Anatomy Of A Photo: The Last Chance Saloon

Bicycle racing is a strange beast. Some races are over before they’re even a third completed, any mystery of a victor negated by methodical displays of team riding and tactical strangulation of opponents. Other races are so hard to pick that to even attempt to is committing VSP suicide; yet still we pick. For three weeks out of the year, racing in France can be pretty predictable, yet for one day of the year it’s the most exciting time on the calendar. We don’t know who’s going to win that race until the end. Sure there are favorites, but those favorites can’t just sit there and control proceedings for six hours, let alone for three weeks. That’s the beauty of Spring Classic racing.

This hill, if you can call it a hill, more like a false flat, a little ramp, a gentle bump, is likely the final opportunity for he not wanting to contest a sprint, to get away and solo in, if any previous attacks on the cobbles haven’t stuck… this is the puncheur’s, the rouleur’s, last chance saloon. The better sprinter will wait until the very last moment to pounce upon his weakened prey, like a dentist on the savannah.

I don’t know who these two 80s studs are, actually, but I would hazard a guess that Monsieur Yellow is probably the lesser sprinter, especially if the knotted guns of M 101 are any indicator. Maybe the attack stuck, and M Yellow got to cruise to the line without stress, and blew kisses to the adoring masses, soaking it all in. Maybe 101 hung on for grim life on the last kilometres of the nondescript, straight road and came around late, winning by millimetres.

I really don’t know. And that’s how I like my racing.

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64 Replies to “Anatomy Of A Photo: The Last Chance Saloon”

  1. On “Anatomy of a photo” –

    Thomas Wegmuller (Kas) in front of Dirk de Mol (ADR). 1988 Paris-Roubaix. De Mol won the sprint, Wegmuller having been hampered by a plastic frites carton that got caught in his rear derailleur. Not a Rule #41 violation, as it was probably part of a Belgian plot.

  2. It’s Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert doing de Ronde in 1988 – Planckaert won.

    In other news, I finally got to watch “in Bruges” tonight and now get all the gags from April Bretto.

    Thankyou and goodnight…

  3. @Brendan O’Donoghue@the Engine

    And the winner is, @Brendon O’Donoghue! That is unmistakably the final false flat into Roubaix. Also, what would a plastic Frittes box be doing in FLANDERS? Conspiracy for sure. (Many locals consider this part of France still to be Flanders.)

    Secondly, @L’Engine, I watched it again with the VMH right after returning from KT and then now that she’s in Africa again I’ve watched it once more.

    To wit, a good joke is funny no matter how many times you hear it.

  4. @Brendan O’Donoghue

    On “Anatomy of a photo” –

    Thomas Wegmuller (Kas) in front of Dirk de Mol (ADR). 1988 Paris-Roubaix. De Mol won the sprint, Wegmuller having been hampered by a plastic frites carton that got caught in his rear derailleur. Not a Rule #41 violation, as it was probably part of a Belgian plot.

    And this is why this community rocks.

  5. @frank

    @Brendan O’Donoghue@the Engine

    And the winner is, @Brendon O’Donoghue! That is unmistakably the final false flat into Roubaix. Also, what would a plastic Frittes box be doing in FLANDERS? Conspiracy for sure. (Many locals consider this part of France still to be Flanders.)

    Secondly, @L’Engine, I watched it again with the VMH right after returning from KT and then now that she’s in Africa again I’ve watched it once more.

    To wit, a good joke is funny no matter how many times you hear it

    “Two manky prostitutes and a racist dwarf”…genius…

  6. @the Engine

    It’s Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert doing de Ronde in 1988 – Planckaert won.

    In other news, I finally got to watch “in Bruges” tonight and now get all the gags from April Bretto.

    Thankyou and goodnight…

    Well I look forward to you quoting them at me next April…

  7. @brett

    @the Engine

    It’s Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert doing de Ronde in 1988 – Planckaert won.

    In other news, I finally got to watch “in Bruges” tonight and now get all the gags from April Bretto.

    Thankyou and goodnight…

    Well I look forward to you quoting them at me next April…

    It was shit…

  8. Nice try @engine. Speaking shit with authority works sometimes.

    Just a thought…

    “Keepers’ Tourette’s” – the tendency to cuss like a sailor whilst on KT.

  9. I wouldn’t write off @engine quite so fast.  Wegmuller wore #12 in the 1988 Roubaix. Looks a lot like the 1988 Ronde to me.

    See: http://youtu.be/ftCkvZCqOsk?t=102

  10. I disagree with @Brendon O’Donoghue being declared correct.  It is Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert (likely from the ’88 Ronde).

