This qualifies.

This qualifies.

Anatomy of a Photo: Full Gas

by / / 63 posts

We are just about done with our next book, The Hardmen. At its core is the question: how hard is hard enough when it comes to effort.

None of us really know the answer, but when you can’t stand up after winning a Tour de France stage, even with the help of several adoring fans and staff members, you got pretty close.

Chapeau, monsieur Millar.

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. @davidlhill

    Those are the Classic bibs you have on, right? I have a set of that kit from prior.

    I ordered the new VLVV bibs last December but I think that there has been a hang up with the VLVV kit.

    Not sure anyone but Frahnk has the VLVV kit (at least I know that I do not have it!)

  2. @davidlhill

    Fucking amazing shoes, by the way.

    I was looking at those online the other day and was wondering if they would go well with modern kit and your post proves that they do!

  3. @Buck Rogers

    @davidlhill

    Fucking amazing shoes, by the way.

    I was looking at those online the other day and was wondering if they would go well with modern kit and your post proves that they do!

    I love those shoes (Quoc Phan). That pic was taken on day 1 of this year’s TdF, and I knew there would be a fair amount of walking off the bike. Hence I used those ones, and clips, instead of clipless.

    Btw – I’ve met a few guys who bought the black version. They all regret not buying them in tan.

  4. Damn, only seen photos of that Quintini situation. He looks like he’s about to die. And his feet look far too big for his body. Talk about shaped like a frog, he almost looks chubby with his teeny legs and huge abdomen/lungs.

  5. @Ron

    Did he become Italian since I last looked?

  6. I listened to Graeme Obree talk to a group of us on Tuesday. 2 things really stuck out that illustrate his mindset when training or going for a main event.

    When he failed to get the outright world hour record that first time he was not content with the sea level record so he went again. His mindset was that we was willing to die to give his all. He reckoned that in order to go as hard as you can you must be willing to blow the engine. He says he was never the best rider, he was just willing to dig deeper than the other guy.

    When training and welded to his turbo set up he said he would go as hard as he could for 18 minutes. The difference and again being willing to blow the engine, was being able to give absolutely everything humanely possible in that last 2 minutes to 20. It wasn’t the hard 18 minutes that made the difference it was the final 2 beyond that.

    A Legend of a Hardman, I hope he’s in your next book @frank. If not, he should be.

  7. Also for consideration…..Sir Chris Hoy used to do efforts so hard on his trainer…he’d collapse on a mat next to it right after the effort is over. Think about that next time you are suffering on a trainer….

  8. @Buck Rogers

    @Haldy

    I”m going to suggest when they have to give you oxygen and cart you off in an ambulance..you went hard enough…

    First thing that I thought of when I saw the subject matter. Just look at the ashen skin tone and the 1,000 kilometer stare. Roche is fucking COOKED here.

    AND he still managed to be witty when he was asked if he was ok: “yes, but I am not ready for a woman straight away.”

  9. @JohnB

    I listened to Graeme Obree talk to a group of us on Tuesday. 2 things really stuck out that illustrate his mindset when training or going for a main event.

    When he failed to get the outright world hour record that first time he was not content with the sea level record so he went again. His mindset was that we was willing to die to give his all. He reckoned that in order to go as hard as you can you must be willing to blow the engine. He says he was never the best rider, he was just willing to dig deeper than the other guy.

    When training and welded to his turbo set up he said he would go as hard as he could for 18 minutes. The difference and again being willing to blow the engine, was being able to give absolutely everything humanely possible in that last 2 minutes to 20. It wasn’t the hard 18 minutes that made the difference it was the final 2 beyond that.

    A Legend of a Hardman, I hope he’s in your next book @frank. If not, he should be.

    I raced against Graeme regularly in the 80s. Toughest rider there ever was – and truly one of the nicest guys. Always had a kind word for his competitors. A legend in his own time.

    What was the occasion you met him at?

  10. @Teocalli

    Haha!

  11. one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

  12. @wiscot

    Graeme was keynote speaker at day 2 of the grandly titled International Cyclefit Symposium in Manchester. The theme was The Intelligence of Fit.

    It was a truly international bunch, some giants of bike fitting there. I think they see themselves as the Keepers of Bikefit.

  13. @Haldy

    Also for consideration…..Sir Chris Hoy used to do efforts so hard on his trainer…he’d collapse on a mat next to it right after the effAort is over. Think about that next time you are suffering on a trainer….

    Alas, next to my turbo there’s the snow thrower or another couple of bikes and skis. I cannot afford the luxury of dropping off the trainer and take a nap.

