Anatomy of a Photo: Allez le Douze

Anatomy of a Photo: Allez le Douze

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A mechanical of any kind thrusts a professional cyclist into a kind of paradoxical isolation; swarmed by cars and motorcycles, yet they are often left alone to find their way back to the peloton by their own strength.

But this isn’t their first rodeo, and these aren’t cowboys. Put it in the Big Ring, set the lazy-lever to 12, put your head down, and get on with it. The downside is that when the legs are yelling “Allez le Douze”, the eyes have a tendency to check out the guns instead of paying attention to the direction of travel. A pity, that.

The irony that Davis Phinney’s isolation was ended by the rear glass of a car bearing the logo of a company called “Isoglass” is not lost on me.

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. “Hmmm… Isoglass… I see glass… ouch”

  2. The wheel is stronger than the frame.

  3. In contemporary cycling a rider like ‘Thor’ would never take part in a race like LBL,
    but those were different times with different riders.
    I’m happy to see his son in the peloton.

  4. @michael
    You can actually see that the wheel has a big flat spot.

  5. I’m not sure that this was through a lapse in concentration. Riders were harder then and if they didn’t like the way someone was driving they didn’t just dive into the nearest barbed wire fence, they let the driver know about it in no uncertain terms.

  6. Ouch…look at all that claret. I once had a very similar accident after a well executed but inappropriately timed wheelie on my motorbike. The principle difference was that while I cleared the car completely my bike didn’t and the seat hump left a sizable dent in the roof. Once I’d stopped being concussed, and could breathe again, I was quite inordinantly proud of that.

  7. The Cannibal would have eaten more than just the glass.

  8. Been there. Chasing back on after a mechanical, seen the catch, head down for a bit more suffering to close on to the back wheel looking for the glorious shelter of the bunch, drift right as road bends left, in the gutter amongst the dirt and shit, fuck, jump back on bike, wait, is it raining? what’s that liquid on my thigh, oh oh, maybe it rains red around here, jesus that’s actually quite a lot of blood. Can you patch me up so I can cont …. you want me to get in the ambulance, really, are you sure, ok, ok, will someone look after my bike? yes honey, 14 stitches, no, I’m OK, really it was nothing, the elbow, yes, right elbow, yes, its a bit sore, see you in a few hours.

    Happens to the pros to: Tinkoff rider in this clip at c.23s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwqLQ6Ewjdc

  9. Too bad it wasn’t one of today’s huffy frames. One of those 35lb bad boys wouldn’t torn that little Renault in half.

  10. I notice he already had some road rash wounds. I am guessing his easiest time was on the bike chasing back. It gets harder later when he showers, tries to sleep, getting up the next day and the road rash oozes and cracks and the muscles that were bruised are now cold tight and sore. Definitely a cruel hard sport that pays out rewards in a haphazard manner, but ultimately to those that can take the mental and physical pain while dishing out copious amounts of the V.

  11. I seem to recall Ullrich ending up in the back of a team car too. Ah yes, the beauty of google – it happened the day before the start of the 2005 tour.

  12. Damn, look at all that blood on the ground. And his chain. Damn cagers!

    Just got back from a ride. Seems like fall is blowing into NC with strong wind & rain. The guns felt like cap guns, the wind didn’t help, & I think I’ve sadly reached the age when keg beer results in a mean headache the next morning. (A new bike shop opened last night & they offered free beer. Don’t think they’ll last. You can only sell so many rolls of pink tape to people in cut off shorts. I commented to a friend that we were actually d-bags because we’d been riding and were in kit, didn’t have asymmetrical haircuts, and didn’t have a laptop with us to do some djaying.)

  13. no flat spot

  14. Speaking of “Anatomies of Photos” there is a guy that hangs out in the Lounge of roadbikereview – this guy actually:

    …whose mom is Linda Grey from Dallas. He does this cool thing where instead of getting his picture taken WITH celebrities he hands the camera to the celebrity and has them take a picture of him. Check it out here. It’s pretty cool some of the people that he’s had take pictures including some big name pros.

