The Curse of Hell

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 the race. When the race came on, everything was covered in mud, even the lens on the television camera was spattered. The VMH and I looked at each other and said, “Why is it always raining during this race?”

So there you have it. I take full responsibility for causing every Roubaix since to be cursed by dryness. I’ve been doing rain dances, head-stands and seances every year since with absolutely no improvement in racing conditions. So this year, I’m trying another tactic.

hope its dry this year. Mud is messy and I bet wet cobbles are downright unpleasant to ride on. They’re probably slippery too, and slippery roads can be dangerous. Just ask Fabian Cancellara. And muddy riders? They don’t look very tidy, now, do they? What would the sponsors say about that?

That settles it; it would be downright irresponsible to allow Paris-Roubaix to be held in Rule #9 conditions. Good thing, then, that its always dry.

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57 Replies to “The Curse of Hell”

  1. Nooooooo! I was having a bastard of a Monday already, now you are telling me Boonen might not be there to race against Sep and Fabian? Damnit!!

  2. Mega fuck on the Tommeke situation. My anticipation for the big northern classics has waned a bit. I know it shouldn’t just because of one rider, but I was so hoping Tommeke would get P-R #5. Big man seemed on form, home life was happy, EQS was having a good spring. Shit, shit, shit.

  3. @frank

    @wiscot

    Both of them looked so fantastic on the bike, and Ballerini’s Bianchi had the softride stem, which under the circumstances probably offered a better ride than the Rock Shox did, because it could absorb smaller bumps whereas the RS of those days really only absorbed the bitter bumps.

    But I can not conceive how horrible is must have been to sprint on the velodrome using that stem…probably cost him the race in the end!

    Good point. If Franco’s front end was a bit squishy in a flat out, mano-a-mano sprint on a hard surface, it could have cost him the millseconds between Gibus’s front wheel crossing the line and his. I also wonder if the weird frame geoetry at the front may have played a role? How close was it to his regular set-up?

    You rarely see pros the size of Gibus and Franco these days do you? They were solid.

  4. @wiscot

    @frank

    @wiscot

    Both of them looked so fantastic on the bike, and Ballerini’s Bianchi had the softride stem, which under the circumstances probably offered a better ride than the Rock Shox did, because it could absorb smaller bumps whereas the RS of those days really only absorbed the bitter bumps.

    But I can not conceive how horrible is must have been to sprint on the velodrome using that stem…probably cost him the race in the end!

    Good point. If Franco’s front end was a bit squishy in a flat out, mano-a-mano sprint on a hard surface, it could have cost him the millseconds between Gibus’s front wheel crossing the line and his. I also wonder if the weird frame geoetry at the front may have played a role? How close was it to his regular set-up?

    I remember the top tube sloping down significantly, so the frame was obviously custom. I’d imagine it was a pretty close fit.

    And the rock shox compressed too, but having ridden both designs (on a mtb) I can tell you the softride was much more noticeable out of the saddle.

    You rarely see pros the size of Gibus and Franco these days do you? They were solid.

    Yup. That’s what you need to look like to ride a bike if you don’t want to break every time you come off.

  5. @wiscot

    @frank

    @wiscot

    Both of them looked so fantastic on the bike, and Ballerini’s Bianchi had the softride stem, which under the circumstances probably offered a better ride than the Rock Shox did, because it could absorb smaller bumps whereas the RS of those days really only absorbed the bitter bumps.

    But I can not conceive how horrible is must have been to sprint on the velodrome using that stem…probably cost him the race in the end!

    You rarely see pros the size of Gibus and Franco these days do you? They were solid.

    And their jerseys fit perfectly, too. Not skin tight but closely fitted. This continues to be my favorite era from a purely aesthetic standpoint.

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