Anatomy Of A Photo: The Last Chance Saloon

Bicycle racing is a strange beast. Some races are over before they’re even a third completed, any mystery of a victor negated by methodical displays of team riding and tactical strangulation of opponents. Other races are so hard to pick that to even attempt to is committing VSP suicide; yet still we pick. For three weeks out of the year, racing in France can be pretty predictable, yet for one day of the year it’s the most exciting time on the calendar. We don’t know who’s going to win that race until the end. Sure there are favorites, but those favorites can’t just sit there and control proceedings for six hours, let alone for three weeks. That’s the beauty of Spring Classic racing.

This hill, if you can call it a hill, more like a false flat, a little ramp, a gentle bump, is likely the final opportunity for he not wanting to contest a sprint, to get away and solo in, if any previous attacks on the cobbles haven’t stuck… this is the puncheur’s, the rouleur’s, last chance saloon. The better sprinter will wait until the very last moment to pounce upon his weakened prey, like a dentist on the savannah.

I don’t know who these two 80s studs are, actually, but I would hazard a guess that Monsieur Yellow is probably the lesser sprinter, especially if the knotted guns of M 101 are any indicator. Maybe the attack stuck, and M Yellow got to cruise to the line without stress, and blew kisses to the adoring masses, soaking it all in. Maybe 101 hung on for grim life on the last kilometres of the nondescript, straight road and came around late, winning by millimetres.

I really don’t know. And that’s how I like my racing.

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64 Replies to “Anatomy Of A Photo: The Last Chance Saloon”

  1. @Jason Wright

    I disagree with @Brendon O’Donoghue being declared correct.  It is Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert (likely from the ’88 Ronde).

    Front rider: The orange bit on the bottom of the jersey is distinct to the TVM jersey. The KAS one was all yellow with blue sidebands. The bike color of the front rider is also a problem. KAS were using gold Vitus aluminum frames in 1988. It looks like the blue-white steel Zullo’s of TVM to me.

    As for the rear rider, other photos of Paris-Roubaix in 1988 show Demol wearing Adidas shoes and not Sidi’s. Planckaert wore Sidis. Plankaert also used toe clips and straps (seen in the photo) and Demol likely used the Adidas system of the time.

    Proof positive in the photos

    ’88 Ronde – Anderson & Planckaert

    http://www.philanderson.com.au/wp-content/files/2010/03/Ronde-V-Flanders-90.jpg

    ’88 Paris -Roubaix – Wegmuller & Demol

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/interviews/demol/demol-roubaix2.jpg

    Of course it’s Planckaert/Anderson. For the most obvious reason: Eddy P was a leader, so he wears #101. Dirk DeMol was a worker, and would never wear 101.

    By the way, has everyone been to Bruges?…….like a fuckin’ fairytale.

  2. @brett

    @Teocalli

    @brett

    @fignons barber

    By the way, has everyone been to Bruges?…….like a fuckin’ fairytale.

    It’s a shithole.

    Did you go to the same Bruges as I did?

    Yes. Did you watch the same movie I did?

    Whatever you do, don’t go up to the clock tower. It’s rubbish. Besides you can see the of view of down there from down there.

  3. @brett

    @Teocalli

    @brett

    @fignons barber

    By the way, has everyone been to Bruges?…….like a fuckin’ fairytale.

    It’s a shithole.

    Did you go to the same Bruges as I did?

    Yes. Did you watch the same movie I did?

    Ah that’s probably where I’m going wrong.

    @frank I’ve been up Veere bell tower.  Considering you start pretty much below sea level it’s a fair old climb up and quite a view from the top.

  4. @frank

    @brett

    @Teocalli

    @brett

    @fignons barber

    By the way, has everyone been to Bruges?…….like a fuckin’ fairytale.

    It’s a shithole.

    Did you go to the same Bruges as I did?

    Yes. Did you watch the same movie I did?

    Whatever you do, don’t go up to the clock tower. It’s rubbish. Besides you can see the of view of down there from down there.

    What exactly are you trying to say?

  5. @Mikael Liddy

    @Owen

    @Ron

    Their goddamn shiny black shorts make me dream of riding tomorrow ahead of the race…so much classier than the Skittles colors of today’s kits. I’m thinking of you, Astana.

    Better than Lotto-Jumbo kit this year. I’m sort of amazed ASO let them start in yellow kits. The Lotto kit from a couple years ago was boss, and now this.

    Lotto-Jumbo is the new name for Rabobank/Blanco/Belkin, so they don’t necessarily have the best form when it comes to kit design.

    I’d dare say the team you’re referring to is Lotto Belisol, which is now Lotto Soudal & still have a pretty sweet kit, with rule compliant black shorts.

    You’re exactly right. Thanks. The image that sticks in my head is Adam Hansen getting a beer handup and not giving two shits.

  6. One of the (many) things I love about this photo is the shadows. They are long and creeping inexorably across the road. The sun is getting ever closer to the horizon and that tells us it’s late afternoon and that the end of the day and the race is nigh.The angles of the riders’ bodies and the definition of their muscles means they are running on fumes, their engines fuelled only by a desire to win. An incline that would normally pass by without effort is now a veritable mountain, stressing every sinew to the maximum as both riders know they have a 50-50 chance of claiming a Monument.

    Great stuff!

  7. @Harminator

    Nice try @engine. Speaking shit with authority works sometimes.

    Just a thought…

    “Keepers’ Tourette’s” – the tendency to cuss like a sailor whilst on KT.

    Is that in the Lex? Damn well should be,

  8. @Jason Wright

    I disagree with @Brendon O’Donoghue being declared correct.  It is Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert (likely from the ’88 Ronde).

    Front rider: The orange bit on the bottom of the jersey is distinct to the TVM jersey. The KAS one was all yellow with blue sidebands. The bike color of the front rider is also a problem. KAS were using gold Vitus aluminum frames in 1988. It looks like the blue-white steel Zullo’s of TVM to me.

    As for the rear rider, other photos of Paris-Roubaix in 1988 show Demol wearing Adidas shoes and not Sidi’s. Planckaert wore Sidis. Plankaert also used toe clips and straps (seen in the photo) and Demol likely used the Adidas system of the time.

    Proof positive in the photos

    ’88 Ronde – Anderson & Planckaert

    http://www.philanderson.com.au/wp-content/files/2010/03/Ronde-V-Flanders-90.jpg

    ’88 Paris -Roubaix – Wegmuller & Demol

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/interviews/demol/demol-roubaix2.jpg

    Outstanding!

  9. @Brendan O’Donoghue

    @brett

    Okay, I admit defeat, it was Anderson and Plankaert in the ’88 Ronde. But, in fairness, I went purely from memory and did not rely upon video evidence. I am right about the frites carton, though. Also, Phil Anderson, in this video, proves one should never get caught in front of a fat Belgian 300 meters from the finish line.

    Fuck me, what I’d give to be that “fat”

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