Sunday, January 8, 2012
Old Days - Part Five
As gale force winds drive heavy rain against the windows in this so-called "summer" of ours, I resort once again to my vast pile of magazines for images that inspire in lieu of actually braving the elements and riding. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do as a somewhat poor alternative to actually getting out on a bike. For those of you who will have already seen these on my Facebook page, my apologies for the repetition...
This first lot are from some Cyclist magazine issues dated December 1984 to February '85. Thanks to my old friend Ray Young for the kind donation. I'll start with a bang with this very limited edition Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Gruppo, black anodised with 22K gold plating. The plating even extends to the b/b axle and the quick releases...
The 1984 Tour de France was the second of Laurent Fignon's two victories - the first was in the absence of his team leader Bernard Hinault, but the second pitted the two ex-teammates against each other with young Fignon triumphing over the four-time Tour winner (at the time) Hinault. Here Fignon in yellow looks back at Hinault as '83 as he piles on the pressure. World Champion Greg LeMond leads the rest of the followers, including Ángel Arroyo, Sean Kelly and Claude Criquelion.
LeMond began the 1984 Tour late for the prologue and ill with bronchitis, but he went on to finish a fine 3rd overall by the time the race finished in Paris.
Riders stock up with fruit before a stage. The man in the Maillot Vert is Frank Hoste, the eventual overall winner of the Points Classification in the '84 Tour.
Stage 18 to La Plagne saw a brutal series of climbs that determined the final race standings among the favourites. Here Maillot Jaune and stage winner Fignon leads 2nd place Hinault, Eric Caritoux (14th GC) and LeMond in 3rd. Behind the American can be seen the polka dots of the Mountains Leader and 4th overall, Scotland's Robert Millar.
The sprint for Stage 6 saw Ireland's Sean Kelly relegated to the back of the group for irregular sprinting despite being squarely beaten by green jersey Frank Hoste.
Connie Carpenter wins the Olympic Gold Medal in the road race at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, beating teammate and equal-favourite Rebecca Twigg and Sandra Schumacher of West Germany. Connie and her husband Davis Phinney (who won Bronze in the '84 Team Time Trial and got 5th in the road race) are the parents of current US up-and-coming star Taylor Phinney.
Later in the day the erratic and brilliant Alexi Grewal won the biggest race of his career, when he snatched the Olympic Gold medal from under the nose of Canadian Steve Bauer in the men's road race.
Here the US squad races to bronze in the '84 Olympic Team Time Trial, an event sadly no longer held. They finished behind the Gold-winning Italian unit (including some future big names in Marco Giovanetti and Eros Poli), and the Swiss team. Check out the very cool funny bikes.
An advertisement for the 30th Anniversary Colnago Master frame, looking a lot like a GT! Ironically, the GTs of the day didn't yet have the Triple Triangle design they'd become so famous for. If nothing else, the lug photos are worth scanning this for...
A beautiful Bruce Gordon festooned with the black ano/22k gold Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Gruppo shown earlier, as well as a black anodised freewheel, black Cinelli handlebar and stem, and black "enamelled" spokes! Only US$3000 in 1984 - wonder what that would translate to now?
A lovely Bianchi "Centenario" celebrates the 100th anniversary of the venerable brand with a celeste on chrome colour scheme (check the tyres and the sew-on leather bar tape and pump grips), as well as the new C-Record gruppo.
Jumping around chronologically, here are some pictures from a 1981 issue of the French Le Cycle magazine.
This is a Selle Italia Turbo ad featuring 1980 World Champion, Bernard Hinault.
A Piaggio ad featuring a beautiful Bianchi Specialissima.
This is a random ad for something I can't even work out, but I like the Géminiani frame, as well as the neat components and accessories.
More Hinault (can there ever be too much?), this time wearing his 1978 French National Champion jersey in this Campagnolo components advertisement.
This is a sequence of shots taken as the peloton climbs the Col de Madeleine during the 1981 Tour de France.
Defending champion Jacques Anquetil pushes his 180mm cranks around in a time trial during the 1958 Tour de France, won in the end that year by Luxembourg's Charly Gaul.
French sprinter Jacques Eclassan racing a post-Tour criterium.
Now for a bunch of mainly black and white images pulled from the Australian National Cycling magazine issues dated from September 1983 to November '84.
Fausto Coppi rides a lap of the Velodromo Vigorelli after one of his five Giro d'Italia wins.
Il Campionissimo attracts the tifosi even when out training!
This dramatic picture shows a blood-spattered Luis Ocaña being pushed by loyal Spanish teammates after crashing on a mountain descent during the sixth stage of the 1969 Tour de France, Eddy Merckx's first win.
Dutch/Kiwi Tino Tabak being zipped into his brand new Dutch professional road champion's jersey after his success in the 1972 title race. Behind him is Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk who would go on to win the Tour de France in 1980 and become World Champion in '85.
In the 1972 Tour de France won by the "King", Eddy Merckx was at his imperious peak and opened up a decisive break on the flattest of all stages. Here Merckx is initiating the break as he attacks with Italian Felice Gimondi fighting to stay on his wheel.
The summit is near and Merckx changes gear in readiness for a stage finish in the mountains, while keeping a watchful eye on perennial adversary Raymond Poulidor.