    Front rider: The orange bit on the bottom of the jersey is distinct to the TVM jersey. The KAS one was all yellow with blue sidebands. The bike color of the front rider is also a problem. KAS were using gold Vitus aluminum frames in 1988. It looks like the blue-white steel Zullo’s of TVM to me.

    As for the rear rider, other photos of Paris-Roubaix in 1988 show Demol wearing Adidas shoes and not Sidi’s. Planckaert wore Sidis. Plankaert also used toe clips and straps (seen in the photo) and Demol likely used the Adidas system of the time.

    Proof positive in the photos

    ’88 Ronde – Anderson & Planckaert

    http://www.philanderson.com.au/wp-content/files/2010/03/Ronde-V-Flanders-90.jpg

    ’88 Paris -Roubaix – Wegmuller & Demol

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/interviews/demol/demol-roubaix2.jpg

  11. @Clingon

    I wouldn’t write off @engine quite so fast.  Wegmuller wore #12 in the 1988 Roubaix. Looks a lot like the 1988 Ronde to me.

    See: https://youtu.be/ftCkvZCqOsk?t=102

    You may be right… in fact, you are right.

    That’s fucked that article then…

  12. I had long wanted to watch In Bruges. Most of my movie-viewing is on airplanes these days and In Bruges isn’t exactly inflight entertainment fodder so I’d missed it. I suspect Emirates won’t be showing Carol anytime soon…

    Anyway I noticed it was showing on one of the local movie channels so I recorded it. Little did I realise this channel followed local censorship rules against things like nudity and swearing.

    Imagine if you will watching In Bruges with all the swearing bleeped out. It was like being the sonar operator in Das Boot.

    The point where I gave up was where they are looking at one of the artworks in a church – is it Hieronymous Bosch? The small images of the naked sinners being tormented in hell, apparently acceptable in medieval Europe were deemed unacceptable in 21st century Dubai and had been pixellated to protect the public.

    I have since managed to view a less edited version.

  13. @the Engine

    @frank

    @Brendan O’Donoghue@the Engine

    And the winner is, @Brendon O’Donoghue! That is unmistakably the final false flat into Roubaix. Also, what would a plastic Frittes box be doing in FLANDERS? Conspiracy for sure. (Many locals consider this part of France still to be Flanders.)

    Secondly, @L’Engine, I watched it again with the VMH right after returning from KT and then now that she’s in Africa again I’ve watched it once more.

    To wit, a good joke is funny no matter how many times you hear it

    “Two manky prostitutes and a racist dwarf”…genius…

    If I grew up on a farm – and was retarded – this might impress me. But I didn’t, and I’m not, so it doesn’t.

  14. @Harminator

    “Keepers’ Tourette’s” – the tendency to cuss like a sailor whilst on KT.

    …and then continue to do so uncontrollably for ever after. Including using the C word liberally.

  15. @Clingon

    I wouldn’t write off @engine quite so fast.  Wegmuller wore #12 in the 1988 Roubaix. Looks a lot like the 1988 Ronde to me.

    See: http://youtu.be/ftCkvZCqOsk?t=102

    And with exactly the same amount of conviction that I stated @The Engine’s folly, I say, “RIGHT YOU ARE!” That’s uncanny!

    Strong work, good sir.

  16. @Jason Wright

    I disagree with @Brendon O’Donoghue being declared correct.  It is Phil Anderson and Eddy Planckaert (likely from the ’88 Ronde).

    Front rider: The orange bit on the bottom of the jersey is distinct to the TVM jersey. The KAS one was all yellow with blue sidebands. The bike color of the front rider is also a problem. KAS were using gold Vitus aluminum frames in 1988. It looks like the blue-white steel Zullo’s of TVM to me.

    As for the rear rider, other photos of Paris-Roubaix in 1988 show Demol wearing Adidas shoes and not Sidi’s. Planckaert wore Sidis. Plankaert also used toe clips and straps (seen in the photo) and Demol likely used the Adidas system of the time.

    Proof positive in the photos

    ’88 Ronde – Anderson & Planckaert

    http://www.philanderson.com.au/wp-content/files/2010/03/Ronde-V-Flanders-90.jpg

    ’88 Paris -Roubaix – Wegmuller & Demol

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/interviews/demol/demol-roubaix2.jpg

    Fantastic level of detail. Love it.

  17. @brett

    *Edited the article to remove Roubaix references.

    That’s the sort of shit that happens when you let the Lanterne Rouge of the VSP retain his Keepers status. So this is really on me, in the end. So don’t go too hard on yourself.

