Anatomy of a Photo: Full Gas

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.

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66 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: Full Gas”

  1. @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!

  2. @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.

  3. @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.

  4. @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….

  5. @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.

  6. @Cary

    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.

    add Azizulhasni Awang to this list of track studs. his ride in heat #2 in the 2009 sprint finals was THE track ride of the DECADE, afaic.  the last track sprinters to combine such thorough tactical mastery with equally beastly ability were Lutz Heßlich and Koichi Nakano.

  7. @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…

  8. 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.

  9. @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.

  10. @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.

  11. @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.

  12. 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.

    1
  13. @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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