Too low and too short. Photo: Montreal Gazette

Riding Ugly: The Spider

Riding Ugly: The Spider

by / / 191 posts

There are lots of things to like about Vroomie Froomie, like his willingness to accept the fact that people are inclined to question his performances. Aside from me resenting him for leading a Tour which everyday becomes a little less exciting, he seems quite a likable guy; he is polite, respectful of the sport, wears team-issue bibs with his yellow jersey, his bike is only subtly yellow’d out, and he hasn’t publicly called anyone a c*nt that I’m aware of. That last point alone represents a refreshing change from last year.

When KRX10 and I worked together during the Dot-Bomb, we used to keep a miniature bike in our office, which we would use to do 6-corner time-trials around the office floor. I’m assuming someone must have made videos of those races and that they must have gone viral in Kenya, because it appears Froome modeled his position after ours on those tiny bikes.

I haven’t seen anyone ride in a position like his since Sean Kelly, except Sean always Looked Fantastic. His saddle is too low, his reach is too short, his back is too hunched, and his heels and elbows are pointed out like he’s trying to stomp on a Smurf. And, from the looks of his shoes, it appears he has been successful. I would very much appreciate it if he would sort himself out and attain a more pleasant position on the bike. I don’t care that he can make it go like a nutter; it’s an affront to my sense of aesthetics to see him hunched up like a spider humping a lightbulb.

And everyone knows that Science has proven spiders to be icky on account of having too many appendages.

// Etiquette // Look Pro // Riding Ugly // Tradition

  1. @ten B

    I have to say that Froome went down a couple of notches in The V-Stakes with his post-stage comments about Bertie’s crash. Taking too many uncalculated risks? FFS, risk management isn’t risk elimination! If Froom thinks others are descending recklessly, perhaps he should do some bloody risk management of his own and come off of the wheel. Then he can attack without remorse when the inevitable happens. Seems he’s getting a little bit precious in yellow.

    And with that, I give you…

     

    Froolum

     

    I completely agree. If he falls off chasing Bertie, that is his problem, not Contador’s. Froomey should be riding conservatively on the descents with a 4 minute lead! He would be a total muppet to drop it on descent and hand the victory to Mollema.

    He may be leading the TdF by 4 minutes, but he has still not won a GT yet. So he can’t play the “Patron” card and start pushing others around. If anything, the other riders seem to look up to Bertie, who has so many GT wins in the bank that he can afford to give a few away!

  2. @ten B

    I have to say that Froome went down a couple of notches in The V-Stakes with his post-stage comments about Bertie’s crash. Taking too many uncalculated risks? FFS, risk management isn’t risk elimination! If Froom thinks others are descending recklessly, perhaps he should do some bloody risk management of his own and come off of the wheel. Then he can attack without remorse when the inevitable happens. Seems he’s getting a little bit precious in yellow.

    And with that, I give you…

    Froolum

    Spot fucking on. He’s starting to sound like a Schleck. Perhaps the one taking uncalculated risks is the guy with a five-minute buffer chasing down a rider at a point in a stage where he poses little danger to his lead.

  3. @Marcus

    @Mikael Liddy teams supply their own yellow jerseys – just not the ones on the podium. That would be a Rapha jersey with Le Coq logo. Sleeves just appear rolled up.

    I’ve never heard this, ever. In fact, I’ve heard the opposite, where if the race is close a rider will endeavor to stay OUT of the yellow jersey because the team skin suit is faster in a ITT. Allegedly, this was the case for Ryder at the Giro last year.

    Also, I know the Tour supplies jerseys in all sizes pre-screened and ready for use. Also, riders like Cunego have had to resort to pinning their jerseys to make them fit because the race doesn’t supply a small enough jersey.

  4. @frank I thought I was fucking sure that teams made at least some of their own leaders’ jerseys – I could be wrong but I am pretty sure the ASO didnt make this one, nor would they have made Rolland’s dotty knicks.

