Anatomy of a Photo: Depletion

Anatomy of a Photo: Depletion

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One eye open and dreaming; were the building on fire, I suspect this shell of a man could hardly be bothered to move from his bench.

As a Cyclist, the enormous weight of the total exhaustion felt by LeMond at this moment fills my spirit with equal measures of dread and envy.

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. Roger Zannier!

  2. @mcsqueak

    For example, NFL games have an average of only 11 MINUTES of play time per game. The other ~170 minutes are filled with standing around, replays, and whatever else.

    Excellent point! One that I made frequently when I had a boss who was an ex college football (American style) lineman. Big, muscular, overweight dude. He’d give me crap about the lycra and riding a bike for six hours. Then I’d remind him that he’d sit on the bench for 57 minutes out of a 60 minute game.

    He never liked that.


    Excellent pic. Even better choice of little words. I suspect I’ll look somewhat similar on March 31st.

    And glad to see I wasn’t the only one that invoked Rule #9 yesterday

  3. @frank


    Wow! What a photo.
    I suggest a photo contest for those of you going on the Keepers’ Tour. Best attempt to emulate this photo.. you may swap out the Coca-cola for beer.

    We’ve already discussed doing a Quickstep photo, except with Cobblestones.

    Send a copy to the PR folk at Quick Step, WTF were they thinking? I fail to believe they’ve not heard the term ‘Pillow Biter’.

  4. @Nate

    Merckx bless LeMond and his ilk, like the Badger, for being GC men who’d still go out and shatter themselves at Paris-Roubaix in April.

    A great quote I came across along those lines from an impeccable source:

    Anquetil stated “In Bobet’s eyes there were no little races or unimportant victories. Every race mattered and he wanted to give his everything to his public. Bobet knew only one way of racing and that was to race to win, whatever the sacrifices demanded.”

  5. @sthilzy

    was that when he was suckerpunched in the liver during the Tour de France?

    and about the nickname LeMan: there was a flandrien whose real name was Leman, Eric…

  6. @Louutah

    ” It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better,
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who’s face is marred by dust and sweat and blood”
    Teddy Roosevelt.

    Beautiful. So common – and not just in Sport. Some people simply can’t resist the urge to point out the mistakes of those who take chances. Their quickness to judge tends to be inversely proportional to how likely they themselves are to take a risk.

    Humans are fascinating. Great quote!!


    I have even spent a night in a hotel with a stranger I met on the interweb…

    A night I’ll never forget. And something that’s been happening more and more, I might add.

  7. @ChrisO

    @roche kelly

    Rockin on RockShox!

    I’m sure I’ve seen this photo before and it’s been discussed here but I’ve only just noticed the bars.
    What’s the deal with the drop extensions coming in like that – I can’t imagine how you would actually use them or what they add, apart from an extra few grams.


    Their awesomeness was outmatched only by their flexiness. LeMond later rode a set with a connector and stabilizers. (Look closely at the pic – LeMond is in the bunch behind Pharmy and you can see the sticks going from the bars to the fork.)

    They were for tucking in low and aero, and were road-race legal at the time. I had a set, with the same tape and with the Scott stickers. I looked and felt like I was the proper business.

  8. @roche kelly

    This photo is the whole package of ‘good stuff’ Chris! Scott bars I don’t/ didn’t get either, maybe aero tuck pre Cinelli Spinachi’s? Only other reason apart from that is being a good place to put the SCOTT sticker so it was photographed.
    Steel framed bike Columbus tubing with LeMond stickers & paint job. Giro Air Attack Helmet,Time Equipe pedals, Campy Record C gruppo & rims , steel TA bottle cages,old school Oakley’s. The shoes were probably custom made as Greg was supposed to have different sized feet. The shoe stickers say Brancale, but when you saw his shoes up close looked like they were custom & not like anything on sale back then. 3rd rider back in the photo ( light green Tulip top) is Adri Van der Poel, this guy was a neat classics rider in the 80″²s & 90″²s

    YES YES YES!! There is something about that era that I just love so Merckxdamn much.