  18. @ChrisO

    I had long wanted to watch In Bruges. Most of my movie-viewing is on airplanes these days and In Bruges isn’t exactly inflight entertainment fodder so I’d missed it. I suspect Emirates won’t be showing Carol anytime soon…

    Anyway I noticed it was showing on one of the local movie channels so I recorded it. Little did I realise this channel followed local censorship rules against things like nudity and swearing.

    Imagine if you will watching In Bruges with all the swearing bleeped out. It was like being the sonar operator in Das Boot.

    The point where I gave up was where they are looking at one of the artworks in a church – is it Hieronymous Bosch? The small images of the naked sinners being tormented in hell, apparently acceptable in medieval Europe were deemed unacceptable in 21st century Dubai and had been pixellated to protect the public.

    I have since managed to view a less edited version.

  19. Love the photo, without knowing who or when. It exudes…pain.

    I raced last night with a bunch of Cat 3’s, so at the moment I’m quite preoccupied with pain and suffering.

  20. @brett

    Okay, I admit defeat, it was Anderson and Plankaert in the ’88 Ronde. But, in fairness, I went purely from memory and did not rely upon video evidence. I am right about the frites carton, though. Also, Phil Anderson, in this video, proves one should never get caught in front of a fat Belgian 300 meters from the finish line.

  21. @Brendan O’Donoghue

    @brett

    Okay, I admit defeat, it was Anderson and Plankaert in the ’88 Ronde. But, in fairness, I went purely from memory and did not rely upon video evidence. I am right about the frites carton, though. Also, Phil Anderson, in this video, proves one should never get caught in front of a fat Belgian 300 meters from the finish line.

    I was way off too, wrote a whole article on a piece of road that wasn’t even in the same race!

  22. For future generations, you should add a link to the comment “like a dentist on the savannah” to ensure one understands that remark on years from now. Spoiler: it wasn’t the Lion of Flanders that was beheaded… But really an incomprehensible situation, for 50k one could buy a really nice bike. You cannot buy happiness but you can buy a bike and that’s the closest thing.

  23. @Brendan O’Donoghue

    @brett

    Okay, I admit defeat, it was Anderson and Plankaert in the ’88 Ronde. But, in fairness, I went purely from memory and did not rely upon video evidence. I am right about the frites carton, though. Also, Phil Anderson, in this video, proves one should never get caught in front of a fat Belgian 300 meters from the finish line.

    Ooh, I wouldn’t be calling Eddy a “fat Belgian.” Not when he won two Tour stages, 8 Vuelta stages, Paris-Roubaix, Flanders, Het Volk, and the Tour green jersey. He’s Belgian cycling royalty with his brothers Willy and Walter being pros.

  24. @KogaLover

    For future generations, you should add a link to the comment “like a dentist on the savannah” to ensure one understands that remark on years from now. Spoiler: it wasn’t the Lion of Flanders that was beheaded… But really an incomprehensible situation, for 50k one could buy a really nice bike. You cannot buy happiness but you can buy a bike and that’s the closest thing.

    I understand the impulse, here. It’s a great line that deserves sharing. I snorted powerfully.

    But, on the other hand, imagine the transcendent pleasure of the literary critic of the future who sees this line and goes to the trouble to run it down. Things like this are what the pedant lives for.

  25. Ha! Strong work Brett. I was going to say I remember that hill coming into Roubaix. I was flat fucked right about there. But we can save that for another article.

    I was also going to say, even before I read the article, those are the legs (of the rear rider) of a Planckert or maybe Claude Criquielion. Those are the legs of a hard bastard.

  26. @wiscot

    According to the Italians all Belgians qualify for that category, but I would not, personally agree. To my mind there is more beauty in the mud of Flanders than the fallen leaves of Lombardy. The Belgians are class, and so is their beer.

  27. @frank

    @Gianni

    Ha! Strong work Brett. I was going to say I remember that hill coming into Roubaix.

    Ahem:

    @frank

    That is unmistakably the final false flat into Roubaix.

    Would that be the one that is a dual carriageway too?

  28. @ChrisO

    Imagine if you will watching In Bruges with all the swearing bleeped out. It was like being the sonar operator in Das Boot.

    Brilliant !! – stuck in a hotel in Rochester, Kent. Made my day !!

  29. @Teocalli

    @frank

    @Gianni

    Ha! Strong work Brett. I was going to say I remember that hill coming into Roubaix.

    Ahem:

    @frank

    That is unmistakably the final false flat into Roubaix.