  5. @frank btw, your statement, if a race is close, they go slower to avoid a crap skinsuit so they can go faster? Puhleeze.

    That would kind of defeat the purpose wouldnt it?

  6. @Bespoke Agreed that the movistar specs are made worse by the tiny faces and hollow cheeks of a pro on the razors edge, on a giant fat face like mine they may look the business!

    Did someone mention bourbon? I’ll have a Four Roses, thanks very much

  7. The podium jerseys are supplied by the race organization and the appropriate team logos are ironed on just before the ceremony.  But those aren’t actually worn in the race; the kit sponsors usually make up the race wear.  For a favorite for the win, like Froome, Rapha had a good idea they would need some yellow kit.

  8. @Marcus

    @frank I thought I was fucking sure that teams made at least some of their own leaders’ jerseys – I could be wrong but I am pretty sure the ASO didnt make this one, nor would they have made Rolland’s dotty knicks.

    Not the knicks, but that’s also why in most cases the colors don’t match.

    And yes, by the time the riders go to the post-tour crits, which is where Ricky V is in that abomination, they are no longer supplying the jerseys.

    @Marcus

    @frank btw, your statement, if a race is close, they go slower to avoid a crap skinsuit so they can go faster? Puhleeze.

    That would kind of defeat the purpose wouldnt it?

    Vaughters made this claim, yes. Not so much “went slower” as were happy not to take the jersey in a dead heat for the chance to ride in their own kit.

  9. @DerHoggz

    @Marcus

    @Mikael Liddy teams supply their own yellow jerseys – just not the ones on the podium. That would be a Rapha jersey with Le Coq logo. Sleeves just appear rolled up.

    Nope. Official Maillot Jaune has faux collar points this year. Compare collar, zipper and sleeves (raglan vs. standard).

    Good evidence. Nicely done. I don’t even know why we’re having this discussion because obviously if Rapha made the jersey it would be exactly like his usual race jersey but yellow. Its an idiotic discussion, something we both excel and accel in.

  10. @frank

    These discussions happen when the Tour isnt close. Wonder what the Tour would look like if the TV rights dollars were spread to the teams and they had a salary cap… 

    At least in the COTHO years the green jersey was always alive on the Champs…

  11. @frank

    @Marcus

    @frank I thought I was fucking sure that teams made at least some of their own leaders’ jerseys – I could be wrong but I am pretty sure the ASO didnt make this one, nor would they have made Rolland’s dotty knicks.

    Not the knicks, but that’s also why in most cases the colors don’t match.

    And yes, by the time the riders go to the post-tour crits, which is where Ricky V is in that abomination, they are no longer supplying the jerseys.

    @Marcus

    @frank btw, your statement, if a race is close, they go slower to avoid a crap skinsuit so they can go faster? Puhleeze.

    That would kind of defeat the purpose wouldnt it?

    Vaughters made this claim, yes. Not so much “went slower” as were happy not to take the jersey in a dead heat for the chance to ride in their own kit.

    Wiggins rode last years time trial in an Addidas skinsuit with ASO approval rather than the Le Coq Sportif suit provided by the organisers. He rode the Dauphine in the standard issue. According to this article Wiggo suggested that he would rather not take the lead in order to wear his own skinsuit.

  12. Chris Froome

    “I just think at this stage of the race, he is obviously getting desperate. They are attacking on us on the descents and attacking us on the climbs. I just think it was careless to ride like that.”

    WTF? 

    As for Ritchie Porte, what a fuckin bike rider he is I can’t believe he and Froome spent a all that time training in Tenerife, and he never said ” hey Chris that’s no way to ride a bike here watch this” even when he is completely fucked and they shelled him he still looked fantastic, settled down found his rhythm and rode right back to them, and was able to save Froomes ass once more to bring him and Contador back to the selection, have to feel for LTD missing that one as he has had a great Tour so far and worked hard for Mollema.

    Awesome ITT coming up 900m of ascent And descent could be interesting.

