Monday, September 27, 2010

Old Days - Part Two

Here are some more of the images I have been revisiting as I continue on my epic journey down the windy and cobbled streets of my mind. I'm really not sure why I've chosen some of the pictures or riders I've chosen, but each of them for some reason resonate so I feel sure you'll see something in them too. I have been getting some great feedback about these more historical posts so I hope you enjoy this later selection as we move through the 80s and into the 90s...

Suntour Superbe Pro ad, February 11th 1984. Superbe components were easily the equal of anything coming out of Italy...not that I would have admitted that at the time.

English riders Malcolm Elliot (still racing at an elite level!) and Paul Smith racing in the March Hare race at London's Eastway, March 1984.

The great Sean Kelly (SKIL-Reydel) on his way to the first of two wins for the tough Irishman in the gruelling Paris-Roubaix one day Classic. Issue dated April 21st 1984.

Campagnolo Victory advertisement 1984.

The late Frenchman Laurent Fignon (Renault-Gitane) TTing during his 1983 Tour de France win. Issue dated July 14th 1984, just prior to his going on to win Tour number two later that month.

Greg LeMond (Renault-Gitane), the USA's first pro Road World Champion, shows off his Rainbow Jersey atop a tricked out aero Gitane in a time trial of the 1984 Tour de France. In his first Tour he went on to finish third behind team mate Fignon.

Australian hard man domestique Allan Peiper (Peugeot) wearing the sprint leader's jersey of the televised Kellog's Criterium Series held in various city centres around the UK. September 1984.

Much to my youthful bemusement tricycle racing was clearly still big in the UK in the 80s, and apparently still is. At the Bicycle Village we used to have a conversion kit to turn any road bike into a trike by fitting a strutted axle with two wheels and cogs in place of your usual rear wheel, and Henry and I would blast around Ghuznee, Cuba, Vivian and Marion Streets in mad three-wheeled spurts somewhere between a crit and a time trial, with crazy cornering to boot...This is a fellow called John Read racing in a tricycle-only time trial in October 1984.

Great Britain rider Chris Walker during a stage he won of the Brisbane-Sydney stage race in November 1984. I love his Gazelle...

Brit Paul Sherwen (La Redoubte-Motobecane) struggles over the Mighty Col du Galibier during the 1984 Tour de France, from the cover of a December '84 issue.

Italian Stallion Francesco Moser (Gis Gelati) rides a version of the funny bike he used to set his hour record during the 1984 World Track Championships individual pursuit in Spain.

Italy's 1986 World Champion Moreno Argentin (Gewiss-Bianchi) puts in an attack during the 1987 Giro.

Ecoflam's Johan Van de Velde shows his hardman cred leading over the Passo di Gavia in an epic blizzard during the 1988 Giro d'Italia. The Dutchman was overtaken though on the descent into Bormio the day's stage winner Erik Breukink and eventual Giro victor Andy Hampsten when he had to stop to pee on his hands to warm them up. I think gloves might have been a better idea...

The first, and to date only, American winner of the Giro d'Italia was talented climber Andy Hampsten (7-11 Hoonved), seen here grabbing a feed from the European peloton's first female soigneur Shelley Verses during that historic 1988 event.

A somewhat text heavy (like I can talk!) ad for Regina Extra chains and gear clusters from a June '88 issue - I have fortunate enough to have two of the America Superleggera clusters in my shop still in their tins.

1990 Giro d'Italia winner Gianni Bugno (Chateau d'Ax) is all class in pink as he powers his silver filet-brazed Moser up a climb ahead of France's second-place getter Charly Mottet (RMO).

American World Champion Greg LeMond riding the final time trial in the 1990 Tour de France that would prove to be the last of his three wins. He won this Tour without taking a single stage win, only taking the yellow jersey after coming 5th in this TT on the penultimate day!

Spain's great 5-time Tour Champion Miguel Indurain (Banesto) chucks it into the big dog during his third consecutive win of five in the 1993 Tour de France.

