The last masters of the Cycling cap passed into the night at the close of the 20th cetnury

Les Maîtres de la Casquette

Les Maîtres de la Casquette

by / / 130 posts

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on here. Rule #5, Rule #9, Rule #10; every rider in this frame Looks Fantastic (most other Rules). The riders are in short sleeves and shorts while the public apparently has scavenged materials from rubbish bins and the local grain elevator in a very visually unpleasant effort to keep warm. When I visualize the 90’s, this photo pretty much shows what I see. (Why was the weather so crap in France during Big Mig’s reign? Only redeeming quality of his wins.)

What this photo also shows is the highest concentration of Les Maîtres de la Casquette, the masters of the Cycling cap, in recent recorded history. We discussed the art of wearing a Cycling Cap before, probably more often than necessary. Like all art, it begins with some founding principles, and then opens itself to the artist’s vision and expression. And like with art, there are The Masters.

In the art of wearing the revered casquette, we are guided by the Three Point System. From there, we are at liberty to express ourselves. In the days before helmets, the peloton was overflowing with masters of this studied art with an early style peak coinciding directly with the point of bushiest sideburns, but it has since all but died out. The last peak was in 1991, when Big Mig, Chiappucci, Bugno, Luc LeBlanc, and Richard Virenque were all at the height of their powers. Like the Jedi after the rise of the Sith, it is the responsibility of The Velominati to keep this art alive.

It also occurs to me in the state of high fever in which I write this, that the transcended Velominatus is always engaged in a Cycling-related activity which could possibly provide a release-clause for any accusation of a Rule #22 violation.

// Look Pro // Nostalgia // The Rules

  1. @frank

    How can a dude who can even crush a sweat band still look that bad in a helmet.

    Would take the Professor sweat band over Jaja

  2. @brett

    I wear a cap under my helmet year round because:

    a) I’m bald and it keeps my head warm in winter and unburnt in summer.

    b) Helmets are compulsory here.

    c) It’s fucking badass. Buck (and VeloVita) knows.

    +1

    Yes, bald here as well. I need something to soak up the sweat, and to stop diamond shaped sunburn on my much abused pate. The brim keeps the sun off my much abused nose and the rain off my sunglasses. If you grew up in Australia when pink zinc was the only thing going to ward off sun burn, like me, you will likely spend some time at the doctor getting bits of your outer layer burnt or frozen or chemically peeled. Not fun. So, cycling cap under the helmet is a pretty good idea.

  3. @VeloVita To be fair, I’ve yet to see anyone carry the Rapha cap off. I’ve got one and I look a complete tool in it, with the exception of under a helmet when it is pretty cool. There isnt enough material in the top section IMO.

  4. @ruudi You’re spot on, I was thinking the same but being a newbie did not want to be the wise-ass from scratch

  5. @Gilly

    @VeloVita To be fair, I’ve yet to see anyone carry the Rapha cap off. I’ve got one and I look a complete tool in it, with the exception of under a helmet when it is pretty cool. There isnt enough material in the top section IMO.

    Yes, but not wearing it with a sportcoat and collared shirt is a start…

    I do agree that the three paneled cycling cap does not lend itself well to many for exactly the reason you state. I for one look much better in the 4 panel Nalini/Santini style cap that most team caps are made in. That said, the three panel cap has a more streamlined fit for wear under a helmet.

  6. @Giles

    @Buck Rogers Without the context of the other photos, you’d swear he’s enjoying a crafty ciggie while racing in that photo – which obviously while this would be extremely cool, is unlikely to be the case. Great photo – but seriously those conditions, shit when you have to clean your own bike.

    He always seems to have his tongue out in his photos. Too funny.

  7. @Gilly yeah I find it a bit tight too which is a shame b/c it goes great with my retro pink jersey!

  8. @Buck Rogers

    how much better does it get than that????

  9. @Beers

    I see abominations of cap exhibitionism, yet can only lay claim to wearing that most cliché of cliché, the Brooklyn, purchased in starry eyed wonder of De Vlaeminck, only to find it the most maligned of all. But hey, can’t afford a new one, and it works, and I don’t have to look at myself when I’m riding do I. Ha.

