Anatomy of a Photo: After the Finish on Ventoux

Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

This has to be one of the best photos of the 2013 Tour: Nairo Quintana at the finish on the Ventoux. Nairo gives very little away when he climbs but as he crossed the line his head dropped and the lights went out. He later admitted having gone too early again. Before that, on the slopes of the Giant of Provence, he knew he was going to win. Then he was caught, then dropped, then he regained Froome’s wheel. Finally he was dropped a second time, towards the summit. There was no fighting back to Froome’s wheel, only the need to race on, as fast as possible.

His soigneur drapes a fresh long sleeve jersey on his shoulders, a bottle of pink spanish recovery fluid awaits. Nairo’s left hand lies open by his leg. His head hangs with exhaustion and disappointment. This soigneur has to do his magic now as Quintana has left it all on the Ventoux.

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73 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: After the Finish on Ventoux”

  1. @Nate

    Nairo is a fun rider to watch. He’s very well rounded for a young grimpeur.

    And I suspect we’ll be watching him for quite some time now.

  2. He has illuminated the last few days.  What a great race face.  He’s a huge talent that I hope we will be watching through a long career. I think his salary may be a little larger next year.

  3. Agree with you all.  He’s been at all the right places and kept his cool, racing maturity beyond his years (like I would fucking know).  He deserves the podium but that would mess with my VSP.

    Wouldn’t Quinoa Quintana be a great name for his kid?

  4. that is one hell of a great photo … 

    Great job on Rules #17, #27, #28, #33, #39,42,50,53,61

    I also expect that 5,11,20 and 70 were all heavily in play along the way maybe a few others I missed..

  5. Gianni, I do like this photo too, no need to explain the reasons, but there something in the photos of this Tour in general (riders and tifosi) that leave me some doubts.

    It seems to me (I could be wrong) that the spectacularization of the Tour is going out of control, what we saw on the slopes of the Ventoux and the Alpe d’Huez has in my opinion little to do with cycling. All that people dressed like Super-Heroes, Borats, Vikings, E.T. completely naked are tifosi? Really?

    Once, the fools that run alongside the riders were electrified by seeing beautiful champions now it’s all about being filmed by the TV.

    And even the riders looks much more available during and at the end of the stages, something I’ve never seen at the Italian races, Quintana above, Jens in an almost identical photo, Hnsen with the beer…

    I think it’s time for me to have a look in person at that race (wink).

  6. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Gianni, I do like this photo too, no need to explain the reasons, but there something in the photos of this Tour in general (riders and tifosi) that leave me some doubts.

    It seems to me (I could be wrong) that the spectacularization of the Tour is going out of control, what we saw on the slopes of the Ventoux and the Alpe d’Huez has in my opinion little to do with cycling. All that people dressed like Super-Heroes, Borats, Vikings, E.T. completely naked are tifosi? Really?

    Once, the fools that run alongside the riders were electrified by seeing beautiful champions now it’s all about being filmed by the TV.

    And even the riders looks much more available during and at the end of the stages, something I’ve never seen at the Italian races, Quintana above, Jens in an almost identical photo, Hnsen with the beer…

    I think it’s time for me to have a look in person at that race (wink).

    Do it PF! Find the soul of the 2014 race, not the social media-filling false “spectacle”.

  7. Quintana is a breath of freash air. Humble, even nervous on his first few trips to the podum, but now looking more comfortable. His little smile seems to say “Hey, I CAN do this!”. Great back story (family in poverty, nearly dying as a sickly child, etc).. Maybe too small to ever be a great TT’er, but he coould easily win a hilly GT (or this year’s World Champs?).

  8. The photo of Adam Hansen with the beer is a great shot. I believe he is the only rider to finish the Giro, Le Tour and the Vuelta in 2012. A stunning achievement. I do hope he had a sip of that beer!

  9. @Pedale.Forchetta

    You’re not wrong unfortunately.All we need now is cheerleaders shaking their asses between head of the race, chasse patate riders and the peloton. TDF is becoming a strange race.Somehow it feels kind of right to me.Giro had and still has a place in my heart and somehow I just don’t give a fuck about TDF and all that journalism circus.I have watched Vive le Velo and few highlights here and there but that’s about it.