  13. Froome probably should have kept his thoughts to himself but I can see why he was a bit pissed off that Bertie almost had him off by fucking up right in front of him. If Bertie had been behind Froome, gone into the corner too fast and taken Froome out I don’t think there would have been many people disagreeing with Froome.

    It would also seem that Froome isn’t the only person that was pissed off. It’s been reported that Bertie’s thumbs up to Quintana was a sarcastic suggestion that Quintana had either caused the crash or tried to take unfair advantage of it. Valverde apparently was unimpressed and gave Bertie a bit of a verbal slap.

  14. I don’t think this is Schleck whinging from Froome, he kept the pace whereas Schleck los buckets of time.  Getting crashed out from someone else’s stupidity is no fun.

  15. @Dinan Hmmmmmm Makers Mark. It was just banter D, I apologise for any offence caused.

  16. @piwakawaka

    As for Ritchie Porte, what a fuckin bike rider he is I can’t believe he and Froome spent a all that time training in Tenerife, and he never said ” hey Chris that’s no way to ride a bike here watch this” even when he is completely fucked and they shelled him he still looked fantastic, settled down found his rhythm and rode right back to them, and was able to save Froomes ass once more to bring him and Contador back to the selection, have to feel for LTD missing that one as he has had a great Tour so far and worked hard for Mollema.
    Awesome ITT coming up 900m of ascent And descent could be interesting.

    +1 on Porte. When he fell off the back near the end I figured he was done for the day, and getting back to the lead both then and after the crash was some seriously inspired riding.

    As for Froome – it seems to me that this is a race, not a ride in the park. If somebody runs into you from the side or behind I think you have room to complain, but if you’re following somebody who crashes himself that’s just how it is. Either Froome thinks he needs every second, in which case they are not unnecessary risks, or he doesn’t, in which case it’s his own damn fault for being right on the wheel of somebody riding dangerously.

    On the style issue, I’m pretty sure the Contador should get a time bonus for looking so much better than Froome, especially since I picked him to win in the VSP.

  17. @ralph

    @piwakawaka

    As for Ritchie Porte, what a fuckin bike rider he is I can’t believe he and Froome spent a all that time training in Tenerife, and he never said ” hey Chris that’s no way to ride a bike here watch this” even when he is completely fucked and they shelled him he still looked fantastic, settled down found his rhythm and rode right back to them, and was able to save Froomes ass once more to bring him and Contador back to the selection, have to feel for LTD missing that one as he has had a great Tour so far and worked hard for Mollema.
    Awesome ITT coming up 900m of ascent And descent could be interesting.

    +1 on Porte. When he fell off the back near the end I figured he was done for the day, and getting back to the lead both then and after the crash was some seriously inspired riding.

    As for Froome – it seems to me that this is a race, not a ride in the park. If somebody runs into you from the side or behind I think you have room to complain, but if you’re following somebody who crashes himself that’s just how it is. Either Froome thinks he needs every second, in which case they are not unnecessary risks, or he doesn’t, in which case it’s his own damn fault for being right on the wheel of somebody riding dangerously.

    On the style issue, I’m pretty sure the Contador should get a time bonus for looking so much better than Froome, especially since I picked him to win in the VSP.

    Perhaps, for future VSP’s, the Keepers can write an algorithm that includes a measurement of looking good into the results. Certainly might inspire some interesting discussion.

  18. All that great writing, commentary on the Tour and all I’ve managed to remember is boobs and bourbon…………

  19. The Smurfs! I love that cartoon. Does everyone know there is a second female Smurf, included in Generation II? Yup. You’ve got your Smurfette…then you’ve got your Sassette. Ha!

    Froome does seem likable. His position does seem odd, though all I can see is that horrendous asymmetrical ring. Eck!

    Yup, those Movistar shades suck. Helmets. Each helmet, even nice ones, only look good on certain guys. The S-Works used to always look great, now they look like mushrooms on some riders. Screw de-labeling wheels, I wouldn’t wear any ugly helmet.