    Once wore it to a bar, in a town flooded with cyclists for the largest event of the year, and didn’t get served. Lesson learned, but I do wear it about town that weekend.

    Would post a pic, but you know, don’t have any more self esteem to lose..

    you drilled it here Beerman. For some who are purposely touting their cycling pet-degree, they are Poseurs and easily detected in the crowds. like this cat.

    I am however drawn to the subtle, quiet cat that drilled it off the front of the ride for the last 2 hours, who roules in and wears the cap proper with all points respected or actually even forgets he had the cap on and…just keeps wearing it. That is point on and respectable. like the holy father:

  10. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @davidlhill

    And ChrisO: I’m not biting on your proffered helmet debate!

    Spot on. No helmet debate. Mad Jacques wouldn’t wear a helmet, would he? Black beret was where it was at for him. That was then, this is now. No more debate!

    You misunderstand – I know better than to start a helmet debate.

    I was saying that as one who wears the casquette in its natural state I claim the moral high ground on matters of cap-wearing.

    Consequently I don’t give a flying fuck for what helmet-wearers, or the Rules, think about whether I shouldn’t wear it off the bike, in the bath or whenever I goddam please. Their opinions on cycling caps are tainted at source.

    @gilly Even I have to agree on that. The Rapha cap is not good. It makes one look like this.

  11. @ChrisO This was probably designed to wear under a helmet.

  12. Rapha one-size-fits-all cap is designed for the anatomical pinhead.

  13. @geoffrey

    @brett

    I wear a cap under my helmet year round because:

    a) I’m bald and it keeps my head warm in winter and unburnt in summer.

    b) Helmets are compulsory here.

    c) It’s fucking badass. Buck (and VeloVita) knows.

    1

    Yes, bald here as well. I need something to soak up the sweat, and to stop diamond shaped sunburn on my much abused pate. The brim keeps the sun off my much abused nose and the rain off my sunglasses. If you grew up in Australia when pink zinc was the only thing going to ward off sun burn, like me, you will likely spend some time at the doctor getting bits of your outer layer burnt or frozen or chemically peeled. Not fun. So, cycling cap under the helmet is a pretty good idea.

    I stand corrected, in spades.

    My erroneous view of life comes, I guess, from living in such a weather neutral country……

    David

  14. @unversio

    @ChrisO This was probably designed to wear under a helmet.

    Another gem – coffee needs clearing from my keyboard now!

  15. @geoffrey

    @brett

    I wear a cap under my helmet year round because:

    a) I’m bald and it keeps my head warm in winter and unburnt in summer.

    b) Helmets are compulsory here.

    c) It’s fucking badass. Buck (and VeloVita) knows.

    1

    Yes, bald here as well. I need something to soak up the sweat, and to stop diamond shaped sunburn on my much abused pate. The brim keeps the sun off my much abused nose and the rain off my sunglasses. If you grew up in Australia when pink zinc was the only thing going to ward off sun burn, like me, you will likely spend some time at the doctor getting bits of your outer layer burnt or frozen or chemically peeled. Not fun. So, cycling cap under the helmet is a pretty good idea.

    I stand corrected.

    My only excuse is that my opinions were created in a weather neutral country – the UK.

    David

  16. @unversio

    @ChrisO This was probably designed to wear under a helmet.

    Priceless – another keyboard “cleaning of coffee” moment there!

    David

  17. @Markp

    That said only Pantani could get away with a bandana.

    Indeed. Kids, don’t try this at home!

  18. @frank wtf?

    BTW what’s happened to the plus sign as in N plus 1?

  19. @Markp

    @frank

    How can a dude who can even crush a sweat band still look that bad in a helmet.

    Would take the Professor sweat band over Jaja

    What Le Prof never understood about helmets and caps is your hair can never stick out from under the front; it always has to be tucked back underneath. No forehead showing.

    What Le Prof also missed about the sweatband is that while it still follows the three point system, your hair should always stick out over the top of it (same goes for the rare cycling cap with the top cut out). If you can chuck a pair of shades on top, all the better.

