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  • A Made Man – by Wiscot November 12, 2021Teocalli4865

    Lead Photo by Sirotti

    A Made Man

    It had been a long day for the cycling fans in Como. For hours they had waited in the cooling fall air, listening to their radios and the public address system relaying the action of the seventy-seventh edition of the Tour of Lombardy in 1983. It had been a long day for the riders too, one hundred and fifty-one had started the race and by the time forty-six pairs of sore, tired legs made it to the streets of Como they had been riding for almost six and a half hours.

    The crowd was getting antsy and excited with anticipation as the remnants of the peloton swept under the ultimo chilometro banner. Clearly, there was not going to be a solo winner, there were too many closely matched riders still in contention. With a couple of hundred meters to go the sprint opened up and it was still anyone’s race. Ireland’s Sean Kelly, Dutchmen Adri van der Poel and Hennie Kuiper, American Greg LeMond, Switzerland’s Gilbert Glaus, Australian Phil Anderson and Italians Silvano Contini and Francesco Moser each slammed their right shifters forward and summoned their last morsels of strength and experience. No-one looked at anyone else. It was eyes down and fixed on the white line rushing towards them. A victory salute was unlikely – it was going to be that close. It was 100% all the way. The first eighteen riders would be given the same time.

    Sean Kelly’s season had begun back in March with three stage wins and the overall at Paris-Nice, a race he had won the previous year. He’d go on to win the Criterium National and the Tour of Switzerland. As important and prestigious as these wins were, Kelly had not yet won a bona fide classic or Monument despite being in his fifth professional season. The reasons for this are many: his early years were spent learning his trade at teams such as Flandria where he worked for the likes of Marc Demeyer, Freddy Maertens and Michel Pollentier. He wasn’t a “big name” or “made man” – a rider who had won a big race. “Made Men” liked to make sure that other made men won the big ones; getting beaten by lesser riders wasn’t acceptable; if a made man couldn’t win, he’d help another big name win rather than let a lesser light steal the glory; keep the goodies within a small select club was the way of the peloton.

    The tricky thing was how to join the big name club? LeMond was in as a member as the 1983 World Champion. Hennie Kuiper was in as World Champion in 1975 and winner of the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Lombardy in 1981 as well as Paris-Roubaix in 1983. Moser had been world champion in 1977 and won Paris-Roubaix three times (1978, 79, 80) as well as Lombardy in 1975 and 1978. Phil Anderson had won the 1983 Amstel Gold. Silvano Contini had won the 1982 Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Glaus had won a Tour de France stage and been Swiss Road Champion. Van der Poel had finished second to LeMond in the recent Worlds. The deck was stacked deep and high with prestigious palmares; it was a veritable convention of made men.

    The riders fanned out across the wide road. No-one was leading anyone else out. All were in it to win it. As their front wheels broke the plane of the finish line the order was Kelly, LeMond, van der Poel (Mathieu’s father), Kuiper, Moser, Glaus, Ferreti, Anderson, and Contini. Kelly didn’t raise his head until he’d crossed the line, unsure if he’d won, LeMond and Kuiper were so close to his left, with van der Poel on his right. But he had. He’d won a classic against some of the best riders in the world. He was a made man at last.

    Whether it was the confidence gleaned from this win, or his maturation as a rider or his new status as a made man, 1984 would see Kelly win an astonishing thirty-three races. He would be victorious in two monuments: Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Paris-Nice would be won for the third time, collecting two stages as well as the general, points and mountains classifications. He’d win Vuelta al Pais Vasco, winning three stages, and the general and points classifications. The Volta a Catalunya podium proved a regular haunt, winning four stages, the general, points and mountains classifications. He dominated the Critérium International, winning three stages and he took second places in the Tour of Flanders and the Grand Prix des Nations. By the end of 1984 Kelly had gone from knocking on the clubhouse door for made men to arguably the made man of the peloton for the rest of the decade. From being a farmer’s son from Carrick, Kelly became a global cycling superstar, always perceived as a favorite no matter what the race. And it all started on a cool, fall day in northern Italy when he kept his head down.