  14. @KogaLover

    @Haldy

    Also for consideration…..Sir Chris Hoy used to do efforts so hard on his trainer…he’d collapse on a mat next to it right after the effAort is over. Think about that next time you are suffering on a trainer….

    Alas, next to my turbo there’s the snow thrower or another couple of bikes and skis. I cannot afford the luxury of dropping off the trainer and take a nap.

    That’s a great pic. I did a 2×8 minute FTP test on Wednesday, and was close to collapse at the end of the 2nd effort. But the easiest thing is to slump on the bars and spin your legs in some manner until you’re ready to not die.

    I like to think I can hurt myself pretty well but I can’t imagine the effort required to actually collapse like Millar in the lead picture.

  15. @Cary

    one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    they will, but it will be eons before the product arrives…

  16. @Cary

    one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    Available on Amazon on pre-order The Hardmen

  17. @KogaLover

    @Cary

    one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    Available on Amazon on pre-order The Hardmen

    Lunch is June/July according to the session in London.

  18. Lunch? Crikey that’s a long wait………Launch.

  19. @KogaLover

    @Cary

    one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    Available on Amazon on pre-order The Hardmen

    That’s not the cover!! And it’s only the kindle version…

  20. anybody that wishes to emulate Roche, Millar or Quintana doesn’t need to go climbing any mountains, or set off on a 40k TT into the teeth of a North Sea gale. all that is necessary is to attempt to ride a kilo like it’s 200m, or do tabata intervals at a similar pace. if you do it right, you’ll wish you were dead in the time it takes for a TV commercial break.

  21. @frank

    @KogaLover

    @Cary

    one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    Available on Amazon on pre-order The Hardmen

    That’s not the cover!! And it’s only the kindle version…

    regardless, it’s gonna be cool to read. i was stoked to see Van Hooydonk in the description. there are just so many cyclists from that era that really have faded into semi-obscurity. at least, in the US.

  22. semi off topic, but tangentially relevant is the subject of track riders. they don’t necessarily get the same credit for being “hard” as roadies do, and they’re nowhere near as famous, but guys like Patrick Sercu, Urs Freuler, Etienne DeWilde are right alongside Sean Kelly, to me. to race six days for a career is not for the faint of heart.

  23. @JohnB

    A Legend of a Hardman, I hope he’s in your next book @frank. If not, he should be.

    ooops!

  24. @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

  25. @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    hell yes. there seems to be a sort of six day renaissance going on in terms of coverage, thanks to YouTube. it is FANTASTIC to me. one of the prized possessions of my 20s was a Famous Cycling Videos VHS tape of the 1993 track worlds. Huebner, Niewand, Obree, Boardman, DeWilde, etc. I think Florian Rousseau won the kilo that year too. i mean, they even had a stayer race for chrissakes. that was the coolest thing ever.

    the Ghent track is insanely small. do you remember the Vandedrome “portable” velodrome? the turns were near-vertical.

  26. @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    after a recent perusal of YouTube, i do not see any footage of Wiggins and Cav at Gent. there are a few clips of them winning the Madison at the 2015 Revolution 6, and a couple of Cav winning at Gent with Iljo Keisse in 2014. if you find any more links, please post em.

    also, i looked up the Gent Velodrome, cuz i HAD to know. it’s only 167m long. pretty rad.

  27. Has anybody here read “Push Yourself Just A Little Bit More” by Johnny Green? There’s a bit in there where he describes watching Jean Patrick Nazon cross the line after a TDF time trial. Apparently JPN had so little left in the tank that he collapsed to the floor and lost control of his bodily functions, ending up lying in a pool of his own body fluids.

  28. @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    Come and try the one at Calshot over here. I believe it is the second smallest in the world. You actually feel compression on the banking.

  29. @Teocalli

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    Come and try the one at Calshot over here. I believe it is the second smallest in the world. You actually feel compression on the banking.

    What’s on my list it to sit in the stands at Gent, drink some Belgian ales and watch a shietload of racing on that track. Riding it would be fun too but I don’t think I would get access.

  30. @Gianni

    @Teocalli

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    Come and try the one at Calshot over here. I believe it is the second smallest in the world. You actually feel compression on the banking.

    What’s on my list it to sit in the stands at Gent, drink some Belgian ales and watch a shietload of racing on that track. Riding it would be fun too but I don’t think I would get access.

    a friend of mine and myself were just talking about this two weeks ago. this is totally doable, isn’t it? man i would be like a little kid. even moreso than usual. haha

  31. @Teocalli

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    Come and try the one at Calshot over here. I believe it is the second smallest in the world. You actually feel compression on the banking.