After 15 years of trying to win the race he always thought suited him best, quintessential FrenchmanGilbert Duclos-Lassalle (GAN) won Paris-Roubaix in 1992 at the age of 37 then, amazingly, again the following year at 38. Here he despairingly fails to defend his '93 title in the hideous 1994 edition won by Ukranian/Moldavian/Russian/Belgian Andrei Tchmil (Lotto). Note the adapted Rock Shox used by Duclos and the man following him on a doomed Bianchi full-suspension road bike, Johan Museeuw. Museeuw would himself go on to become a three-time winner of this most brutal of all bike races.

Russian Evgeni Berzin (Gewiss-Ballan) time trialling in the 1995 Giro, a race he had won spectacularly in 1993 over Indurain himself but would never win again. Rider turned TV commentator Allan Peiper saw this Bianchi TT bike and laughingly said, "He's roiding a ladies boike!"

The winner of that 1995 Giro d'Italia was Swiss star Toni Rominger (Mapei-GB), who had dominated the last three Tours of Spain and totally crushed all comers at the Giro. But Rominger could never get the elusive Tour de France win he sought due to the small problem of Big Mig standing in his way. Here he collects the Maglia Ciclamino as Giro points leader before going on to also take the pink jersey he would wear to the finish in Milan.

Frenchman Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) in the 1995 Tour de France on his way to a superb stage victory atop the Côte de la Croix Neuve at Mende (now the Montée Laurent Jalabert!) on Bastille Day. He is wearing the Maillot Vert of points leader that he would keep for his eventual 4th place finish on GC in Paris.

A great shot of Tour stage winner ('88), yellow jersey holder ('94) and legendary descender Sean Yates (Motorola) doing his thing during the 1995 Tour de France. The Sussex man was highly regarded as a domestique, as well as being a high-finisher and perennial contender in Paris-Roubaix in his own right.

Everyone expected the first Spanish World Road Champion to be El Rey, Miguel Indurain. But in Duitama, Colombia in 1995 Indurain played the consummate teammate as compatriot Abraham Olano (Mapei-GB) attacked and soloed in to the victory on a rapidly flattening rear tyre. Indurain outsprinted the upstart Marco Pantani (Italy) for the silver medal, to add to the Spanish success.

The legendary and somewhat extraordinary Scot Graeme Obree wearing the World Champion jersey he won in the individual pursuit in 1995 riding to 3rd place in a World Cup meet in early '96.

Say what you like, but Mario Cipollini (Saeco) always carried off any look he chose. Here he is in the Maglia Ciclamino (points leader) jersey during the 1997 Giro. He never managed to make it over the Alps during the Tour de France, but the big Italian sprinter made it to Milan to finish the Giro d'Italia in this jersey three times...

Italian Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) defending his Yellow Jersey in the final TT of the 1998 Tour de France, the year he managed to stun Jan Ullrich and win a historic Giro-Tour double. Of course the '98 Tour would forever be blighted by the Festina Affair drugs scandal, and Pantani himself would be disgraced the following year after a positive drugs test (see comments below) got him thrown off the 1999 Giro while he was in the pink leaders jersey. Despite some brief flashes of who he had been Pantani's career never recovered - he would eventually die of a massive cocaine and prescription drugs overdose, brought on many would say through his associations with the Dark Side of cycling.

Anyone who has paid even cursory attention to cycling in the last ten or so years will know the name Lance Armstrong. I was a fan long before his famous and career-defining bout of illness and, despite the gathering storm around him, I still admire his incredible strength and implacable will and am proud to continue to call myself a fan.

Here is my favourite ever photo of Armstrong, in which he's not winning one of his seven Tours de France or even winning the 1993 worlds, but on his way to 4th place in the 1998 World Championships road race, Valkenburg, Holland during his comeback from cancer. He also finished 4th in the time trial that year, following on from another 4th place in the preceding Vuelta a España! I knew then that he could win the Tour.

This shot was inspirational to me during some very dark personal times. No matter where the current Armstrong investigation takes us I'll always be glad of his unknowing help back then.

As ever, thanks for reading.

Please note that I have written several more Old Days posts - check the sidebar for the links.

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.