    Ha, office TTs! When younger my buddy moved into a new house, with a big as kitchen and a big as island. We’d time ourselves to see who could do ten laps the fastest. This is just one of the things we did when younger to have fun, which is one reason I shake my head when people proclaim they are/were bored. Fack, I’ve always, always wished I had more time, not had too much of it.

  20. Saw this photo of Sylvain and wonder if he is riding a smaller bike for comfort during warm-ups or if that is the regular size frame he rides. Looks scrunched to me, and he has been on a red bike during the Tour.

  21. @PeakInTwoYears

    @starclimber

    Speaking of Hinault, I often wish he’d stuffed Lemond and taken his sixth tour. Everything would have changed, everything. Hinault would be The Prophet. Well, no, but closer to, and he was fucking awesome enough to warrant consideration. Lemond wouldn’t have been shot, and might have won 7 Tours clean, and COTHO would have known that no amount of perfect doping would have sufficed to better this unassailable tally. He probably would have kept eating cycling shit sandwiches, the perfect fate for him.

    I say Lemond wouldn’t have been shot because losing to Hinault for the final time would have been akin to the butterfly’s wingbeat in Brazil. All history for him would have been altered. He wouldn’t have gone rabbit hunting because he’d have realized the degree of commitment necessary to truly be the best. He’d have turned himself into a cannibal badger to win, because the taste of betrayal, losing yet again despite the promise, would be something he could never again stomach.

    Wow. This is counterfactual history at its best. Chapeau!

    Great conjecture but I believe it has one major flaw:  The assumption that Hinault LET LeMan win in ’86.  No way, Brother.  Hinault was attacking and trying to beat LeMan that entire tour and said as much himself.

  22. @Buck Rogers

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @starclimber

    Speaking of Hinault, I often wish he’d stuffed Lemond and taken his sixth tour. Everything would have changed, everything. Hinault would be The Prophet. Well, no, but closer to, and he was fucking awesome enough to warrant consideration. Lemond wouldn’t have been shot, and might have won 7 Tours clean, and COTHO would have known that no amount of perfect doping would have sufficed to better this unassailable tally. He probably would have kept eating cycling shit sandwiches, the perfect fate for him.

    I say Lemond wouldn’t have been shot because losing to Hinault for the final time would have been akin to the butterfly’s wingbeat in Brazil. All history for him would have been altered. He wouldn’t have gone rabbit hunting because he’d have realized the degree of commitment necessary to truly be the best. He’d have turned himself into a cannibal badger to win, because the taste of betrayal, losing yet again despite the promise, would be something he could never again stomach.

    Wow. This is counterfactual history at its best. Chapeau!

    Great conjecture but I believe it has one major flaw: The assumption that Hinault LET LeMan win in ’86. No way, Brother. Hinault was attacking and trying to beat LeMan that entire tour and said as much himself.

    Seconded. Hinault never let anyone win shit. But if you suspend disbelief…

    Also, I think LeMond was too much about work/life balance to ever give up golfing etc.

  23. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @starclimber

    Speaking of Hinault, I often wish he’d stuffed Lemond and taken his sixth tour. Everything would have changed, everything. Hinault would be The Prophet. Well, no, but closer to, and he was fucking awesome enough to warrant consideration. Lemond wouldn’t have been shot, and might have won 7 Tours clean, and COTHO would have known that no amount of perfect doping would have sufficed to better this unassailable tally. He probably would have kept eating cycling shit sandwiches, the perfect fate for him.

    I say Lemond wouldn’t have been shot because losing to Hinault for the final time would have been akin to the butterfly’s wingbeat in Brazil. All history for him would have been altered. He wouldn’t have gone rabbit hunting because he’d have realized the degree of commitment necessary to truly be the best. He’d have turned himself into a cannibal badger to win, because the taste of betrayal, losing yet again despite the promise, would be something he could never again stomach.

    Wow. This is counterfactual history at its best. Chapeau!