  15. That dude dresses like he’s done up as Vaughters for a halloween party. I think he supposes he looks good, which is how JV sees it, I guess.

    And after seeing his fake interview of Dario Pegoretti I’ve always considered him a classless act, and not funny. If I have the chance to talk with a highly skilled legend I’m going to talk with him, not be so concerned how I’ll come off that I instead go for parody.

  16. @Oli
    You can see the frame has a bigger flat spot than the wheel.

  17. Ouch!!
    My worst spill was on an MTB. On a steep decent I heard some unknown mechanical noise from my rear wheel, quickly turned my head to see if a twig or something was stuck in the mech.
    Just as I turned my head a wasp hit my cheek and got stuck on the inside of my oakleys!! I totally panicked as the wasp tried to kill my eye, I instinctively closed both my eyes and slammed the brakes. When I woke up I was lying on the ground between two big trees feeling like something my dog would refuse to eat and my left eye on fire!
    Nothing broken but sore as hell and I couldn’t use my eye for about a week :)

  18. I have a photo of this crash in a French “Year of Cycling” “yearbook” from 1988 that I bought in France in 1989 when I lived there for a month. It is slightly different as it shows Phinney looking up a bit with the blood streaming down his face and between his fingers. Supposedly the car stopped DEAD in it’s tracks right in front of him, without warning and Phinney was pretty pissed about it. Here is a simliar photo to the one in my book. (see if I can load this thing).

  19. Might be because I ride a compact, but that is a big fucken chain ring. Had to be going some when he hit the car. Ouch.

  20. @roadslave

    Might be because I ride a compact, but that is a big fucken chain ring. Had to be going some when he hit the car. Ouch.

    I was thinking the same thing. I run a 53t for my big ring and Phinney’s looks larger than that. And L-B-L is NOT a flat race!

  21. AS I recall the 7-11 Team Huffy’s were actually rebadged Serotta frames.

  22. There was a guy that pulled this stunt in CA a year or so ago. Decided to “teach those cyclists a lesson.” Passed some riders on a downhill, got in front, then slammed the brakes. Fucked one of them up bad. Blew the rear window out, but the driver dude was a rich doctor, and didn’t care. And as they say in Scooby-Doo, he’d gotten away with it except a neo-pro recognized the driver dude from the news report and called the cops to say that same driver did it to him a few weeks before too.

    Driver tried to claim innocence, but lots of witnesses and now a documented past as well. He went to jail for a significant period of time.

  23. @michael
    Thanks Captain Obvious!

    I was adding to your comment rather than correcting it…

  24. @Oli

    You’re welcome. I wonder if the wheel was only damaged because it ran into the bb.

  25. @KTB
    That’s right.

  26. I remember that same photo from Winning. I really wish I hadn’t got rid of those…

  27. If I ever own a car, maybe it’ll be a Renault Nevada!

  28. If I ever own a car, maybe it’ll be a Renault Nevada!

  29. Frank,
    Not sure where I should post it so I’m firing it in here. I’m planning on being in the San Juan Islands shortly. Any good resources for riding on the islands? I hear there are some great routes and thought you might no of them since you live in the area.
    Thanks in advance,
    Neil

  30. Wow, I did just this two weeks ago. 35 stitches to the face later and I’m back on the bike!

  31. @cantona

    Frank,
    Not sure where I should post it so I’m firing it in here. I’m planning on being in the San Juan Islands shortly. Any good resources for riding on the islands? I hear there are some great routes and thought you might no of them since you live in the area.
    Thanks in advance,
    Neil

    Neil, just saw this. I’ll see what I can drum up. I’ve done some riding on Whidbey island and I know a guy who has the routes on that particular island worked out completely. Whidbey is quite a bit farther south than the official San Juan Islands, but San Juan island itself is a great, big island with lots of bike shops. I haven’t ridden on it myself, but I’ll do some investigation and see what I can find, at least to give you a starting point.

