, and their bikes were also objects of my lust. Here is an ad for UK bicycle company and domestic pro team sponsor Falcon, 1983.
The dominant form of racing that Cycling Weekly used to (and still does) cover is the peculiarly English form of time trialling known as "testing". A major force in this iteration of the sport was the astounding Beryl Burton (GB), shown here charging hard as always as Cycling Weekly celebrates an incredible 25th win in the prestigious season long British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) time trial competition. Issue dated 17th December 1983.
I'll be back with more from 1984 onwards soon. Until then, I hope you enjoyed these evocative shots.
Thanks for reading, Oli
Please note that I have written several more Old Days posts - check the sidebar for the links.