    Great conjecture but I believe it has one major flaw: The assumption that Hinault LET LeMan win in ’86. No way, Brother. Hinault was attacking and trying to beat LeMan that entire tour and said as much himself.

    Seconded. Hinault never let anyone win shit. But if you suspend disbelief…

    Also, I think LeMond was too much about work/life balance to ever give up golfing etc.

    Golfing and hunting.  He loved/loves them both. 

    And since this is a bit of a cycling history cite, he was shot while turkey hunting with his brother-in-law, not rabbit.  But, totally splitting hairs there and I see your point.  Sorry, is my OCD showing?

  24. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @starclimber

    Speaking of Hinault, I often wish he’d stuffed Lemond and taken his sixth tour. Everything would have changed, everything. Hinault would be The Prophet. Well, no, but closer to, and he was fucking awesome enough to warrant consideration. Lemond wouldn’t have been shot, and might have won 7 Tours clean, and COTHO would have known that no amount of perfect doping would have sufficed to better this unassailable tally. He probably would have kept eating cycling shit sandwiches, the perfect fate for him.

    I say Lemond wouldn’t have been shot because losing to Hinault for the final time would have been akin to the butterfly’s wingbeat in Brazil. All history for him would have been altered. He wouldn’t have gone rabbit hunting because he’d have realized the degree of commitment necessary to truly be the best. He’d have turned himself into a cannibal badger to win, because the taste of betrayal, losing yet again despite the promise, would be something he could never again stomach.

    Wow. This is counterfactual history at its best. Chapeau!

    Great conjecture but I believe it has one major flaw: The assumption that Hinault LET LeMan win in ’86. No way, Brother. Hinault was attacking and trying to beat LeMan that entire tour and said as much himself.

    Seconded. Hinault never let anyone win shit. But if you suspend disbelief…

    Also, I think LeMond was too much about work/life balance to ever give up golfing etc.

    Golfing and hunting. He loved/loves them both.

    And since this is a bit of a cycling history cite, he was shot while turkey hunting with his brother-in-law, not rabbit. But, totally splitting hairs there and I see your point. Sorry, is my OCD showing?

    No, turkey hunting has credibility, rabbit hunting does not.

  25. @TBONE

    Brother, that’s funny as FUCK!!!  Killed me!  Love the expression!

  26. @frank

    @Nate

    Beyond awesome:

    More here: http://www.pavedmag.com/featured/5-reasons-why-he%E2%80%99s-greg-lemond-and-you%E2%80%99re-not/

    BEST PHOTO EVER.

    What is LeBoy holding there?  I’m guessing its a pair of tubulars he won as a prime.  Also, mad props to him for properly repping his sponsor/framebuilder, who is still in the biz after all these years.

  27. @Nate yeah, a pair of tubulars.  Best thing to win when I was a kid racing as they cost about 50 plus bucks even back in the ’80’s.  Expensive for a 16 year old kid for sure!

  28. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @starclimber

    Speaking of Hinault, I often wish he’d stuffed Lemond and taken his sixth tour. Everything would have changed, everything. Hinault would be The Prophet. Well, no, but closer to, and he was fucking awesome enough to warrant consideration. Lemond wouldn’t have been shot, and might have won 7 Tours clean, and COTHO would have known that no amount of perfect doping would have sufficed to better this unassailable tally. He probably would have kept eating cycling shit sandwiches, the perfect fate for him.

    I say Lemond wouldn’t have been shot because losing to Hinault for the final time would have been akin to the butterfly’s wingbeat in Brazil. All history for him would have been altered. He wouldn’t have gone rabbit hunting because he’d have realized the degree of commitment necessary to truly be the best. He’d have turned himself into a cannibal badger to win, because the taste of betrayal, losing yet again despite the promise, would be something he could never again stomach.

    Wow. This is counterfactual history at its best. Chapeau!

    Great conjecture but I believe it has one major flaw: The assumption that Hinault LET LeMan win in ’86. No way, Brother. Hinault was attacking and trying to beat LeMan that entire tour and said as much himself.