    Felt that at Newport last night. I was apparently doing about 60kph at the time though. I actually said ‘wooooow!’ The coach didn’t tell me off for being an infant, he said ‘yes, it’s great isn’t it?!’

  32. @Cary

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    after a recent perusal of YouTube, i do not see any footage of Wiggins and Cav at Gent. there are a few clips of them winning the Madison at the 2015 Revolution 6, and a couple of Cav winning at Gent with Iljo Keisse in 2014. if you find any more links, please post em.

    also, i looked up the Gent Velodrome, cuz i HAD to know. it’s only 167m long. pretty rad.

    Just saw the most insane derny race at Ghent. The final 6 or 7 laps were ridden three abreast. Keisse is absolutely smashing it.

  33. @DVMR

    @Cary

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    after a recent perusal of YouTube, i do not see any footage of Wiggins and Cav at Gent. there are a few clips of them winning the Madison at the 2015 Revolution 6, and a couple of Cav winning at Gent with Iljo Keisse in 2014. if you find any more links, please post em.

    also, i looked up the Gent Velodrome, cuz i HAD to know. it’s only 167m long. pretty rad.

    Just saw the most insane derny race at Ghent. The final 6 or 7 laps were ridden three abreast. Keisse is absolutely smashing it.

    And the following Madison was absolutely mental. 3 teams in the hunt, and they all managed to take 10 laps in an hour. Except wiggo and cav managed to get one more right at the end to take the overall.

  34. @DVMR

    @Cary

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    after a recent perusal of YouTube, i do not see any footage of Wiggins and Cav at Gent. there are a few clips of them winning the Madison at the 2015 Revolution 6, and a couple of Cav winning at Gent with Iljo Keisse in 2014. if you find any more links, please post em.

    also, i looked up the Gent Velodrome, cuz i HAD to know. it’s only 167m long. pretty rad.

    Just saw the most insane derny race at Ghent. The final 6 or 7 laps were ridden three abreast. Keisse is absolutely smashing it.

    derny racing is the coolest thing ever. those guys are gods of sport.

  35. @Cary

    Just got back from two days there with my son. Absolutely superb event. Seriously, seriously old school. Like a tiny music festival … of bike racing. Lovely city too.

    Very emotional seeing Brad and Cav racing in the champs jerseys. Only slightly marred by Brad’s heinous bars.

  36. this thread has me researching a vacation to Belgium next year. it is possible to see the Ghent six, and catch the Duinencross @ Koksijde in the same week. i’m not getting any younger. time to make it happen!

  37. @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

  38. @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    I saw it on Eurosport only yesterday. Missed the preceeding 5 days but keen to keep tabs on the Amsterdam six early December. Too much adverts on the track though!

  39. @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    i checked out the Jaegher site. those rides look nice, but for that kinda coin i’d buy two Ritchey Road Logics.

  40. @Cary

    @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    i checked out the Jaegher site. those rides look nice, but for that kinda coin i’d buy two Ritchey Road Logics.

    You’re not really helping my cause. I’m trying to justify a trip to Belgium. Don’t tell the Mrs. that I could get something for half the cost and pick it up locally.

  41. @KogaLover

    @Gianni

    @Cary

    Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    I saw it on Eurosport only yesterday. Missed the preceeding 5 days but keen to keep tabs on the Amsterdam six early December. Too much adverts on the track though!

    According to Carlton Kirby Eurosport weren’t able to cover the first five days because the organisers didn’t set up the production facilities or something like that….

  42. @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    i’ve never seen a Euro race, road, track, or cross. the thing about track and cross races is that it seems like you get to see more of the race. i don’t know about sitting in a field, waiting to watch Tom Boonen pass at 55kph, then go home, although maybe i can understand sitting in the velodrome for hours, waiting to see the winner. am i missing something? i know there’s a lot of people here that have seen a LOT of live racing. looking for some input, please.

  43. @Cary

    @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    i’ve never seen a Euro race, road, track, or cross. the thing about track and cross races is that it seems like you get to see more of the race. i don’t know about sitting in a field, waiting to watch Tom Boonen pass at 55kph, then go home, although maybe i can understand sitting in the velodrome for hours, waiting to see the winner. am i missing something? i know there’s a lot of people here that have seen a LOT of live racing. looking for some input, please.