    Figgles always had it backwards.

  20. Most Casually Deliberate wearing of the backwards cap while bunny hopping a grave-sized hole in the Arenberg Forest at race pace.

  21. Pharmstrong actually wasn’t a bad cap-wearer; only style thing he really nailed other than the team shorts thing.

    And a close up of the Master.

  22. @frank

    @Markp

    That said only Pantani could get away with a bandana.

    Indeed. Kids, don’t try this at home!

    No shit. Pantani had his strong moments no doubt however wearing bandana wasn’t one of them.

  23. @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    @Markp

    That said only Pantani could get away with a bandana.

    Indeed. Kids, don’t try this at home!

    No shit. Pantani had his strong moments no doubt however wearing bandana wasn’t one of them.

    This all really stemmed from him trying to drop the moniker of Elephantino, no? He hated that nickname and wanted to try to create a new one and came up with the whole Pirata persona.

  24. @Buck Rogers Two? I’ll take V!

  25. The ride will start soon enough…

  26. @frank

    And a close up of the Master.

    Tried to get a close up look at the orange banded chronograph but couldn’t make out what it was. For the longest time I’d simply kept the watch while on the bike to the good ol’ good ol’ ironman watch but lately I’ve left been less particular about it being whatever watch I’d been wearing that day.

  27. @Harminator

    The ride will start soon enough…

    That’s Duclos-Lassale on the right; is that Millar in the middle? Whatever, that’s some crazy casually deliberate balancing skills!

  28. @wiscot

    Definitey Millar in the middle. Looks like Sean Yates following behind him and possibly Anderson obscured behind Millar. For the trio to the left we need Oli…but they have their stroke all together magnificently.

  29. Peiper far left, Thevenet 3rd from left…

  30. Another great article and pic Frank.

    When I see that pic of Gianni Bugno – I recall when he edged LeMan at the finish line on top of L’Alpe d’Huez in the 1990 TDF. That’s when it looked at is Greg was in position to win, but he almost fell in that last 90 degree turn and as a result was then in too big of a gear. I was really hoping Greg would have a win on L’Alpe d’Huez after giving the win there to Hinault in ’86.

    Hard to believe that was 24 years ago.

  31. @gerty Agree on all accounts. REALLY wanted LeMan to win that day, esp after gifting Le Blaireau the stage in ’86. Then he overcooked that corner and could not hold on to the line. DAMN!

    We had to wait another two years before the first American win on d’Huez but Hampsten did it with class.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ5pEm3ZEn4

    Love how they all take random water bottles from the crowd and pass it around and drink it at the 2:28 minute mark in the video.

    And yes, unbelievable that it was 24 years ago when Bugno pipped LeMan at the line.

  32. @wilburrox

    @frank

    And a close up of the Master.

    Tried to get a close up look at the orange banded chronograph but couldn’t make out what it was. For the longest time I’d simply kept the watch while on the bike to the good ol’ good ol’ ironman watch but lately I’ve left been less particular about it being whatever watch I’d been wearing that day.

    And up closer

  33. @Harminator

    Peiper far left, Thevenet 3rd from left…

    Nah, can’t be Thevenet. He left Peugeot in 79. That pic is after 82 when Shell came on as a sponsor. Left to right is (I think) Allan Peiper, Pascal Simon, Hubert Linard?, Francis Castaing, ?, Sean Yates, Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. A bit of research made me switch from Millar to Castaing. While the contrariness of wearing a standard-issue cap (as opposed to the green points cap everyone else is wearing) would suggest the taciturn Scot, I don’t see Millar doing some low-key showboating like this, even in a neutralized roll-out section. Let me do a bit more research at home.

    Oli, any help?

