Anatomy of a Photo: It’s All About the Shoes

Anatomy of a Photo: It’s All About the Shoes

by / / 45 posts

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: the shoes say an awful lot about the rider. More than they’d like them to in retrospect, I’m guessing. Here we have the Prophet, looking mighty dapper, congratulating the unexpected victor in the form of Charley Mottet in the Grand Prix of his own name.

A first glance at the photo reveals a few gems: we witness the first hints of the death of the Cycling Cap at the hands of one of the worst examples of a “baseball cap” in existence. We also have a Kwantum rider whom I suspect had a time of it getting comfortable on his TT bike with that rod shoved up his ass. Whatever works, although that’s more Rule #5 than I’m equipped to deal with in a productive way. The rider who got third, whom I’m assuming is Italian based on his kit and impeccable style, is the only magnificent example of a cyclist in the photo. Aside from Merckx, obviously.

And the shoes. Again I point to the Italian with my “that’s how you do it” finger, and give a brisk wag of the “oh no you di-int” thumb at the other two. Loafers for Kwantum and a pair of what-the-fucks for Chuck. Not good.

 

// Anatomy of a Photo

  1. At least the shoes and cap match! In a disengaging, French, road-chique way. A slight homage to Rule #17 perhaps?

  2. @frank

    Your never worn out desire to debunk the most unknown minutiae of the PRO Peloton will never cease to amaze me : … Now, that’s dedication!

  3. Italians just know what they are doing when it comes to cycling, clothes, cars, art, food etc.

  4. @Beppe

    You forgot coffee. Er I mean espresso.

  5. I do not remember much of the 1986 since I was making the military service.
    Kwantum is the grand-grandfather of the Team Rabobank, the Santini Cierre rider is the Danish Jesper Worre, who rode always for Italian team.
    Mottet was the best contender of the Giro d’Italia 1990, the year that Gianni Bugno wore the pink jersey from the first stage to the last.

  6. Ah!
    And Merckx looks great
    as always!

  7. ‘Prophet’ doesn’t have a Lexi entry? Too obvious to require one?

  8. @Beppe, @mcsqueak

    Italians just know what they are doing when it comes to cycling, clothes, cars, art, food etc.

    @Beppe
    You forgot coffee. Er I mean espresso.

    …and wine, relaxing, living, throwing a classy hissy fit, wacking people…they pretty much have it covered on all angles.

  9. @Pedale.Forchetta

    I do not remember much of the 1986 since I was making the military service.
    Kwantum is the grand-grandfather of the Team Rabobank, the Santini Cierre rider is the Danish Jesper Worre, who rode always for Italian team.
    Mottet was the best contender of the Giro d’Italia 1990, the year that Gianni Bugno wore the pink jersey from the first stage to the last.

    Mottet was one of my favorites for ever. I spent about three years riding like him dropping my shoulders straight down to the bars with every stroke. My brother called him Chuck Flop because of that. Didn’t matter to me, he was my hero, thus I was going to imitate him 100%.

    I was very happy when gave up on the G.C. and started riding for stage wins – it was great seeing him at the front more often. One of my favorites ever. Photos of him online are few and far between. I’ll have to collect more scans out of books. This effort smells like Oli already!

  10. @G’phant

    ‘Prophet’ doesn’t have a Lexi entry? Too obvious to require one?

    Uh, it does now!

  11. I hope you mean that it smells great!

  12. Italian (team) style with a Velominati name-check in the comments over at BRR.

  13. @frank

    @Beppe, @mcsqueak

    Italians just know what they are doing when it comes to cycling, clothes, cars, art, food etc.

    @Beppe
    You forgot coffee. Er I mean espresso.

    …and wine, relaxing, living, throwing a classy hissy fit, wacking people…they pretty much have it covered on all angles.

    Spent 6 months in Sicily last year. Let’s just say I have a different take on it. And the beer is rubish. But they got cycling on lock.

  14. I think we need a rule on cycling caps on the podium. If I ever start racing it’s strictly cycling caps for me.

  15. @frank

    Mottet was one of my favorites for ever. I spent about three years riding like him dropping my shoulders straight down to the bars with every stroke. My brother called him Chuck Flop because of that. Didn’t matter to me, he was my hero, thus I was going to imitate him 100%.

