Hinault in his element

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 off the front so far from home. Seems to me the 151 riders who climbed in the bus found a more expedient way of doing it.

And I’ll tell you something else: it would have been a crime to cover up those guns. Respect.

// Awesome French Guys // Look Pro // Nostalgia // The Hardmen

  1. That’s not a smile, that’s just facial muscles frozen mid-spasm

  2. In my experience there is a point where the elements feel shite and one wishes one was not out on the bike – and then something kicks in and the thought comes, ‘Bring it on!’

    At that moment the V-face comes to light.

  3. Sometimes even the pros go “what the fuck am I doing here?”

    More here: http://www.steephill.tv/2010/giro-d-italia/photos/stage-07/

  4. @The Grande Fondue

    I see what looks to be green stripey Pave’s. I’ve been riding the heck outa some Pave’s this winter on the dirt roads in Alabama. And I gotta say, the same mojo characteristics that make these tires good for riding on wet cobbles… wet dirt? is like riding on peanut butter. And I recall having the discussion earlier: are there truly all black Pave’s available? In fact there are. And I have ’em in both 25’s and 27’s. Now, I know, I know… if I were riding the cobbles in Europe I’d stick with green stripes on principal. And I still have some green stripes. But I figured since I was using them way outa their natural element: red dirt roads in Alabama USA ,that I could maybe go with something a little more, say, modern (?). Anyways, great tires. Love ’em.

  5. I had a similar weather conditions to Hinaults last night on the cycle home from work. I could hear my phone ringing in the rucksack. Pulled over, it’s the wife texting to say it’s snowing on the coast and get the Metro home. Newcastle was clear, dry roads and a crisp star lit sky. “Pah, Rule V, I’ve ridden in snow before”… In the last 2km of my ride I hit what I can only describe as a full on blizzard. Another rider popped up behind and piped up with “It’s really rough tonight”. My response? “No, it’s really fun now!”.

  6. Surely the soigneur rubbed some concoction onto the Badger’s guns. What was the traditional recipe for embrocation? And, are some guys still using some old recipes or are most racers now going to be using the factory-made stuff provided by sponsors?

    Wonder how the braking was on those Reynolds wheels. Probably not much worse than the alloy Mavics ahead of him.

    VeloJello – commute home last night was a stiff wind in my face the entire time. Plus I was delayed in leaving work and was worried the VeloHounds wouldn’t be able to hold it. Nothing like racing on your commuter, into the wind, and facing and wet carpet…

  7. I’m surprised he kept his toes that day, using clips.

    I wish we in the US of Murica would bin Groundhog Day and institute Badger Day. We’d be a better nation for it, by far.

  8. I was still in training wheels at the time of this awesome pic, and that of Hampsten at the Giro, but does anyone know if there was the clusterfuck afterwards from teams and riders after those legendary stages like there was after the gavia stelvio stage last year on the giro?

  9. @PeakInTwoYears

    I’m surprised he kept his toes that day, using clips.

    Very telling that the toeclip era had the best opportunity to integrate toe covers — they didn’t need them.

  10. @Beers

    I was still in training wheels at the time of this awesome pic, and that of Hampsten at the Giro, but does anyone know if there was the clusterfuck afterwards from teams and riders after those legendary stages like there was after the gavia stelvio stage last year on the giro?

    Pretty tough to top the “day the hard men cried” on the Gavia. The final day after, teams “agreed” to hold off while changing (off the bike) into winter kit before continuing! Franco Chioccioli made a fast dash for his bike forcing Andy Hampsten and team to scramble.

  11. Some Gavia Five Faces…

  12. @PeakInTwoYears

    I’m surprised he kept his toes that day, using clips.

    I wish we in the US of Murica would bin Groundhog Day and institute Badger Day. We’d be a better nation for it, by far.

    I’m surprised too – those vinyl overshoes were shite at keeping your feet dry or warm. I seem to recall wee cover things that would go over the clips (similar to those awful toe covers sold today) but I can’t recall a pro ever using them.

    Loved the clip of the mayor of Eau Claire (WI) getting his ear bitten by the groundhog. That’ll teach a politician to get the wee beasty out of its burrow on a cold day.

  13. @Ron

    Surely the soigneur rubbed some concoction onto the Badger’s guns. What was the traditional recipe for embrocation? And, are some guys still using some old recipes or are most racers now going to be using the factory-made stuff provided by sponsors?

    Wonder how the braking was on those Reynolds wheels. Probably not much worse than the alloy Mavics ahead of him.

    VeloJello – commute home last night was a stiff wind in my face the entire time. Plus I was delayed in leaving work and was worried the VeloHounds wouldn’t be able to hold it. Nothing like racing on your commuter, into the wind, and facing and wet carpet…

    In the 80s my pal John’s mother, who worked in a chemist’s shop, made us some embrocation – mostly baby oil but with wintergreen and some secret sauce in there too. Merckx that stuff was hot and stinky – but did the job. It only took one lesson to learn that you put the shorts on first, roll up the legs, then apply the embro. Putting on the embro then the shorts tended to cause hot balls!

