Awesome Belgian Guys: Edwig Van Hooydonk

Awesome Belgian Guys: Edwig Van Hooydonk

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It was Frank’s recent post that started all this. Mentioning Breukink always makes me think of my friend’s saying, “I have a Breukink in my Van Hooydonk” as his excuse for coming up short on a long training ride. Maybe that’s only funny during a long training ride. That phrase put me back onto Van Hooydonk, a rider I admired because he was so damn tall. The bike is a great equalizer: though there may be an ideal size rider, people like Van Hooydonk prove the exception, unless you are too fat to climb. Edwig rode a steel Colnago and this fact is what put a Colnago at the top of the other recent post. But Edwig’s Colnago was unusual. He was tall and whippy but didn’t want a tall and whippy ride so he used a smaller frame and put a giant spacer above the head tube to get his stem and handlebars up to the correct height. Now a sloping top tube might be the solution but back in days of hairnets, all frames were still the standard double diamond geometry. But his story is relevant to recent doping news so it’s a good time to tie it all together.

Edwig was born near Antwerp, Belgium. The tall lanky red head won the U-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen, something monumental for a young Flemish racer. We saw this race go by in the Keepers Tour 2012 and it might as well have been the real professionals. These guys were so strong and fast. Three years later he crossed the finish line in tears as he soloed to his first of two professional Ronde victories. The pressure of being the next Eddy must be hung on every young Belgian who wins the Ronde and he was no exception. He earned the name Boss of the Bosberg after winning his second Ronde by lighting it up on the final climb of the race. He was an adept Classics rider at the heights of his powers when EPO, then legal, began changing the landscape of professional racing. Drugs and bike racing have been conjoined twins for who knows how long, but the use of EPO to raise red blood cell concentration to sometimes fatal levels in the early 1990s was a quantum change.

Another reason I admire Van Hooydonk was his decision to retire early rather than jump on the EPO train as it was leaving the station. As an American I can’t produce the fitting analogy for what it must have meant for Van Hooydonk to be a top Belgian cyclists with the fame and possible financial rewards, yet he stops and gets off the bike. One either rationalizes doping to keep up; everyone is doing it. Or one says that’s cheating, that’s not racing, I’m not going to participate.

The spectator’s attitude about doping in cycling covers the spectrum. Some think it doesn’t really matter as it produces exciting, stupendous racing. Some are still convinced everyone is doping in 2012 and if everyone is doping maybe it’s a level playing field. Personally, I see it in nearly black and white terms. I’ve always felt it’s cheating and unacceptable. I believe teams like Garmin are totally clean and Ryder just proved a Grand Tour can be won without drugs. For riders, if it’s cheating and you don’t want to participate anymore you retire, like Vaughters and Van Hoodyonk. But these guys are one part of the doping equation we don’t think about. When you retire you are off the radar screen, a has-been, you have moved on. But a few people like Vaughters and Van Hooydonk retired early, not as they ever intended, more because they were not going to race on those terms. I think these guys deserve some respect, certainly more than the riders who so easily stepped on the train. My apologies for once again bringing up the doping subject on Velominati but it’s always there. It is a hard subject to avoid.

A little video of 1989 Ronde, run in good old fashion Belgian spring weather. Think Spring Classics Keepers Tour 2013, this could be you!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-o9AdhJVug&feature=related[/youtube]

I don’t know a word of Flemish but to watch his face enough. Here is a proud man who is still angry and disappointed.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y40UjVlRAWg[/youtube]

// Awesome Belgian Guys // The Hardmen

  1. @brett

    @Marcus

    That photo only works coz you can’t see her head…

    You were trying to look at her face? Really?

  2. @Ron

    @Nate

    That Superconfex kit is pimp.

    @Gianni

    Thar she blows! Awesomeness. Not a Colnago but the idea is the same. There is the extended head tube, Atala kit and ‘stache. I’m in heaven.

    That must be an imposter.  The bar angle is all wrong, and more significantly, Urs’s inner ring was only to make us mortals feel better about ourselves, not for actual use.

    Nate, you are always on, my friend. NICE work! Hell yes, his mechanic, being a thoughtful soul would install the inner ring when Urs least suspected it, then keep him distracted all day before the race. It was only there to make us feel better about ourselves…That’s awesome!

    Question for ya – when was the black rim popular? I like all black wheels, sometimes like black rims/silver hubs, but generally either prefer all black or all silver. And, the fully black rim is interesting, as now many of them have silver braking walls.

    But that’s no ordinary inner ring. That’s no standard 42 for sure. Must be maybe a 48 with a 54 outer? Also, maybe it’s just the light, but the black braking surface on the front wheel seems a bit worn . . . Still, it’s Urs so he can do what he wants and still look awesome. Pity the Giro changed the points jersey colors, I always liked the purple/white combo.

  3. @Ron

    I think I told you this yetsterday but black/dark gray anodized rims & brake track with silver spokes & hubs.  Class.

  4. @Marcus

    Ooooh, a swimmer in a swimsuit! Somebody pinch me!

    @wiscot

    But that’s no ordinary inner ring. That’s no standard 42 for sure. Must be maybe a 48 with a 54 outer? Also, maybe it’s just the light, but the black braking surface on the front wheel seems a bit worn . . . Still, it’s Urs so he can do what he wants and still look awesome. Pity the Giro changed the points jersey colors, I always liked the purple/white combo.

    Don’t think they had 54’s then. Looks like a 52 with a 48 to me.

  5. @brett I’m really starting to worry about you…

  6. @frank …and you too, apparently.

