Archive | The Hardmen

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The Moser Position

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For my money, the best slice of cycling video ever is Francesco Moser, appearing out of the dust, in the 1976 Paris-Roubaix. He blasts by the moto camera on the right, on a mission to get up to the front. Something about him appearing, then almost disappearing down the road. What was that? And there…

Erik Breukink crushes fools on the Gavia

Unsung Heroes: Erik “Gavia” Breukink

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I do love my Dutchmen. That much I admit. I also admit my love for the Americans with whom I share a passport. These affections are expressed erratically and sporadically, often at high volumes, and sometimes with some unreasonably held or possibly non factual evidence to support my passion. At this point, my love for…

Laurel Rathbun makes an adequate effort at Jingle Cross.

À Bloc

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The V surrounds us, it penetrates and binds us together. Through disciplined practice we are able to draw from it to push harder and go farther on the bike; what we do on the bike then informs how we face our lives. The masters, such as the Prophet Merckx and the Apostle de Vlaeminck, could channel…

Kelly crushes fools with properly layered kit.

Dress Like An Onion: The Art of Layering

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The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is. – Sean Kelly Apart from the obvious lesson in Rules #5 and #9, hidden…

Off the back is the worst place to be. Photo: Tim De Waele <a href="http://www.tdwsport.com" target="_blank">TDWsport.com</a>

Reverence: The Ghosts of 2am

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The Prophet had never been dropped by anyone in a race-threatening situation during his entire Grand-Tour career. But he was dropped on this, a relatively minor climb to Pra Loup due to a combination of circumstances involving a chest injury, overconfidence, and savvy Frenchmen who could read the road surface well enough to understand what side of…

JC Rolls dirty. Photo: AP Photo/Laurent Ciprian

On Rule #81: Crash Test Dummies

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We don’t like to talk about crashing. Talking about crashing before you crash feels a lot like tempting fate and talking about it after you crashed feels a lot like a fisherman bragging about his catch. But crashing is the worst part of our sport apart from getting hit by a car, which has all the worst…

The three virtues: Mind, Body, Machine.

La Vie Velominatus: Santoku

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In Japanese, “Santoku” means “Three Virtues”. Exactly which three virtues it is referring to is unclear, but I am fascinated by the idea of a single word with such a rich, if ambiguous, meaning. I have several kitchen knives that goes by this name, and within the scope of knives the three virtues are generally accepted to…

What will Spartacus do?

WWSD

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When it comes to hardmen, there aren’t many tougher than this guy. That he manages to mix massive amounts of V with similarly massive amounts of Casual Deliberation only serves to heighten the man-crushes of a bunch of older, fatter, balder men who see a visage of Spatacus looking back at us in the mirror every time…

THe shadow foretells the ending.

Shadow Boxing

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In the 1989 Tour de France, Laurent Fignon was on the rivet. Close to collapse. But his Directeur Sportif noticed that Greg LeMond’s shoulders were rocking; he knew from the time he spent coaching Greg that this was the telltale sign of his imminent collapse. He ordered Fignon to attack, and he took the Yellow Jersey. He could…

If you have to choose, choose quality over quantity

Short But Sweet

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My lungs feel my favorite way my lungs can feel. Every breath I take tells me the whereabouts of each alveolus. They feel raw, like they were scraped clean and opened up anew after a period of dormancy. Every breath tells me their exact shape and depth, where my lungs end and where my diaphragm begins. I feel high,…

Chuck Flop had some of the best guns in the business.

La Vie Velominatus: Gun Envy

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Three things define a Cyclist: their ability to crush fools, their ability to Look Fantastic, and the Magnificence of their Guns. If you are lacking in one, it is mandatory that the other two are increased in compensation. In the immortal words of Paul Fournel, “To Look Good is already to go fast.” Thank Merckx for that, because…

Never Give Up

Guest Article- Precedents

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The 2015 Giro is almost upon us. Productivity in May is likely to drop off. The combination of Tivo and free daily coverage by the BeIN channel means Gianni’s production, already dangerously low, will sink to record levels. Grazie to @Pedale for this link for the Giro. And grazie to @Wiscot for another superb article…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

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If the only kind of wind they have in Belgium is a headwind, then the only kind of flats they have in Northern France are false. In Vlaanderen, they specialize in a delectable combination of the two. (Everything that isn’t a windy false flat, it appears, is a windy cobbled climb.) The most obvious way to get…

Badass. Just...badass.

The Curse of Hell

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Northern Europe is supposed to have crap weather in the Spring. By crap, of course, I mean wet. I call bullshit on that, because the last time I saw rain fall in Hell, it was 2002. In 2002, Outdoor Life Network aired an hour-long broadcast on the history of Paris-Roubaix before airing full live coverage of…

Hinault in his element

Five Face

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Why is it that all the greatest riders look strangely happy when they are suffering the most? Hinault says he still hasn’t regained the feeling in some of his fingers from racing off the front that day in Liege in 1980. He wanted to get someplace warm as quickly as possible, he said. That’s why he went…

I caught a fish this big!

Catching The Big Fish

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This post could also have been titled as an Anatomy of a Photo or Awesome Italian Guys-Guido Bontempi or The Hardmen. As an Anatomy of a Photo…where do you start? All these sprinters and no one but Van Poppel is even wearing a helmet. What could go wrong? And back there is Sean Kelly, his…

This cat got skills

On Rule #43: Shaming the Sensei

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I think it would be hard for anyone to make the case that Eddy Merckx was Roger de Vlaeminck’s Cycling Sensei, but I think we can all agree that De Vlaeminck was a student of Merckx, if only a student of his domination. But every student at some point becomes the master, and the driven student will always challenge…

Hinault, Le Blaireau

Truth and Fiction

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There is nothing more disappointing than discovering the truth behind a myth or spotting the mortal behind a legend. This is why I make a point never to do any research or in any other way attempt to validate my assumptions when evaluating a situation; mystery that feels like a fact and sounds like a fact is better than an actual fact. Truth, like sex,…

Discuss

Anatomy of a Photo(s)

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Watching the Jensie set a “new” record was somehow not-that-interesting and riveting at the same time. One guy going around the track for an hour; only cycling aficionados could find it so compelling. The thing I can’t get out of my mind is Eddy Merckx still did 49.43 km/hr with toe clips, spoked, box section…

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