    We obviously weren’t pros, but this was a classic example of why we shave the guns – you can’t apply baby oil or embro with the consistency of toothpaste to hairy legs. Getting the stuff off when it was mixed with road grime and sweat was a pain in the ass.

  14. @Ron

    there’s an interview floating around with Le Blaireau at the end of that race where he looks like he’s so hopped up on something he’s about to chew his own lips off…so it may not have all been embro.

  15. @wiscot

    In the 80s my pal John’s mother, who worked in a chemist’s shop, made us some embrocation – mostly baby oil but with wintergreen and some secret sauce in there too. Merckx that stuff was hot and stinky – but did the job. It only took one lesson to learn that you put the shorts on first, roll up the legs, then apply the embro. Putting on the embro then the shorts tended to cause hot balls!

    We obviously weren’t pros, but this was a classic example of why we shave the guns – you can’t apply baby oil or embro with the consistency of toothpaste to hairy legs. Getting the stuff off when it was mixed with road grime and sweat was a pain in the ass.

    When played Rugby we have a team member who was a vet or something and he used to bring horse liniment. Warmed you up a treat but I do have a tendency to want to roll in the dust and seek out fresh grass these days…………

  16. Here’s the kinda facial expression that ends up winning you rainbows…

  17. I suspect Hinault had a notion of what the pussies were doing behind him, and a slight smile crept out. Then froze there. Hampsten on a bike always looks right.

  18. Le Blaireau always looks like he wanted to kill someone. Here’s his last ever race

    And here he is trying to stay on Fingon’s wheel in (I think) the 1984 Tour, where Fingon was untouchable. Some pretty classy cyclists in this pic:

  19. Mmm, let the good photos roll! I still can’t comprehend ‘crossin’ with toe clips. I don’t need anything else making racing on cross courses a challenge.

    wiscot – Oh boy, home brew embro! I actually had the father-in-law, a pharmacist, score me some Heet, which is not easy to find. It can be used to make homebrew but it’s odd stuff; you can put it on and feel nothing, then hours or a day later something sets it off and your legs are on fire. Since I have to put in contacts for cycling, I try to avoid embro unless I’m racing. Even a hint of that stuff left on a pointer finger and your eyes are gonna let you know.

  20. @The Grande Fondue

    Le Blaireau always looks like he wanted to kill someone. Here’s his last ever race

    And here he is trying to stay on Fingon’s wheel in (I think) the 1984 Tour, where Fingon was untouchable. Some pretty classy cyclists in this pic:

    “I can go faster if you like” says Laurent, “would you like me to?”

  21. @Ron

    Mmm, let the good photos roll! I still can’t comprehend ‘crossin’ with toe clips. I don’t need anything else making racing on cross courses a challenge.

    The dismounts are MUCH faster now without toe clips. Either you didn’t use toe clips or you took your left foot out and rolled the pedal over just before the dismount. It was easier to do a step through dismount back then but there was a higher danger of your foot slipping off while doing it, especially when it was sloppy out. Of course there was little danger of not clipping out your left on a step through and the carnage that follows…

  22. On Hinault smiling: he was just conserving energy. It takes less muscles to smile than to frown.

    At least, that’s what those inspirational posters would have you believe.

  23. @The Grande Fondue

    Le Blaireau always looks like he wanted to kill someone.

  24. On Saturday’s ride I was working quite hard into a bit of a headwind, in a bit of a zone, mouth open to trying to scoop up more O2 and not really paying too much attention to what was going when I realised my lips were flapping around in the wind. Does that count as a nine-face?

  25. Seems I’m more a graduate of the Whale Shark school of V face pulling rather than the Badger’s…

  26. @wiscot

    @The Grande Fondue

    “I can go faster if you like” says Laurent, “would you like me to?”

    That was the year he really could go faster, too. In his book he talks about how Hinault kept attacking but he wasn’t worried because he had an answer for everything Hinault could do.

  27. @Chris

    I’d be happier seeing your whale face rather than that bigoted cunts physiognomy .

  28. Read about the rider protest at the Tour of Oman today. Can’t say that I blame them. Hinault, Hampsten, et al. had to be some crazy bastards.

  29. @therealpeel

    Read about the rider protest at the Tour of Oman today. Can’t say that I blame them. Hinault, Hampsten, et al. had to be some crazy bastards.

    Heat and cold are one thing but a sandstorm is something completely different. Rule #9 doesn’t quite cover it. That shit gets in everywhere. Stay inside.

  30. smiling releases dopamine and helps you relax. also they like the suffering, if they didn’t, they couldn’t force their body to be so damn awesome.

  31. @Harminator

    @therealpeel

    Read about the rider protest at the Tour of Oman today. Can’t say that I blame them. Hinault, Hampsten, et al. had to be some crazy bastards.

    Heat and cold are one thing but a sandstorm is something completely different. Rule #9 doesn’t quite cover it. That shit gets in everywhere. Stay inside.

    even once they’d escaped the sandstorms, when it’s that hot that you’re blowing 11 tires across a team during the neutral section, it’s probably time to pull the pin.

    http://www.cyclingquotes.com/news/movistar_in_oman_we_had_11_punctures_in_the_neutral_section/

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