    +1 to that.

    He was my hero about that time as well. The absolute flat back and the power that emanates from the photos I would find in Winning magazine were the images that drove me to push harder in my training and racing.

  16. @mouse
    That picture is pure, 100%, unadulterated class, right there. A+1. Winning Mag was a work of art. The large format, the pictures…amazing. Kick’s Velosnooze’s ass. Shame it didn’t last. Gianni lent me his Winning books, though, which is where the main pic was pinched from. Awesome stuff.

  17. Nice little post frank.

    Trying to figure out if the Prophet is smiling for the photo or at Mottet’s get up or both? He does seem to be eyeballing the cap.

    Worre – “You’re not fucking serious are you? Those white WTF’s and that cap? Come on….”

    @mouse
    great photo as well

  18. @RedRanger
    You’ll find extensive discussion of this topic in the archives.

  19. @RedRanger

    Yeah there has been discussion about that in the past. Not only is a BASEBALL cap horribly out of place, nothing looks worse than a pan-flat bill. Ugh.

  20. @Pedale.Forchetta – 2nd Place to Nico Emonds (BEL). Got to love that Colnago!

  21. @Markp

    Pictured at the team hacienda, in Morrocco ?

  22. That bike is beautiful

  23. Chuck’s hat brim surely must have one of those round silver stickers on it somewhere. You know, like the ones all the “gangstas” have.

  24. I’m intrigued by the shiny pair of black dress shoes that appear to be sharing the podium with Chuck’s white pleather clogs. Who do the lurking black shoes belong to, and why is he there?

  25. Wow, what the fuck are the What the Fucks Chuck has on? They look like those rubber gardening shoes women wear.

    Loafers?!

    I do like all three jerseys. I do like that rad trophy with the Merckx symbol. The hat? Chuck seems to be ahead of the curve. Baseball is shitty enough as it is, but now you have all these fat dudes with flat-brimmed hats in baggy pajama pants and no socks or stirrups showing, all of which takes the sport to a new low.

    Marko – I’m sure it does have a sticker. What’s up with the leaving the sticker on PLUS tucking your ears into the hat? Jeez, that’s a really stupid “style”.

    And wow some more, I didn’t realize that was Merckx at first glance. Shame on me.

  26. Fignon + Chuck:
    Jeez, the guns on display, plus the Gleaming Campagnolo gruppos, plus the bar tape, and those low shoulders make that one awesome photo!

  27. Ron:
    And wow some more, I didn’t realize that was Merckx at first glance. Shame on me.

    As penance, hill repeats for you until you accumulate 5 mm Belgian Toothpaste.

  28. @Monty Stubble

    I’m intrigued by the shiny pair of black dress shoes that appear to be sharing the podium with Chuck’s white pleather clogs. Who do the lurking black shoes belong to, and why is he there?

    Indeed. I have to assume it’s Bernard Hinault, carefully evaluating whether the white pleather loafers make Mottet worthy of being pushed off the podium.

    You can see here that the attire of the hidden mystery man even matches Hinault’s favorite podium-pushing getup.

    Blazer? Check. Shiny loafters? Check. I think we have our answer.

  29. Agree about the bad baseball cap – not a good look all

    Looking at various other caps, the golf caps would make bad cycling caps too

    But if you just happen to be into golf, as well as cycling, I’ve a smart Titleist cap on Ebay signed last month by Rory McIlroy (he’s a local guy here who went to my kids’ school). In a drunken moment of alpha male dinner table outbid your mate sport, at the school fundraiser auction last week, I swung my arm at the wrong moment and ended up obliged to the tune of £100 and am the owner of said cap – on Ebay the following morning in an attempt to re-coup my losses – I see he is leading the US Open by 6 shots, having shot the US Open opening 36 hole record.

    Might be worth a bit more if he keeps this up….

    Golf…… yawn

  30. @Dr C
    I’m gonna guess you won’t get much love for golf around here but you might have a winner depending what happens on Sunday.

