Author Archive | frank

There was a time when this is what Cycling looked like.

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s Liege-Bastogne Liege 2017

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This guy. This fucking Valverde guy. How can you make it look so easy? Dan Martin was right to look like a little bitch on the podium, because that’s exactly what Valvecap made of him: his little bitch. What kills me about him is he looks totally awesome, but I can’t find myself liking him.…

The closest we can come to a Ladies LBL photo

Velominati Super Prestige: Womens Liege-Bastogne Liege 2017

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The Ardennes Triple is something that hasn’t been won very often by male riders, and no woman has ever accomplished it. Mostly because until this year, it hasn’t existed. While Amstel Gold and La Fleche both held Women’s events, Liege has only just got on the program. (We are waiting for you, Milan Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix and…

Who doesn't like a nice little uphill sprint?

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s La Fleche Wallonne 2017

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Some years ago, halfway across Belgium from Huy, a farmer grew jealous of his neighbor, whose fields were bisected by the brutally famous cobbled climb, the Koppenberg. Refusing to be outdone by chance, nature, topography, and certainly not his neighbor, he built his own cobbled climb through one of his fields, giving birth to the…

Energizer Bunny: Valverde

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s La Fleche Wallonne 2017

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Valverde is one of those guys who seems to never suck. And he looks great on a bike; he doesn’t spin too much, he doesn’t grind too much. He likes to stomp a big gear uphill in the drops, 90’s-style, when the mood strikes. What’s not to like? I’m not sure, but I can’t find myself liking…

The first real race of the Ardennes classics

Velominati Super Prestige: Mens Amstel Gold Race 2017

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I spent my formative years growing up in the United States, hearing from all my Dutch and German relatives how crap American beer is and how fantastic Dutch and German brews are, respectively. By the time I started drinking it myself, the micro brew scene in the US had flourished and was giving the European…

Into the Ardennes we go

Velominati Super Prestige: Womens Amstel Gold Race 2017

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It’s funny how national borders seem to disappear when it comes to bike racing. The Netherlands and Belgium have had a long-lasting sibling rivalry, and I’m sure Belgium has held a similar rivalry with France. Yet when it comes to the Classics, it seems Belgium happily lays claim to the northern bit of France as well as…

4x Roubaix. Can the record be beaten?

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2017

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I was called a Boonen sycophant today by one of my editors, which didn’t feel as good as it sounds. But the fact is, I am. And the fact is also that I’m not ashamed of being such. It certainly feels cleaner than my Dirty Schlecky love from a few years ago. Last year’s Boonen heartbreak (I’m…

Lizziemonster takes the win over Emma Johansson, a Swede wearing a Flanders helmet.

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2017

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A year ago, you’d have gotten strange looks if you picked anyone other than Lizzie Deignen (Armistead) for the win. This year is another story and I quite frankly (Frahnkly) can’t pick a favorite, although Lizzie is sure to feature. But getting married apparently doesn’t do much for your racing campaign; just ask Miguel Indurain,…

Boom boom shake the room!

Velominati Super Prestige: Gent Wevelgem 2017

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Well shit. Our new book, The Hardmen, which is due to go to print any day now, has us so tangled up we forgot there’s a racing season going on with, well, hardmen! I’ll keep this brief: get the picks in and hurry, because the window will be very small!

Dare we be so bold as to hope for Rule #9?

Velominati Super Prestige: Milano Sanremo 2017

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Well, that didn’t go as expected. It was over a month ago the last time I wrote an article and every day since then, I’ve thought a thought something along the lines of, “Tomorrow, I write.” The funny thing about Tomorrow is that it never comes. My favorite band, Big Head Todd and the Monsters,…

René Privat wears yellow as Master Jacques reads a newspaper and tries not to notice.

Youth

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I’ve never been afraid of imitating my heroes, they always seemed like the best examples available and as a student of life (as every child is) it seemed normal to me to copy every aspect of their lives that I had visibility into. I copied my dad’s handwriting as I was learning to write just as I…

This is what tired feels like.

Dead Tired

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Before I make this about me, as I always do, I want to give credit to Roberto Ballini, who is pictured here sunning himself against nothing less morbid than a gravestone during the 1971 Tour de France, presumably in protest to how much of a shitshow The Prophet was making of the race. But let’s…

The Walker Hour Bike

Support Your Local Framebuilder

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I won’t hold liking cats against you, but if you don’t like dogs, you’re dead to me. Some things aren’t left to opinions, like whether Star Wars is good or not. You’re free to be an outlier – and I loves me some outliers and I loves me a rebel – but in some cases,…

We wish you a Merckxy Christmas and a Coppi New Year!

Merckxy Christmas and Coppi New Year!

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Another year come and gone, another pile of New Year’s resolutions out the door, done and dusted. It’s a good thing I don’t recall what they were; I have a feeling this period of reflection might loom a bit darker if I was in a position to appreciate just how short I’ve come up on them. I’m…

What we do in life, echoes in eternity.

On Rule #3: Role Modelling

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What we do in life echoes in eternity. – Maximus, Gladiator We all make mistakes. We can only hope that they are not repeated by our disciples. It is only for the sake of this lesson that I expose you visually to this truth.

Sometimes it just comes down to a staring contest.

Inanimate Objects

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I have a love-hate relationship with inanimate objects. I appreciate them for their utility, but I genuinely have no patience for their insubordination. Take, for example, bungee cords. By far the most mischievous object in existence, the only thing you can be sure to hook with them is your pant leg. The second-most misbehaving inanimate object,…

The mountain does not wait for your form to return.

Patience

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It’s been about a month since I’ve last been on the bike; I can’t recall the last time I went for such a dry spell. The reasons don’t matter; life and work have been hectic, I moved, the bikes were just out of order and inaccessible enough to make it easy to find an excuse not to…

Tommy Simpson goes rollin' in the deep.

Look Pro: Rollin’ Dirty

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When it comes to training, no one loves riding outside and loathes riding inside more than I do. On the other hand, riding outside is dangerous, especially with something like the Tour de Trump running the show. So I’ve been working on my road safety by not riding on the road and riding my rollers instead. The…

This qualifies.

Anatomy of a Photo: Full Gas

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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…

Three gears: a lever and no more wing nuts. Luxury.

Shifting Sands

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One of my favorite stories in Cycling is of the 1989 World Championships. It was a very lumpy parcours, with a particularly tough climb near the end of the circuit. Sean Kelly had a brilliant sprint but could get over the climbs handily enough that he fancied his chance to finally win the rainbow bands. With…

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