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  • #ridewithreggie on Zwift tomorrow (6 Nov @ 1000 EDT) November 5, 2021chuckp4863

    I’m actually giving up doing an outdoor ride tomorrow and instead I’m doing this Zwift ride on Saturday (November 6 1000 EDT) and would like to encourage any of y’all on Zwift to please do the same.

    https://www.zwift.com/eu/events/view/2374952

    It’s organized by former NBA star and now avid cyclist (including racing), Reggie Miller.

    RIDE FOR A REASON
    Ride to make a difference, ride for meaningful change, and Ride with Reggie!
    Come ride with us, encourage a new generation of participation, and celebrate diversity in sport. Ride with NBA All Star Reggie Miller and other special guests while we attempt to set a Zwift World Record for participation and raise funds for the development of cycling programs at Historically Black Colleges or Universities.
    We’ll be tackling 3 loops of the 2015 UCI Richmond Worlds Course and covering just over 30 miles. Is this a race? No! All are welcome. We’ll be holding a conversational pace over this ambitious distance, but like racial justice, it’s not easy.

    #RideWithReggie

    More info about the cause and the ride:
    https://www.castelli-cycling.com/us/ride-with-reggie

    You don’t have to make a donation (I did), but if you feel so inclined:
    https://connect.clickandpledge.com/…/e5c31167-7c19-4e4b…

    And here’s a PezCycling News interview that the PEZ himself aka Richard Pestes did with Reggie Miller about the ride:
    https://pezcyclingnews.com/…/reggie-miller-interview…/

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  • Il Lombardia October 6, 2021Teocalli3577

    Il Lomardia is the traditional European season closer.  After the cancellations in 2020, 2021 has, on balance, been a great season.

    Il Lomabrdia looks to be shaping up for a cracking event with a whole bunch of top riders entered.

    As usual race entrants can be found here.

     

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  • Paris Roubaix September 28, 2021Teocalli2951

    Lead Photo – Roubaix Velodrome by Teocalli

    Is it just me or is Paris Roubaix The Classic of The Classics.  Does it have better PR (Public Relations) ie The Hell of The North?  Is it because of the number of times I’ve watched A Sunday in Hell?

    Anyway after a Covid break in 2020 Paris Roubaix is back for 2021 with an Autumn running.  One thing for sure, it will be warmer than is normal for most previous events.  Having said that, rain is in the forecast, so it could be the first wet Paris Roubaix for some years.

    This will also be the first Paris Roubaix Femmes which will give us a double event for Sunday.  Hopefully the coverage will be as good for the Femmes as we get for the Men.

    Rider entries and race details for the Men can be found here.

    Rider entries and race details for the Femmes can be found here.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • La Vuelta a Espana August 10, 2021Teocalli3425

    The Vuelta a España starts in Burgos this weekend.

    The Grand Tour of Spain start this Saturday and finishes on Sunday 5 September. The race favours the climbers as usual with mountain finishes on Picón Blanco, Lagos de Covadonga and Gamoniteiro.  The latter being something of a beast.

    Riders can be found here.

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  • 3Rensho Katana July 30, 2021Haldy344794

    The 3Rensho arrived today! My Katana is built and ready for battle.

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  • Sweet new steed! July 9, 2021Haldy344782

    Photos fresh from Japan! My Shinici Konno( nephew of Yoshi and current boss of Cherubim cycles) built 3Rensho Katana. 1 of a limited run of 8 new 3Rensho frames.

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  • La Grand Boucle and La Course June 21, 2021Teocalli3280

    Lead Photo by Teocalli

    It’s time for La Grand Boucle and La Course.  Is this year’s TdF more open than many a year?  We should be in with some interesting racing from Ineos, Jumbo Visma, UAE Team Emirates and Movistar as a minimum.  Will Pogacar repeat? Will Roglic get his second win?  Will Ineos be too strong and who will prove strongest from the team?  Will an “outsider” spring a surprise?

    It is only certain that we will know at the end.

    For La Course this may be the final year as, at last, we may see a Femmes Tour de France next year.

    For TdF riders can be found here.

    For La Course riders will hopefully be updated here.

     

    Best of luck to all riders, keep the rubber side down.

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  • Tour de Suisse June 2, 2021Teocalli3211

    Tour de Suisse picks now open.

    Start list can be found here.

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  • Criterium du Dauphine May 26, 2021Teocalli3184

    Photo by Criterium du Dauphine

    Well, the OTR League rolls onwards with the Criterium du Dauphine.

    Details to be updated!

     

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