    Would that be the one that is a dual carriageway too?

    Yeah, well it is now… but maybe in 88 it wasn’t. Ah, fuck.

  30. This is the most literary, poetic, and fucking rhetorical thread I have ever seen anywhere, just on the basis of two similes:

    like a dentist on the savannah

    Had this read “like a dentist on the serengeti,” the assonance within the simile would have made me squirm like a little girl being given her first pony. The timing of it is perfect, though.

    like being the sonar operator in Das Boot

    Obviously, it’s all thematic juxtaposition here. Two great, utterly different, films having their figurative heads knocked together. First rate.

    I feel like a cigarette.

  31. @frank

    @Brendan O’Donoghue@the Engine

    And the winner is, @Brendon O’Donoghue! That is unmistakably the final false flat into Roubaix. Also, what would a plastic Frittes box be doing in FLANDERS? Conspiracy for sure. (Many locals consider this part of France still to be Flanders.)

    Secondly, @L’Engine, I watched it again with the VMH right after returning from KT and then now that she’s in Africa again I’ve watched it once more.

    To wit, a good joke is funny no matter how many times you hear it.

    Maybe if he kept his levers in compliance he wouldn’t collect boxes of frites.

  32. @RobSandy

    Love the photo, without knowing who or when. It exudes…pain.

    I raced last night with a bunch of Cat 3’s, so at the moment I’m quite preoccupied with pain and suffering.

    Pain leads to suffering. Suffering leads to getting stronger. Getting stronger leads to being able to have more beer. Or something like that.

  33. @Owen

    @RobSandy

    Love the photo, without knowing who or when. It exudes…pain.

    I raced last night with a bunch of Cat 3’s, so at the moment I’m quite preoccupied with pain and suffering.

    Pain leads to suffering. Suffering leads to getting stronger. Getting stronger leads to being able to have more beer. Or something like that.

    Thanks Yoda. Beer Yoda.

    I rode the last few hundred metres back to my house with a carrier bag containing pie and chips hanging from my handlebars, and 3 bottles of Doom Bar stuffed down the front of my bibs.

    I take recovery very seriously.

  34. Wrong photo but great article. The hill you write about may be the last chance to launch an attack but it was not the hardest “climb” of the route for me. That title belongs to the bridge over highway A27, just after the double hit of Le Carrefour de l’Arbre straight into the Gruson sectors of Páve. Windswept, pissing wet from the rain and trying to eat a very dry waffle (I was so fucked by this point I was struggling to get my bidons back into the cages) when i was overtaken just before the bridge by my riding buddy. Trying to hold his wheel up and over that bridge nearly pushed me over the edge.

  35. Their goddamn shiny black shorts make me dream of riding tomorrow ahead of the race…so much classier than the Skittles colors of today’s kits. I’m thinking of you, Astana.

  36. @RobSandy

    @Owen

    @RobSandy

    Love the photo, without knowing who or when. It exudes…pain.

    I raced last night with a bunch of Cat 3’s, so at the moment I’m quite preoccupied with pain and suffering.

    Pain leads to suffering. Suffering leads to getting stronger. Getting stronger leads to being able to have more beer. Or something like that.

    Thanks Yoda. Beer Yoda.

    I rode the last few hundred metres back to my house with a carrier bag containing pie and chips hanging from my handlebars, and 3 bottles of Doom Bar stuffed down the front of my bibs.

    I take recovery very seriously.

    One should always take recovery seriously. Luckily many craft breweries are putting out quality beer in cans such that the risk of having a shower beer is much diminished.

  37. @Ron

    Their goddamn shiny black shorts make me dream of riding tomorrow ahead of the race…so much classier than the Skittles colors of today’s kits. I’m thinking of you, Astana.

    Better than Lotto-Jumbo kit this year. I’m sort of amazed ASO let them start in yellow kits. The Lotto kit from a couple years ago was boss, and now this.

  38. @Owen

    @Ron

    Their goddamn shiny black shorts make me dream of riding tomorrow ahead of the race…so much classier than the Skittles colors of today’s kits. I’m thinking of you, Astana.

    Better than Lotto-Jumbo kit this year. I’m sort of amazed ASO let them start in yellow kits. The Lotto kit from a couple years ago was boss, and now this.

    Lotto-Jumbo is the new name for Rabobank/Blanco/Belkin, so they don’t necessarily have the best form when it comes to kit design.

    I’d dare say the team you’re referring to is Lotto Belisol, which is now Lotto Soudal & still have a pretty sweet kit, with rule compliant black shorts.

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