    So much more to a 6 day than just the racing, it’s basically a boozed up nightclub that happens to involve some bikes going around at some point…

  44. I too have just got back from watching the Saturday night session at Ghent with my son. Absolutely fantastic atmosphere. And I second the Derny race as being one of the best. Watching Cav win one of them by a hairs breadth after spending 4 or 5 laps trying to pass – watching Keissel slap his derny rider as he was going too slow…….just superb.

    As for the nightclub atmosphere – well, I wasn’t expecting to see Cav lead the YMCA dance routine during one of the breaks. The racing finished at around 1.30. They didn’t close the bars at the track until 2.30.

    And as for Wiggins’ bars – what on earth is the idea behind them?

    We shall be returning next year.

  45. I meant to add this link:

    http://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/1881/a-day-at-the-ghent-six

  46. @davidlhill

    I too have just got back from watching the Saturday night session at Ghent with my son. Absolutely fantastic atmosphere. And I second the Derny race as being one of the best. Watching Cav win one of them by a hairs breadth after spending 4 or 5 laps trying to pass – watching Keissel slap his derny rider as he was going too slow…….just superb.

    As for the nightclub atmosphere – well, I wasn’t expecting to see Cav lead the YMCA dance routine during one of the breaks. The racing finished at around 1.30. They didn’t close the bars at the track until 2.30.

    And as for Wiggins’ bars – what on earth is the idea behind them?

    I think it lets him ride “on the hoods”. I’ve read stuff saying that riding on the hoods with forearms horizontal is actually more aero than being in the drops.

  47. @Cary

    @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    i’ve never seen a Euro race, road, track, or cross. the thing about track and cross races is that it seems like you get to see more of the race. i don’t know about sitting in a field, waiting to watch Tom Boonen pass at 55kph, then go home, although maybe i can understand sitting in the velodrome for hours, waiting to see the winner. am i missing something? i know there’s a lot of people here that have seen a LOT of live racing. looking for some input, please.

    I haven’t seen any Euro races in person, either. I’m in the US – growing up it was hard to find anything here, and TV coverage was almost non-existent. I might have been willing to sit in a field to see the peloton fly by, just because it would be better than nothing. I did see Davis Phinney dominate a crit here, but even that was hard to watch how the actual racing played out.

  48. @Cary

    @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    i’ve never seen a Euro race, road, track, or cross. the thing about track and cross races is that it seems like you get to see more of the race. i don’t know about sitting in a field, waiting to watch Tom Boonen pass at 55kph, then go home, although maybe i can understand sitting in the velodrome for hours, waiting to see the winner. am i missing something? i know there’s a lot of people here that have seen a LOT of live racing. looking for some input, please.

    For sure if you want to see the race unfold then TV is the best option, but it’s just a different experience.

    People follow the TDF around and enjoy camping or riding the route ahead of the race or sitting by the side of the road with a barbecue and beers. Then there’s the publicity caravan ahead of the race, and afterwards if it’s a summit finish the riders often come back down through the crowds. In a TT stage you can wander around the team bus areas and watch people warming up.

    Some of the spring classics with finishing circuits can be fun in the spectator areas where you can watch the race go past then go back to a big screen and pick up some frites on the way and be part of a big crowd cheering the finish. But you aren’t going to be able to give a succinct account of how events unfolded.

    What I would say about the racing in Europe is that as a cyclist you really get a lot more out of it if you also take the opportunity to ride the routes. Once you’ve been up the same climbs or over the same roads your appreciation for the riders and the races reaches a whole new level.

  49. My brush with the hard man David Miller. Scene 2011 TdF time trial in Grenoble. My 11 yr old son and I are flagging down riders for autographs on a gravel pathway after the finish. We’re having about a 10% success rate when Millar comes through. I yell and he locks his rear wheel skidding to a stop. He’s still breathing about 60 times per minute, can barely form a full sentence. I ask him how it went, he replies something like “bleeding painful mate”. He signs my son’s jersey and we let him go. I’m a fan forever!

    Hincapie comes through a little later, blows off my son to talk to some girl and makes him cry.

  50. @Spaghetti Legs

    My brush with the hard man David Miller. Scene 2011 TdF time trial in Grenoble. My 11 yr old son and I are flagging down riders for autographs on a gravel pathway after the finish. We’re having about a 10% success rate when Millar comes through. I yell and he locks his rear wheel skidding to a stop. He’s still breathing about 60 times per minute, can barely form a full sentence. I ask him how it went, he replies something like “bleeding painful mate”. He signs my son’s jersey and we let him go. I’m a fan forever!

    Hincapie comes through a little later, blows off my son to talk to some girl and makes him cry.

    Fuck! Perfect story and sounds absolutely like what I would expect.

    Super story. Thanks for sharing!

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