    Seconded. Hinault never let anyone win shit. But if you suspend disbelief…

    Also, I think LeMond was too much about work/life balance to ever give up golfing etc.

    Golfing and hunting. He loved/loves them both.

    And since this is a bit of a cycling history cite, he was shot while turkey hunting with his brother-in-law, not rabbit. But, totally splitting hairs there and I see your point. Sorry, is my OCD showing?

    No, turkey hunting has credibility, rabbit hunting does not.

    Fact is, Italians can not like French riders.

  29. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Comes down to style.

  30. @Buck Rogers

    And since this is a bit of a cycling history cite, he was shot while turkey hunting with his brother-in-law, not rabbit. But, totally splitting hairs there and I see your point. Sorry, is my OCD showing?

    You’re totally splitting hares and talking turkey there mate…

  31. Defending flights of fancy isn’t my style, but careful re-reading of my beery-dreamy pre-apocalyptic words leads me to these new, even beerier words: where, exactly, did I say/suggest/imply/hint or assume that Hinault ‘let’ Lemond win? I said I wish he’d ‘stuffed him’, as in the dumpster, or possibly as a lesser…um…yes…’turkey’. He failed, and I think cycling paid for this failure in the long run. For this, I believe even Merckx weeps.

  32. @starclimber

    Wait, are we supposed to read your posts before snapping to conclusions?

  33. Well, no, not if they’re posted here, for merckxsakes…get a grip, man!

  34. @frank

    @starclimber

    Wait, are we supposed to read your posts before snapping to conclusions?

    @starclimber

    Well, no, not if they’re posted here, for merckxsakes…get a grip, man!

     

     

    Yeah, seriously, I always stop reading after about the second sentence of any post so you need to make your point up front or I am not responsible for anything I say about what you said after that point.

    You really expect anyone to read more than two sentences???

    Although, in your defense, I just reread your first two sentences and you never actually did saw anything about “letting” LeMan win.  Oh well, fuck it, how else are we supposed to gets things worked up around here!

  35. @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    And since this is a bit of a cycling history cite, he was shot while turkey hunting with his brother-in-law, not rabbit. But, totally splitting hairs there and I see your point. Sorry, is my OCD showing?

    You’re totally splitting hares and talking turkey there mate…

    Jesus, death by puns!  But I give you credit, they were very well played and I deserved that!

  36. @Steampunk the gear was 38*28

  37. @flyfly

    Thanks! That is a small gear compared with what Kelly was talking about.

  38. @frank

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    Comes down to style.

    You talk about Italian style and you don’t offer a single picture of Coppi?

  39. @Steampunk

    @frank

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    Comes down to style.

    You talk about Italian style and you don’t offer a single picture of Coppi?

    Italians are just “different” aren’t they? (And I mean that in a good way.) I mean, You’d never get a Scot or an English rider even attempting that level of sartorial daredevilishness and be able to carry it off.

  40. Curiously, Coppi and I share the same look of ‘I’ve got your contrition right ‘here’, bitches!’. You really need the imperious visage to pull off dressing like shit.

  41. @starclimber

    dressing like shit.

    Like what?

  42. I was referring primarily to my own dodgy apparel, but the rugby shirt with breast pocket look is less than pure gold. Maybe it’s because I can’t help seeing a floppy eared dog caricature in the collar region.

  43. And speaking about style:

    “Yesterday Chris Froome illustrates why you should have never acted like a stroppy little prick last year when Brad was in trouble…”

  44. its not what you wear but how you wear it that counts, the same for riding a bike, some quote from some obscure book some where, I forget now, some thing like, “we are cyclists the rest of the world merely rides a bike!”

  45. All of the photos posted on this page are to die for. Seriously. Coppi’s contempt would kill me if he ever shot me that gaze.

  46. Funny, I’ve always thought the guy in the coat on the left was a journo based on the pad type thing in his left hand…but looks like he’s the one in the background offering some ‘advice’ here as well so might have been one of Coppi’s entourage.

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