    I’m just glad to see a bunch of young guys kicking the asses of the boring old farts.

  31. @RedRanger

    I’m just glad to see a bunch of young guys kicking the asses of the boring old farts.

    Like Sagan hosing Thor et al, again, at the TdS …

  32. @G’phant
    No shit. The guy wins sprints and mountain stages. He better be fucking clean.

  33. @G’phant
    I am a huge fan of that. Not a Thor fan here

  34. And I am a Sagan fan.

  35. @Marko, @G’phant, @RedRanger

    @G’phant
    No shit. The guy wins sprints and mountain stages. He better be fucking clean.

    It doesn’t seem to me he wins “sprints” or “mountain stages” so much as it seems like he’s fast in a really tough finish. Gotta love that. Like Cunego used to be.

  36. @frank
    Don’t jinx him.

  37. @Ron

    Fignon + Chuck:
    Jeez, the guns on display, plus the Gleaming Campagnolo gruppos, plus the bar tape, and those low shoulders make that one awesome photo!

    Fignon is rockin’ the connoisseur’s tape, Benotto cello tape. Classy stuff, and – since that photo was taken on or around Bastille day of the ’89 Tour – his bars were wrapped in three sections, the lower red, the middle white, and the top blue.

    Incidentally, Fignon is riding Campa, but Mottet was on the Mavic SSC group, which holds the distinction of having the most beautiful, if prone to breaking, crank ever made.

  38. beautiful frank!

    we all just hope to learn, learn how to dress by the italian..and how not to by chuckles

  39. Thanks, Frank. Ah, one Mavic one Campagnolo gruppo, I see. Great photo of Fignon. What a sweet ride he’s aboard there. Love how clean his drivetrain is, shows off the silvery goodness well. Silver gruppos, much sexier than black.

    Um, so is that Fignon’s V-Meter mounted to his fork?

    And can someone fill me in on the backstory – I know the Badger had shoved someone off the podium, but I don’t know why. What did the FDJ guy do, or was it just because he was in white bibs?

  40. @frank

    @Marko, @G’phant, @RedRanger

    @G’phant
    No shit. The guy wins sprints and mountain stages. He better be fucking clean.

    It doesn’t seem to me he wins “sprints” or “mountain stages” so much as it seems like he’s fast in a really tough finish. Gotta love that. Like Cunego used to be.

    For sure. My “sprints” and “mountain stages” comment was in the vein of how the stages were labeled at the TdS. Sagan really seems to be a born Rouleur, big engine capable of hauling his frame just about anywhere to get the job done. Probably won’t be winning any mountain top finishes but how awesome is it to see a rider mixing it up in a variety of ways. Makes me wonder what guys like Thor, Jens, and the rest of the Peloton are saying about him.

    This is where the doubt I hate about cycling enters. Is this guy for real? Is he juiced? Will he hang on? Is he a COTHO waiting to spring eternal? Seems we could be talking about this dude for years to come. So promising.

  41. @Marko
    I think what Jens is saying might be different than what Thor is saying. Sagan is what 21?

  42. @Ron

    And can someone fill me in on the backstory – I know the Badger had shoved someone off the podium, but I don’t know why. What did the FDJ guy do, or was it just because he was in white bibs?

    Tour de France 2009 14th stage Colmar РBesan̤on, as a result of a bet amongst mates the guy dressed in full Fran̤aise des Jeux kit and strode to the top step of the podium. Hinault, as the manager of podium ceremonies at the TdeF had no hesitation in shoving the uninvited guest off the podium stage. Stage was won by Serguei Ivanov of Katusha.

  43. @Markp
    I wonder if that poor idiot knew Hinault was in charge? I wouldn’t fuck with anything run by the Badger. He’s lucky all that happened was a little shove off the podium…

  44. Ha, random article pop up. Completely forgot how bad Mottet’s shoes are!

    Hmm, shoes, eh. Very keen on the fi'zi:k shoes after all these recent reports. Wouldn’t mind picking up a pair tomorrow in the intermediate stage…

  45. “Because nothing says I’m a penny pinching hardman like winning La Doyenne with shoes held snug with a liberal application of duct tape”

     

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