Archive | The Hardmen

The Prophet rode white tape, how about you?

Ride Like a Leader: White Bar Tape

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When done correctly, Cycling can be both the hardest and dirtiest of sports. We relish in the glory of returning from a ride, battered by the four winds and soaked by the seven rains; our bodies, faces, and machines covered in the reasons why most people might stay indoors. Given that, there is something almost…

"V"os plays in the sand. Photo: Danny Zelck

Ride Like a Girl: Marianne Vos

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While it took seven Belgians to dominate the Men’s Cyclocross World Championship race on Sunday, it only took a single Dutchwoman to dominate the women’s race. That’s seven times more dominanter, if my math is correct – which it always is. Cyclocross fascinates me, mostly because it is completely insane. But I admit: I like the idea…

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The 2011 V Moment of the Year: Paris Roubaix

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The V Moment of the Year isn’t an award so much as acknowledgment of the moment during the season when the sport demonstrated the most pure example of spirit of The V. This is more than pushing hard en route to glory; the V Moment is the one point in time at which, despite a…

Bispectacled Jan Rass    Picture courtesy of

Guest Article: Rose tinted glasses

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@wiscot’s article speaks of cyclists of our youths and Jan Raas made a big impression on the young Gianni. Do the Dutch have a harder Hardman? He went on to become a director-sportif and I pity the riders under his command, they must have suffered like dogs. I cannot find a photo to document this…

Roger de Leginck riding in a Flemish Mirror. Photo: CorVos/Pez

Anatomy of a Photo: Looking Fantastic

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Steel Gazelles, check. Monster fork rake, check. Hairnets, check. North European monsoon, check. Flemish Mirror, check. Chain welded to the Big Ring, check. WTF Leggins affixed to Our Hero, check. Roger de Vlaeminck does his part to remind us that while Looking Pro isn’t synonymous with Looking Fantastic, being a Level V Badass can make even the most jacked…

Two golden tickets to Hell

The Seduction of Symbols

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There was a time when bicycles were lovingly handmade by artisans who themselves loved the sport more than those for whom they built the machines. Lugs were filed to become Luggs; chain and seat stays were beautifully chromed for durability despite the grams it added to the frame’s final weight; spokes were chosen for their purpose and…

Photo: The Atlantic

Rule #5: Racing Hoogerland-Style

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Johnny Hoogerland, on receiving the Tour de France Rule #5 Award: I normally don’t drink that much beer anymore but having my first off-season beer in this glass makes it taste great. I moved to my new home and will find it a great place because it honors my way of racing. Fitting words from…


Belgian Affirmations: Andrei Tchmil

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Andrei Tchmil got so tired of the palpable disappointment of not being Belgian that he decided to become one. Envision the world the way you want it to be, then make it so. People are cynical when I talk about Belgium. They think I’m only Belgian on paper. That is not true. Yes, I was…


Velominati Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012

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The Hardmen. They inspire us; we aspire to be one among them. They drive us to be better cyclists. They are the solitary voice among the thousands in our heads that tell us to keep pushing when all the others tell us to stop. Their long shadows look on in approval as we pull on…

Paul Sherwen lays down The V in the late Seventies

Paul Sherwen

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Paul Sherwen is generally seen as Phil Liggett’s counter-point, dutifully keeping the iconic duo’s race commentary on course, helping to convey to the English-speaking world the sport of Professional Cycling. Liggett, of course, has undeniably helped shape this great sport  for Anglophones across the globe, having been the English voice of this sport since before…


Guest Article: Stephen Roche; A Study in The V

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It is with an especially acute understanding of pushing oneself to ones limits, having just completed my second assault on Haleakala, with which I select this Guest Article, a first contribution from community member Scaler911.  Especially acute in this case meaning that reading this account reminds me that I have no idea how to suffer…


Tour de France Rule #5 Award: Johnny Hoogerland

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Rule #5AwardHoogerland” src=”×465.jpg” alt=”” width=”620″ height=”465″ /> Not an absolute; the beauty of Rule #5 is the graduated scale upon which it is measured. Rule #5 means to push yourself beyond the signals your body sends to stop what you’re doing, usually with ever-increasing urgency. It means to disobey reason and to surpass physical boundaries…

Legend. Photo: Rueters

Who’s your Poppy?

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You’d think that with such an historical event taking place in France overnight that the Australian newspapers would be a sea of yellow and ‘we are the champions’ headlines this morning. Yet what I saw staring back at me when I visited one of the most respected newspaper websites (ie not a Murdoch tome) was a…

The Sheriff-Francesco Moser         Credito: © Ufficio Stampa FotoMedia

Lo Sceriffo

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In May, Velominati wake up too early, brew espresso and open laptop computers to watch small streaming videos of the Giro d’Italia.  We notice how different the Giro is from the Tour de France. It’s more colorful, more vibrant, more full of life. If Hinault somehow represents the TdF, Moser would represent the Giro. Lo…

George Hincapie - photo Luc Claessen

The Experienced Mr. Hincapie

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Experience is something that we can only develop over time. We take it to imply there is some associated wisdom, garnered principally through those experiences that contributed that wisdom through hardship of some kind. As a society, we also refer to this as “learning from our mistakes”; mistakes make a much more convincing guide than does success. I happen to…

Working man Van Summeren wins in Roubaix. Photo: Fotoreporter Sirotti

Here Stands a Man: Johan Van Summeren

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Here stands a man. A quiet man. A hard working man. A Belgian man. A man from a life of grit, cold, and rain. Here stands a man who has chosen a life of hard work and sacrifice; a hard life even within the context of Cycling. A man who spends long hours in the wind…

The field at de Ronde van Vlaanderen. Photo: Willie Verhegge

Ever-Prescent V: Ronde van “V”laanderen

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There is something about Northern Europe in general and Flanders in particular that exudes The V; you feel it in the air the moment you set foot into the region. Such terrible things have happened here for so long that living with hardship and suffering has not only become part of the culture of the region, but being tough…

The Lion roars in the mud and rain

Encore de la Pluie

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I don’t enjoy the races in February on the Arabian Peninsula because I like watching other people ride in the sun while I spend my afternoons looking for a sliver of daylight that coincides with some fragment of my day where I don’t also need to work or engage in some other activity. I also…

Always remember, if you ain't first, you're last. Photo: Shane Goss

Buninyong Nights: The Ballad of Jacky Bobby

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Close the polls. Shut the books. No need to tally the votes. It’s only three weeks into the new year, but folks, we may have already witnessed the V Ride of the Year. While the Euros are trying to escape the bitter chills of winter, the Aussies and Kiwis were turning up the heat with…

The Badger meditates

Look Pro, Part III: Meditate on The V

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In the interest of full disclosure, I feel it is my responsibility to warn you that this article might accidentally make you a better cyclist. Even though it breaks protocol, the subject of this edition of Look Pro involves the power of the mind, not just aesthetics. As we established previously, The Rules can be transcended if the…

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