We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?



Friday, 24 July 2009

Hidden Treasure


Whilst searching through the loft for some suitable old French cycling magazines to give to Phil Diprose at the Ride Journal for scanning to support my upcoming article on the collection, I stumbled across a yellowing (well, actually, its original colour was yellow, so maybe it's 'whiting', but then that's a fish) and battered (what's with the fish references?) start sheet for the Goodwood 1982 World Road Race Championships. A surprise find - but I knew I would never have thrown it out - and a wonderful souvenir of a fabulous day, when Chris Sherwood and I (both 15 years old in 1982) both managed to sneak like Oliver Twist and The Artful Dodger into the tribune at the finish and ended up standing about 3 feet away from Giuseppe in his newly-donned maglia iridata.

All the familiar names are on there (potted palmarès or witicisms in brackets), including:

#1: Philip Anderson (The Original London-born Aussie)
#10: Gary Wiggins (Bradley's dad)
#22: Freddy Martens (Shouldn't that be 'Maertens?)
#43: Laurent Fignon (1983 rookie winner at 21, 1984 Tour dominator, moral victor IMHO of the '89 Tour for attacking riding)
#45: Barnard Hindault (Yes, really. My hero, in the UK for the first time, insulted in print, and never to return as a result)
#76: Robert Millar (Ride in the 80s Worlds at Sallanches was awesome - and not reported widely enough)
#81: Sean Yates (Local hero - get well soon, Tonk!)
#82: Sean Kelly (Hard as nails, gets bronze today and in 1989 at Chambéry)
#83: Stephen Roche (1987 Worlds ... and Giro, and Tour)
#85: Moreno Argentin (1986 Worlds, Colorado, and the classiest World Champs jersey and shorts ever, on a Bianchi with Almarc leather bar covering. It doesn't get better)
#94: Francesco Moser (1977 Worlds, San Cristóbal)
#96: Giuseppe Saronni (Winner today, 05.09.1982)
#103: Gerrie Knetemann (1978 Worlds, Nürburgring)
#107: Jan Raas (1979 Worlds, Valkneburg)
#115: Joop Zoetemelk (1985 Worlds, Montello)
#128: Pedro Delgado (1988 Tour de France, would have won in '89 if he'd been wearing a watch)
#135: Mario (sic) Lejarreta (Rode all the Tours, all of the time)
#147: Urs Freuler (Atala kit was the best ever, even if the 'tache is a bit Graham Gooch)
#158: Jonathan Boyer (Lock up your children)
#162: Eric Heiden (5 Gold Medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics)
#163: Greg Lemond (Worlds in 1983 Altenrhein and 1989 Chambéry, 1986, 1989, 1990 Tour de France)

And in the amateur race:

#3: Allan Peiper (Hard-man Aussie domestique)
#24: Eric Vanderaerden (Flanders '85, Roubaix '87)
#34: Steven Bauer 1984 Olympic Road Race runner-up, and Bronze in the Pro Road Race the same year)
#80: Vincent Barteau (Yellow jersey for far too long, 1984)
#82: Eric Caritoux (Ventoux resident, Vuelta winner 1984)
#100: Olaf Ludwig (1988 Olympic Champion, Tour de France Green Jersey 1990)
#124: Malcolm Elliott (Points jersey at the '89 Vuelta, still racing in the UK at 48)
#142: Paul Kimmage (Domestique-cum-journo, blew the lid on doping practices in the pro peleton. Not on Lance's Christmas card list. Nor Roche's, nor ... )
#203: Dag Otto Lauritzen (Peugeot / 7-Eleven / Motorola / TVM pin-up boy, 1984 Olympics Road Race Bronze)
#251: Nikki Ruttimann (Hinault's domestique-climber at La Vie Claire 1984-6, here with his Weinmann-La Suisse skinsuit on apparently back-to-front ... )
#256: Urs Zimmermann (Vegetarian Tour protagonist 1986)
#272: Chris Carmichael (Lance's coach)
#275: Alexi Grewal (Outspoken yogi, 1984 Olympic Road Race Champion)
#276: Andy Hampsten (Giro winner 1988, after that Gavia stage)
#277: Ron Kiefel (7-Eleven trailblazer)
#278: Davies (sic) Phinney (7-Eleven trailblazer #2, 1984 Olympic TTT bronze, terrible crash through team car rear window @L-B-L in 1988 requiring 150 stitches, Davis Phinney Foundation pioneer)

Women:

#26: Jeannie Longo (Been around for ever - and still racing!)
#45: Mandy Jones (Can't find a pic of Mandy riding anywhere! Winner of the Goodwood Worlds that day)
#56: Maria Canins (Two-time Tour Féminin winner in the 80s)
#98: Connie Carpenter (1984 Olympic Road Race Champ, married to Davis Phinney)
#102: Rebecca Twigg (1984 Olympic Road Race runner-up)

One point probably only ever picked up by a pedant like me: I noticed on footage of the event (@1:21 in on this YouTube clip) that the start/finish line had the traditional 'arrivée' banner (the UCI's lingua franca is French), and on the reverse (facing) side 'departe', for 'start'. A schoolboy error, surely? 'départ' is correct, and, notwithstanding any debate about the use or otherwise of accents above capital letters, this looks as if it's been lazily guessed at: 'Oooh - add an 'e' at the end; that'll look French'. Do you reckon any of the riders noticed? It, like, totally ruined the day for me.