  10. The body posture clearly shows he’s left everything on the mountain.  He doesn’t even have the strength to sit upright.  The press which is normally in the riders face is actually a respectful distance, aware of what they’ve seen…. An almost intimate quiet circle in the midst of the chaos of the finish line, as if by kneeling down they are out of sight of the surging crowd.  Epic.

  11. @Pedale.Forchetta

    It seems to me (I could be wrong) that the spectacularization of the Tour is going out of control, what we saw on the slopes of the Ventoux and the Alpe d’Huez has in my opinion little to do with cycling. All that people dressed like Super-Heroes, Borats, Vikings, E.T. completely naked are tifosi? Really?

    Once, the fools that run alongside the riders were electrified by seeing beautiful champions now it’s all about being filmed by the TV.

    I agree completely. They are mugging for the tv camera and I can only relax when the riders are inside the barriers. I was pleased to see a French policeman on Alpe d’Huez grab one of these punks and “reposition” on the side of the road. The Tour of California is afflicted with this too, we may well have started it, not the drunkenness but the stupid costumes and bad behavior.

    I don’t even understand why people run next to riders and yell at them. I’m in total awe when I see these guys, I would never want to mess with their concentration.

  12. I was reading about Quintanta riding to school everyday when he was young. His route included a 16KM long climb averaging 8%. its no wonder that he’s a great rider

  13. At 5’5, Quintana is my new inspiration to drop 7kg and see if I can climb like him. My wife might get upset that I’d weight the same as her, though. Good thing the bike doesn’t complain when it’s rider loses weight.

  14. @motor city

    I was reading about Quintanta riding to school everyday when he was young. His route included a 16KM long climb averaging 8%. its no wonder that he’s a great rider

    Heard Matt Keenan saying that Quintana as a 10 year old drove taxi’s to help support his family. He had to drive at night to avoid police seeing him behind the wheel.

  15. @motor city

    Fucking antler guy, what a douche. Did his momma drop him on his dome when he was young?

    I know Frank spent a crazy night on l’Alpe d’Huez, one would assume he would gravitate toward Dutch corner. I didn’t understand it was a national trait; getting drunker and louder and happier works for all Dutch. I thought that was a Frank thing.

  16. @TommyTubolare

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    You’re not wrong unfortunately.All we need now is cheerleaders shaking their asses between head of the race, chasse patate riders and the peloton. TDF is becoming a strange race.Somehow it feels kind of right to me.Giro had and still has a place in my heart and somehow I just don’t give a fuck about TDF and all that journalism circus.I have watched Vive le Velo and few highlights here and there but that’s about it.

    Yeah, and then we need to have the riders take a break halfway through because its so hard to ride for 90 minutes or whatever and then have Bouncie play to interrupt the boredom.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42w3I-kwS_Q

  17. @Gianni Thanks for sharing that photo, It’s sure to become a classic–going beyond the physical (“I left everything on the mountain”) to a prayer (“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”).

  18. Per Rule #19, My name is Ben and this is my first ever post although I have been a fan of the site for 3 years now.  I didn’t grow up as a fan of cycling so your site has been a great resource as I have nurtured my rapidly growing appreciation of cycling.  Since March I have been focusing on hill repeats as a way to get stronger and leaner.  I have been blown away by how effortlessly Quintana climbs.  To say that I commune with butterflies is and understatement of epic proportion.  My favorite rule is #10 and today as I had the Tour de France open on my desktop at work and I saw something pop up that I thought was worth sharing.

    Vanmarcke leads peloton a day after climbing Alpe d’Huez in big chainring

    Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) is at front of the peloton that crested the col du Glandon 7’50” behind the two stage leaders. The Belkin rider had bike problems yesterday and was forced to do the second ascent of Alpe d’Huez in the 53 chainring… he posted the 42nd best time for the climb, a little over nine minutes slower than Quintana who was fastest.

    I don’t know anything about this rider and will spend some time researching him later, but I thought that this is a group that would appreciate it most.