    You’re heading into one of the most beautiful parts of the world, by the way. Pack some raingear; even though it rains here, the beauty of the place is not diminished at all with some wet – you’ll still want to get out and do whatever it is you’re planning to do.

    Cheers mate!

  32. @brothersbutler

    Wow, I did just this two weeks ago. 35 stitches to the face later and I’m back on the bike!

    OUCH!!!! I did the same back in highschool. Bolting down the road and a car passes, then slams on their brakes to turn into a parking lot. These people aren’t trying to be malicious, they just don’t have a clue about cyclists. Glad to hear you’re back on the bike!

  33. @Pedale.Forchetta

    In contemporary cycling a rider like ‘Thor’ would never take part in a race like LBL,
    but those were different times with different riders.
    I’m happy to see his son in the peloton.

    Yeah, it’s amazing what the specialization has been doing. Back then, the Super-Prestige and other rankings meant a great deal more to the peloton than they do now, which encouraged riders to ride all the events.

    I haven’t seen Phillipe racing Roubaix (at least not at the front), but he does do the other cobbled classics as well as the Ardennes (and the Tour and the Summer classics and the Fall classics). But it’s a different class of rider.

    Even in 1985, Sean Kelly was third overall and won the green jersey. I’d like to see Cav get third overall. It’s hard to say what’s better for the sport and what’s worse for it, but this specialization doesn’t seem to do much for me. I’d rather see these guys battle it out, like they did in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

    Of course, I didn’t watch those races on the tele, so we’re back to reading about them and the distorted (if more magical) account of the events that brings. I have every reason to believe I wouldn’t have been a Merckx fan. I certainly wouldn’t have been an Anquetil fan. Louison Bobet, on the other hand? Yes, please.

  34. I have that photo up in the shop (er garage). Never know when shit’s going to happen.

  35. Davis has taken it in the face more than once:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFbSnACJA54

  36. @scaler911

    Davis has taken it in the face more than once:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFbSnACJA54

    I remember that…Mike Zanoli was an orangoutang. Phinney’s arms, man…you just don’t see guys built like that anymore, huh? Phinney was a big Nordic skier as well; I met him many, many times training on the Birkie trail in Wisconsin. LeMond, too. Both of them the nicest people on the planet.

  37. @frank
    Too cool! I would love to meet Lemond. I’ve only heard great things about him.

    As for Phil-Gil, he has “only” ridden P-R once and says that he will wait a few more years until he tries to win it. That is a tough one for me. I love him as a rider but cannot completely get behind him as he refuses, at presnt and for the last 4-5 years, to ride P-R.

    He says his next goal is to win MSR. For a Belgian, you’d think he’d want to win Flanders or Roubaix next.

  38. @frank
    Kelly never finished higher than 4th.

  39. Although of course he did win the Vuelta once…

  40. @Oli

    @frank
    Kelly never finished higher than 4th.

    How could I have possibly made that mistake? ’85 was the other badass Irishman’s chance for the podium…

    That fact doesn’t, however, change the point in the slightest. The Green Jersey was better this year than in a long time because Gilbert was fighting for it. Ever since it became the domain of the sprinters, it’s been as meaningless as the polka-dot jersey.

    Kelly, while a superbly fast finisher, was nowhere near the same kind of specialist as the Green Jersey contenders these days.

  41. @frank

    Thanks, Frank.
    I used to live in Vancouver so I know the beauty of the Pacific Northwest very well — can’t wait for the trip. Thanks for your help — don’t make too much of an effort. I was just wondering if you knew of anything offhand.
    Thanks again.

  42. @cantona

    @frank
    Thanks, Frank.
    I used to live in Vancouver so I know the beauty of the Pacific Northwest very well “” can’t wait for the trip. Thanks for your help “” don’t make too much of an effort. I was just wondering if you knew of anything offhand.
    Thanks again.

    Vancouver Canada, or Vantucky US of A? Just wonderin since I live in the latter.

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