  34. @wiscot ThIs, Stage 1 , 1985

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alastair_s/8353752299/

  35. @wiscot

    @Harminator

    Peiper far left, Thevenet 3rd from left…

    Nah, can’t be Thevenet. He left Peugeot in 79. That pic is after 82 when Shell came on as a sponsor. Left to right is (I think) Allan Peiper, Pascal Simon, Hubert Linard?, Francis Castaing, ?, Sean Yates, Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. A bit of research made me switch from Millar to Castaing. While the contrariness of wearing a standard-issue cap (as opposed to the green points cap everyone else is wearing) would suggest the taciturn Scot, I don’t see Millar doing some low-key showboating like this, even in a neutralized roll-out section. Let me do a bit more research at home.

    Oli, any help?

    So, the Peugeot tem that year was –

    Millar, Robert Forest, Pascal Simon, Duclos-Lasalle, Yvan Frebert, Peiper, Hubert Linard, Yates, Francis Castaing, and Frederic Brun., if you could now run tour facial recognition software…..

  36. @ped

    @wiscot

    @Harminator

    Peiper far left, Thevenet 3rd from left…

    Nah, can’t be Thevenet. He left Peugeot in 79. That pic is after 82 when Shell came on as a sponsor. Left to right is (I think) Allan Peiper, Pascal Simon, Hubert Linard?, Francis Castaing, ?, Sean Yates, Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. A bit of research made me switch from Millar to Castaing. While the contrariness of wearing a standard-issue cap (as opposed to the green points cap everyone else is wearing) would suggest the taciturn Scot, I don’t see Millar doing some low-key showboating like this, even in a neutralized roll-out section. Let me do a bit more research at home.

    Oli, any help?

    So, the Peugeot tem that year was –

    Millar, Robert Forest, Pascal Simon, Duclos-Lasalle, Yvan Frebert, Peiper, Hubert Linard, Yates, Francis Castaing, and Frederic Brun., if you could now run tour facial recognition software…..

    I’m going to go with Peiper, Simon, Linard, Castaing, Brun, Yates Gibus in the pic.No idea who might be behind Castaing.

  37. De Vlaeminck: balancing the casquette with sideburns. So baller.

  38. And speaking of baller; Fausto shows us a little something about Rule #33 and also why its cool to flip the visor up even when you’re wearing it backwards.

  39. @frank looks like he’s taking the first bomba corretto of the day, seriously fucked over from the previous day, hence the shades

  40. @wiscot can rule out Robert behind Castaing, far too much arm fat

  41. @frank

    And speaking of baller; Fausto shows us a little something about Rule #33 and also why its cool to flip the visor up even when you’re wearing it backwards.

    Look at those FUCK’IN shades! Man, too serenely fucking cool!

  42. @Harminator

    The ride will start soon enough…

    More Peugeot casquette goodness from Mr Tom.

  43. And this one to keep the Paris Roubaix stoke going

  44. @Harminator

    The ride will start soon enough…

    1985 TDF roll-out of Stage 1, Vannes – Lanester, on Saturday, 29 June.

    Nearest to the camera is Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, the rider riding with his feet on the handlebar is Francis Castaing. Sean Yates (to the left of Duclos-Lassalle) and Pascal Simon (in the shades, second from left). After that (in no particular order) remaining team was Robert Millar, Frédéric Brun, Robert Forest, Yvan Frebert, Hubert Linard and Allan Peiper.

  45. Great video Buck – great to see pictures and videos from that era.

    Speaking of LeMan – pic with cap:

  46. @Buck Rogers

    @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    @Markp

    That said only Pantani could get away with a bandana.

    Indeed. Kids, don’t try this at home!

    No shit. Pantani had his strong moments no doubt however wearing bandana wasn’t one of them.

    This all really stemmed from him trying to drop the moniker of Elephantino, no? He hated that nickname and wanted to try to create a new one and came up with the whole Pirata persona.

    Had never really noticed how well the bandana matched the rest of his kit. Impressive and so much better than the ubiquitous red bandana I see too often.

    I appreciate the idea of a racer creating a persona while on the bike…as has been discussed previously it makes it easier to love, or hate, him or her.

  47. How the fuck did we miss this one?

  48. @Chris

    How the fuck did we miss this one?

    Saw that posted by Taylor Phinney today, the very definition of Casually Deliberate.

  49. The badger guide to the reversed cap…

  50. Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this until now…LeMan shows how to do it!

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