  19. @benjammin73

    Welcome. Sep Vanmarcke is a badass, plain and simple. He nearly won Paris-Roubaix, he is no wee climber and now we hear he does the 2nd ascent of Alpe d’Huez in the 53. Sheeit, That’s a man. You can’t emulate Quintana unless you are small and a born climber. Sep Vanmarcke is someone worth emulating; be good on the flats and the hills, Rule #5 for breakfast. 

  20. @Gianni

    Thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it.  It’s good to hear that I ws impressed by someone worthy of it.  Thanks to all the keepers.  Sur la Plaque!

  21. @TBONE

    @pakrat

    @TBONE

    If only the next two frames were available.

    Best I can do, chief.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls3NxXSb1K0

    How about the guy who did the tripping hiding behind his girl when the dayglo weirdo goes after him? If you’re going to step up and make a play like that at least be a man and stand up for yourself. Of course Mr. Skittles was about twice as tall as him and probably would have shellacked him – but hiding behind your lady? Weak.

  22. Quintana has proven himself, not just a great climber but a good bike racer too. I love this kid. I think he will be on the second step of the podium on sunday. Grand tour winner next year

  23. Agreed. I will take that photo with me and know that whenever I loose a race or KOM I will know if I don’t feel like that I didn’t give my all.

  24. @FuriousFred

    @TBONE

    Second best photo of le Tour.

    Close-lining him would have been much more betterer.

    Not really wishing to advocate assault but I suppose I am, physical interruption or disruption of these muppets should be positively encouraged. Clothesline, the good old fashioned trip or a sharp exit stage droit or gauche? No preference, just make it entertaining.

  25. @LA Dave

    @TBONE

    @pakrat

    @TBONE

    If only the next two frames were available.

    Best I can do, chief.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls3NxXSb1K0

    How about the guy who did the tripping hiding behind his girl when the dayglo weirdo goes after him? If you’re going to step up and make a play like that at least be a man and stand up for yourself. Of course Mr. Skittles was about twice as tall as him and probably would have shellacked him – but hiding behind your lady? Weak.

    It looked like he was behind his grandma. Good tactic No-one messes with granny.

  26. An amazing shot.

    @TommyTubolare

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    Good points made by you both. As much as I love cycling and watching these  blokes punsih themselves like Quintana has done here, these clowns are are making the TdF spectacle into a circus. It is truly a glorious sport that has become almost too popular for its own good.

  27. @JohnB

    @FuriousFred

    @TBONE

    Second best photo of le Tour.

    Close-lining him would have been much more betterer.

    Not really wishing to advocate assault but I suppose I am, physical interruption or disruption of these muppets should be positively encouraged. Clothesline, the good old fashioned trip or a sharp exit stage droit or gauche? No preference, just make it entertaining.

    They should have the local rugby clubs line the climbs (or gridiron teams for the Tour of California) with instructions to take down anyone running alongside the riders in fancy dress. It would make good off season tackling practice.

  28. @JohnB

    @LA Dave

    @TBONE

    @pakrat

    @TBONE

    If only the next two frames were available.

    Best I can do, chief.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls3NxXSb1K0

    How about the guy who did the tripping hiding behind his girl when the dayglo weirdo goes after him? If you’re going to step up and make a play like that at least be a man and stand up for yourself. Of course Mr. Skittles was about twice as tall as him and probably would have shellacked him – but hiding behind your lady? Weak.

    It looked like he was behind his grandma. Good tactic No-one messes with granny.

    His grandma is his lady? Not only is he a coward, but he’s a sicko as well.

  29. All great suggestions regarding the mountain trolls who have to insert their pathetic squalid selves into the majesty of the event.  Short off permanently crippling or killing someone, game on.  First quarantine all the douche bags (minus didi) in costume anstruck them minus their gear to the very bottom.  Any man throngs,…ditto.  As for the rest, feel free to whale away at will, always mindful that you don’t drive the dbag into the path of the rider.  Remember, physics is you friend so attack from uphill. Using velocity to make up for your skinny biker body.  At this point it is perfectly acceptable to dance away into the crowd.  After all you’re not seeking credit, merely performing a public service.

  30. Obviously an exception should be made for the guy running with the stuffed wild boar, that was just so bizarre it was awesome.

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