  7. @Oli

    @brett I’m really starting to worry about you…

    Because?

    She is a vacuous moron, with a fat nose and no hips or tits who thinks she’s hot but is in reality just very ordinary and should keep her mouth shut.

  8. @sthilzy

    Oh dear. This is worse than doping. At least Nordy looks like he’s taking the piss, whereas Bling actuallly practices that shit and looks like an extra from Jersey Shore…

  9. @Ron

    http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/12806/Museeuw-admits-doping-was-part-of-daily-life-when-he-raced.aspx

    Just gained more respect for him.  Not that he caresor anything, but I am glad to hear him open up about it.

  10. @Oli

    @frank Delion was the Christophe Bassons of his day – famously outspoken about drugs, to the extent of pointing fingers and naming names.

    Huh, I did not know that about him?  He always seemed like such a pretty boy, I never really warmed up to him.  Good to know.  Thanks Oli.

  11. @brett Man, that’s harsh! I would love to see the high standards you set for the women you hang out with, just to see if your critical searchlight is as intensely engaged. Anyway, I’m just looking at the picture I’m presented with not researching to see if I can find a bad pic or dig some dirt on her personality.

  12. @Buck Rogers Anytime, Buck! If I know it I’m always happy to share it…

  13. @Oli

    Harsh? Not at all… I don’t have time to post up links to all her idiotic tweets and scandals, but a quick google will fill you in. 

    @Oli

    If I know it I’m always happy to share it…

    Me too… you just learned something about an airheaded attention whore.

  14. @brett My point is that you’re way over-thinking this – it’s a pic of a near naked fit woman, that should be good enough. I don’t even know who she is even if I wanted to Gooble her!

  15. @brett And it is harsh.

  16. @brett you are oh so wrong. She is quite cute (but admittedly she is no Alyson Felix or Lolo Jones – my two current favorite sportswomen. In terms of intellect, what do you expect (or indeed want)from a 24yo who has spent large part of her life looking at a black line? She has loads of V – you don’t win Olympic IMs (with a world record) without being a tough little senorita. And apparently she loves it!

    So just like the Cookie Monster says, that’s good enough for me.

    And Steph would probably say to you – “Suck on that, faggot.”

     

  17. @Oli she is Stephanie Rice. Won 3 golds in Beijing (both IMs and the 200 relay). Had an ordinary London games – primarily due to shoulder injuries restricting her training. To my mind she is a star in a very tough discipline of a tough sport. Has gained some notoriety in Australia due to dating a few different sportspeople and for making some bad tweets – such as “Suck on that faggots” when Australia beat South Africa rugby.

    Brett is very harsh on her. But that is his way (as it is mine). However, unlike me, he has no idea. I have always dismissed his views ever since he called you fat.

  18. @Marcus

    Yeah, she can swim. Doesn’t make her any less of an airhead. You find her attractive, I don’t. Doesn’t make you right and me wrong. Just differing opinions.

    As for intellect, that’s different to common sense, especially if you’re in the public eye. Maybe a pause before before hitting ‘send’ on a tweet and she wouldn’t be making headlines for the wrong reasons. But we all do stupid shit, hence the post you just brought up. Thanks, prick.

  19. @wiscot

    @Ron

    @Nate

    That Superconfex kit is pimp.

    @Gianni

    Thar she blows! Awesomeness. Not a Colnago but the idea is the same. There is the extended head tube, Atala kit and ‘stache. I’m in heaven.

    That must be an imposter.  The bar angle is all wrong, and more significantly, Urs’s inner ring was only to make us mortals feel better about ourselves, not for actual use.

    Nate, you are always on, my friend. NICE work! Hell yes, his mechanic, being a thoughtful soul would install the inner ring when Urs least suspected it, then keep him distracted all day before the race. It was only there to make us feel better about ourselves…That’s awesome!

    Question for ya – when was the black rim popular? I like all black wheels, sometimes like black rims/silver hubs, but generally either prefer all black or all silver. And, the fully black rim is interesting, as now many of them have silver braking walls.

    But that’s no ordinary inner ring. That’s no standard 42 for sure. Must be maybe a 48 with a 54 outer? Also, maybe it’s just the light, but the black braking surface on the front wheel seems a bit worn . . . Still, it’s Urs so he can do what he wants and still look awesome. Pity the Giro changed the points jersey colors, I always liked the purple/white combo.

    Black rims?   They were anodised to a dark grey / black depending on the manufacturer.  Most of the good rims from the 80’s and 90’s were like this.

    Mavics GP4’s and GL 330’s tended to have a warm grey tone to them whilst Ambrosios often were a darker cool grey.  The silver that you see was where the braking tack would wear a bit, exposing the aluminium beneath.

  20. @Marcus

    (Rodney Dangerfield voice) “Hey, she even knows how to wear fashion. Hardly any!” “All the parts are there…”

  21. @Marcus Cheers for the intel and the support.

    @brett I’M JUST BIG-BONED!!1!!!1!

  22. @Oli

    @Marcus

    @brett

    Just ask Brett how his saddlebag post is going. Pretty well so far I think!

    Distracting attention over here, for shame.

  23. @Nate

    That must be an imposter. The bar angle is all wrong, and more significantly, Urs’s inner ring was only to make us mortals feel better about ourselves, not for actual use.

    The bar angle is not wrong.  It looks dead-level.  It’s nice to have a nice, deep bend like that.  Does anyone ride a modern bar with that big a drop?

    Re: the gearing.  That’s probably a 42/52.   Shifting mechs have come a long, long way since then.  I don’t just mean the greater number of rear cogs

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