    Give him a couple of years… But Sagan? Geraint Thomas? I’m secretly hoping there’ll be a renaissance in pros trying to do more, and becoming less specialised… I remember hearing The Prophet speak (at the Maglia Rosa / Rouleur dinner last year) where he talked about how he managed his weight through the year to optimise his performance… adding +2kg for cobbled classics (of muscle), then -4kg (i.e. 2kg less than ‘normal weight) for Grand Tours so could fly in the mountains and take the distances… Very matter of fact, but Inspiring stuff… For him, cycling was his office, and you went to work all year round

    Top drawer, Roadie! I hadn’t heard that – amazing. Perhaps people are so weight obsessed now that they can’t manage that kind of drop?

    Another interesting bit I read somewhere was him describing his geometry, which is known for being super stable. He was completely focussed on maximizing his advantage, so he knew he’d always get out-climbed by les grimeur and so his geometry was all about being able to out-descend. Stable at high speed so he could kamakazi down the mountain after the mountain goats. Worked out well for him on several occasions.

  9. Little late to the party, but this photo speaks to me of utter satisfaction and accomplishment. Exhaustion, yes, but moreso I see LeMan saying to himself “that was badass”.

    Who hasn’t completely shelled themselves on an especially tough ride and felt a feeling of satisfaction in the job they had just done?

  10. We are all human.

  11. Ottavio: Casual, deliberate, wrecked;

  12. @Pedale.Forchetta

    We are all human.

    “I’ve always tried to be an honest sportsman.” Doping has been here a long time, but in those days, no drug could turn a mule into a thoroughbred like they do now.

    Not a handsome fellow, was he?

  13. @JC Belgium
    Yes, although it was the kidney he was punched in.

    And good point about Eric Leman! He had some pretty good palmares, including three Ronde van Vlaanderen…

  14. @frank My bad, I just wanted to point out that even Eddy Mercx can cry…

  15. …Merckx…

  16. There is something amazing about the preternatural ability to push yourself waaaaaaay past any point of normal physical exertion, so when you are done, it feels your whole existence is hanging by a very tenuous thread. It hurts, but there is that rush of going past the edge and making back. That picture is powerful. Looking at the picture of complete and utter exhaustion, I almost feel exhausted myself.

  17. @silkrider
    Feels good just looking at it.

  18. And yet how about this for Rule V? Panache and reserves in spades. Chapeau!

  19. @frank

    @The Oracle

    Does anyone else think he looks like Ryan Gosling in that picture?

    No. If Ryan Gosling* underwent a full-body Rule #5 cleanse and a rigorously studied “Not Being a Pussy, A Beginners Guide” and then learned to ride a bike and then became a Pro who revolutionized the sport and then rode Paris-Roubaix and sat in the shower like a wet fucking sock, then maybe Ryan Gosling would look like Greg LeMond.
    *I actually like Ryan Gosling, but lets not mix apples and hardmen.

    Just to clarify, I was in no way suggesting a comparison of anything other than facial features.

  20. This thread is just further proof, cycling photos simply look better in black & white.

  21. @frank Do you credit these photos somewhere? Went looking elsewhere for this one, and can’t find it.

  22. Fantastic pic of LeMonster.

    At this point of the year, I resemble this after a slow mountain bike ride. It’s been a lazy winter…

  23. @DerHoggz

    Basically a more tucked in aero position, I think there is some video of him descending on them.

    While lookiong for example pics I found this, completely OT, but RDV doing some ‘cross.

    Of late, RDV has been my training oppenent in my head – I still get dropped like a red-headed step-child on the Muur by him…

  24. @scaler911

    Ottavio: Casual, deliberate, wrecked;

    Ottavio to be portrayed by Willem Dafoe.

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