Although the 1970 Vuelta a España winner Luis Ocaña lived long in the shadow of Eddy Merckx, he made no mistake in winning the 1973 Tour in the absence of the King. He also gave Merckx a hell of a fright in the 1971 Tour, arguably only losing because of a crash while wearing Yellow on a terrible wet day in the Pyrenees. Here Ocaña follows the wheel of Merckx during the '72 Tour, which he sadly had to pull out of with bronchitis while Merckx went on to win his 4th consecutive Grand Boucle.
Loyal teammate De Schoenmaecker leads Eddy Merckx at 1500 metres in the awful heat of the Pyrenees during the 1972 Tour de France. Zoetemelk who is following Merckx came from behind to win this mountain stage.
Eddy Merckx. 'Nuff said.
After attacking in the yellow jersey on the way to the ski station of Pra-Loup, this is the moment where The Cannibal's quest for a record sixth Tour win came to a juddering halt, as his prodigious strength departs him helping French challenger Bernard Thevenet recapture Merckx and drop him. By the time Thevenet has won the stage he has seized the Maillot Jaune which he would keep all the way to Paris, with Merckx a gutsy second despite a kidney punch from a spectator and a broken jaw from a crash that meant he couldn't even eat solids.
Thevenet in Yellow among the scorched rocks of the Col d'Izoard forges towards his second consecutive stage win and his date with destiny. Fittingly for this French champion, this final crushing of Merckx occurred on the French national holiday of Bastille Day.
Climbing into history in the 1981 Tour de France as the first non-European to lead the race, Australia's Phil Anderson follows the spotted jersey of best climber worn by World Champion Bernard Hinault in the first mountain stage of that year's Tour. By stage end Anderson would don the yellow jersey, although Hinault would of course wear it onto the final podium in Paris.
Belgium's Freddy Maertens sprints to his second World Championship title in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1981. Italy's Guiseppe Saronni is second, but would go on to win the following year in Goodwood, England. The left shoulder of defending champion and bronze medalist Bernard Hinault can just be seen at left.
New Zealander Stephen Cox races to 10th overall in the 1984 Commonwealth Bank Classic.
This cool Vitus "Vitusplus Carbone" was one of the earlier carbon frames to hit the market. I remember selling one of these in my days at Penny Farthing Cycles in 1986.
I'll finish this off with a bit more colour; these pictures are scanned from issues number 1 to 5 of England's fine Cycle Sport magazine, from my own collection. As many of these appear to be stock photos the information is scanty at best, so please feel free to add comments if you have any insights. I will be exploring these magazines further in due time, rest assured!
Here's a lovely profile shot of the ultra-classy eventual 5-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain riding the 1991 race on his Pegoretti-built Pinarello.
Another great profile shot; here is the stylish pedaller Maurizio Fondriest racing his way to victory in the 1993 Fleche-Wallone, his second World Cup classic of the early season after his win in Milan-San Remo.
Steve Bauer rides his custom Eddy Merckx machine for the first of what would only be two race outings, this one in the 1993 Ghent-Wevelgem semi-classic.
The second and final race for this unusual machine was the '93 Paris-Roubaix, with Rock Shox front suspension added to the mix. Designed by Richard Dejonkheere (elder brother of ex-pro and Motorola DS Noel), it was ridden in training by Bauer for five months before he felt used to it. In Paris-Roubaix he used 180mm cranks, and the lip on the saddle was necessary to keep him on the saddle. He finished 21st and, on balance, decided that the advantages were outweighed by the disadvantages - poor standing climbing, and he felt that positioning in the bunch was negatively affected, as he was sitting back further and lower than other riders. He did like the descending abilities - in a slippery Ghent-Wevelgem he carved up Johan Capiot only minutes after the Belgian had been mocking his "chopper". According to my information, the seat tube was 60 degrees - the head tube isn't stated, but it looks 70 or 71 degrees to me...
Aussie great Phil Anderson climbs Swansea's feared Constitution Hill during the 1993 Kellog's Tour of Britain in the yellow jersey he would finish the race in.
Polish rider Zenon Jaskula racing to 9th place in the 1991 Giro d'Italia. Not a man usually renowned for massive results, Jaskula would go on to win a mountain stage and finish 3rd in the '93 Tour de France behind Indurain and Toni Rominger before sliding back into obscurity.
Italian Classics maestro and 1986 World Champion Moreno Argentin raced for the great Ariostea outfit between 1990 and '92. He is riding here one of Ernesto Colnago's interesting double-downtube Carbitubo frames.
Another Ariostea-ite upon a Colnago Carbitubo, here Dane Bjarne Riis rides to 5th place overall in the 1993 Tour de France. Riis would also finish 3rd in 1995 behind Indurain, before ruthlessly taking El Rey apart and going on to win the 1996 race, Denmark's first and only Tour.
The much missed Laurent Fignon RIP gives his all, as always.
Russian/Moldovan/Belgian/Ukranian Andrei Tchmil rides the 1992 Paris-Roubaix. These dry and dusty conditions can't have suited him, because his great win in the Hell of the North came in 1994 in one of the muddiest editions ever.
Pedal on, Oli
Please note that I have written several more Old Days posts - check the sidebar for the links.