Anatomy of a Photo: Fausto Coppi

The killer's look

A lot has been made lately of the fact that riders today are lacking a little bit of the V. It’s not so much a criticism of how they conduct themselves during a race (although that has also been called into question lately), but in their general demeanor towards their life as a cyclist.

It doesn’t surprise me much; historically, riders chose a life on the bike as an escape from their other occupational choice which typically involved hard manual labor in a dark pit or on a cold field whereas today’s riders generally come from more privileged backgrounds and find their way into this world from a life of relative luxury.

A life of hardship went beyond their working-class roots, it applied to their life on the bike as well.  They scaled the same passes we do today, except they did it over dirt roads aboard heavy, flexy bikes with relaxed geometries, wearing what amounted to little more than leather loafers. Hardness wasn’t something to aspire to; it was simply the way it was.

This is one of my favorite photos of a cyclist, and the bicycle is nowhere to be seen. From the look on his face, Coppi just ate himself a Schlecklette and, based on the gesture he’s making, is preparing to drop trou and shit ‘im right back out.

To put Cipollini’s sentiments above into Coppi’s words:

Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.

To todays generation of riders, I offer this advice: take no prisoners, fucktards.

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109 Replies to “Anatomy of a Photo: Fausto Coppi”

  1. @frank
    Yeah, I was just throwing some gas on the fire to enliven things a bit! But Cuddles not only has the bands, he has two GT second place finishes as well, unlike “Ballan, Astarloa, Vainsteins, Brochard, Leblanc, and Dhaenens.” (Just a little more fuel :)

    Time for a RIDE, BABY!!! See you in 3 hours.

  2. Is there a huge stitched gash running on the inside of Coppi’s left leg in this photo? I wonder if some recent fall or injury explains why he is striding in a coat instead of with a bike. The guns and attitude conveyed in the photo are a wonder to behold. Any idea when and where the photo was taken?

  3. I’m thinking Hoogerland displayed plenty of The V today. Thrown into a barbed wire fence at 60km/h and still finished the stage? That’s an application of rule V even Coppi would appreciate.

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