Archive | August, 2010

Laurent Fignon in the 1989 Tour de France, the closest in history.

Laurent Fignon: 1960 – 2010

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Laurent Fignon passed away today at the age of 50, after suffering from cancer for several years. Fignon was an amazing rider, and a true all-rounder. He won year-round, in stage races, time trials, and one-day classics. His victories include wins in the Giro as well as the Tour, and classics like La Fleche and…

LeMond and Indurain climb to the ski resort at Luz Ardiden

Defining Moments: 1990 Luz Ardiden

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There are several moments in my childhood when I realized the bike held a more meaningful place in my life than the other fancies and desires one experiences growing up; those instants that somehow stand out from the others in the endless stream of memories that hold greater significant than the rest. One such moment…

Axis of awesome

Reverence: Ritchey WCS 4 Axis stems

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Maybe it’s my mountain bike background.  It could be the brand’s long association with Thomas Frischknecht, one of my all-time favourite riders.  It’s more likely that they are light, look great and don’t cost the earth.  Whatever the reason, there’s something about Ritchey 4 Axis stems that just does it for me when it comes…


Anatomy of a Photo: Hunchbacks of the 81 Tour

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My friend and trainee Velominata Rachel has a keen cycling eye and an inquisitive mind. While perusing the book Tour de France/Tour de Force she happened upon this image of The Badger, Bernard Hinault, sprinting for a stage win in the 1981 Tour. We know this because the caption says so. And that is pretty…


Velominati Super Prestige: la Vuelta a Espana

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The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige continues with its the final Grand Tour of the season, la Vuelta a España, on Saturday, August 28. This will be the final opportunity for contestants to rake in a load of points; and with the list of injuries, and non-starts together with riders using the race as preparation for the World…

Delgado in the Original White Ladies

Guest Article: Where did all the Time Go?

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There has been a lot of talk lately about shoes: the While Ladies, the Yellow Princesses, and the safety and reliability of Spinal Tap Black.  But shoe color has not always been a choice, and it is with this premise that fellow community member Jarvis has contributed the following article for our consideration. He commented…



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As an ex-muso and DJ, I thought my days of rockin' out, layin' down some beats and droppin' tracks were well behind me. Then, last week I received a curious email from our esteemed community member, Geof. Curious, because he was now referring to himself as the “G'Phant”, and informed me that we (meaning him…


The Yellow Princesses

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The Velominati would not exist if it weren’t for The Rules. Of the current 79 Rules, only two, Rule #34 and Rule #69 stipulate anything about shoes. Perhaps that is all that is needed. However, I do have a set of personal Rules that I’ve been living by and developing for nearly ten years now.…

Q'est que c'est le Fuck?

Anatomy of a Photo: Greg LeMelvis and Tom Ritchey

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Brett’s article on the the 1995 Worlds set the standard of quality in our fledgling Anatomy of  a Photo series. The great tale he had to tell of watching it from Spain, the artifacts of mid-90’s racing such as the neon colors and handlebar attachments, to say nothing of the identification of Oliviero Rincon (who, I believe may…

Attitude at altitude; Il Pirata puts the lid on the hurt box

Anatomy of a Photo: 1995 World Championship road race

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When I first feasted my eyes on this photo over at, it was the steely stare of Il Pirata that commanded my attention. That look says it all; “I’m suffering like a dog, the altitude is fucking with my mind, my lungs and my vision, but there’s rocket fuel coursing through my veins and…

An example of why off-road excursions are worth while.

Know Your Limitations

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I always strongly consider observations from anyone willing to wave a 44 Magnum in people’s faces.  As such, I’ve always appreciated Dirty Harry‘s recommendation that a man know his limitations.  For example, I can appreciate that I am not an elegant creature and it is best if I avoid sports involving hand-eye coordination. I’ve also noted that…


Old School

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We, as cyclists, as Velominati, may share a common passion, yet invariably have our roots planted in differing turf.  Some may be late bloomers, coming to flower in our adult years, when we decide that a sedentary lifestyle, an expanding waistline or the realisation cycling is indeed more than just a sport or an activity,…

Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni at the summit of K2 in 1954. Photo: K2: Challenging The Sky

Doping: The Acceptability of a Method

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Performance-enhancing methods. This is a term we hear so often in cycling; it refers to the practice of using products or processes that elevate your performance beyond what you could naturally do. It is a terribly complicated matter for the fans, and I can only speculate as to how complicated it is for the professionals…

Back in the day

The Transformation

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The following is a Guest Article contributed by our community member, Cyclops. Here he presents his lifelong experience with cycling, albeit in an unorthodox manner. Such lifelong relationships with cycling are what La Vie Velominatus is all about.  This story also sheds some light on Cyclops’ VSP Picks of, “Eddy, Eddy, Eddy, Eddy, Eddy.” We hope you enjoy the tale;…


Love In A Box

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Today was a good day. One of those stunning Wellington winter days, not a cloud in the sky, the wind more like a puff of breath, the air with a sharp, cool crispness about it, and people drawn outside to make hay (or ride bikes) while the sun shines. How could I stay at work…


Evanescent riders of the 90s: Franco Vona

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One of the most enduring images in my mind of the Tour in the early 90s is of the monumental Stage 13 of the 1992 edition. Riders covered 255km over some of the most brutal and iconic mountain passes the race had ever witnessed, finishing at the Italian ski resort of Sestriere. The tifosi were…


The Pain Pool: Wading in Above the Waist

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Posting on the Tour de Blast, Bob asked if any of us were doing the Climb of Death up Cougar Mountain in Issaquah, WA, a climb locals refer to as “Zoo Hill”.  Like an idiot, I registered, and have set about preparing for the event by doing very little training and blocking the event from my…

Eyewear-compatibible helmet vents: perhaps one of the greatest bicycle breakthroughs

Reverence: Helmet Vents

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Helmets became mandatory in professional road racing in 2003, following the tragic death of Andei Kivilev from head injuries sustained in a fall during Paris-Nice.  With the adoption of that regulation died one of the most iconic images of professional cycling: the racer riding over the high mountain passes of Europe with their eyewear perched…

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