Tag Archives: classics

Pic of the day: Robert Millar Fagor 1988

I came across this image on Simon Lamb’s Gazzetta Della Bici blog, who in turn found it on a facebook group called 80s cycling remembered. The group has over 3000 images of 80s cycling. This one was added by Duff Fawcett but there is no indication who the photographer was or what the source is.

Wikipedia tells us that in 1988, Millar rode for the French Fagor team and managed his best position in a one-day Monument Classic, third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which is the race pictured above.

In the Tour de France, he lost the opportunity of another mountain stage win in Guzet-Neige when, sprinting uphill to the finish with Phillipe Bouvatier, both riders mistook a gendarme’s signals, took a wrong turn and ceded the win to Massimo Ghirotto.

From what I remember of Richard Moore’s book, 1988 was an otherwise uninspiring season.

Vinokourov interview [translated]

Someone tweeted a link to this interview with Alexandre Vinokourov on a French pro cycling blog, so I thought I would have a go at translating it.

The interview was by Grégory Ienco of Cyclismerevue.eu. Posts are are tweeted at http://twitter.com/cyclismerevue. I hadn’t seen the blog before- to anyone who can read French, it looks pretty good.

vino cycling dopage "time trial"

Vinokourov: « I can win without doping too »

Who would have bet on Alexandre Vinokourov’s (Astana) second success at Ans? The Kazakh rider admits that he believed he could win before the start of la Doyenne. And he was right to hope that this victory allows him to prove things to his detractors. However, the argument has now started: Did Vino deserve this win after his two year suspension?

Alexandre, how did you feel crossing the finish line?
I felt a lot of emotion. Returning to la Doyenne five years after my win, and winning again, is more than a dream. For me, and for my team and Kazakhstan. After the Tour of Trentino, I told myself: why not win Liège-Bastogne-Liège? (or why can’t I win LBL?) and then I asked myself if I was going to be able to recover properly. I wanted to stay in bed. In the end, I gave it everything, and with my experience, that was enough.

Do you understand that people have lost confidence in you after the scandal that has affected you?
Today, I just showed the real Vinokourov. Vino, that’s class (sic). I have turned the page and from now on I’ll never go back. I can win without doping too and that’s the most important thing. I have been working since last year so that you, the journalists and the fans can have confidence in me again. This win is a revenge for me.

Other riders have returned to racing after a suspension, but haven’t done as well, and as quickly as you, What is your secret?
It’s just class. When you have it, it’s all right. Even at the Worlds and the Tour of Lombardy last year, I was ready. I had done specific work in the mountains and I had done rides of over seven hours. I never stopped training despite my suspension. Every person is different, but I truly wanted to come back.

Could it be said that you took this second Doyenne thanks to Alberto Contador, who thwarted the other favourites?
It’s not just because of him. The whole team helped me and without my teammates, it would be possible to win this type of race. Each rider deserves congratulations for his work. Contador was there in the final kilometres and I finished the work of my teammates.

Why did you train in Tenerife rather than Monaco, where you live? Is it due to the presence of Fuentes on the Spanish island?
In Monaco, I can work, but I have my family life. I love being with my children and I like to make the most of this time, but I still can’t go for long rides in the big passes like in Tenerife. In any case, I don’t work with Fuentes. Why would it be due to him that I go there? This season, there was nearly 25 riders there. They go there becuase this terrain doesn’t exist in Europe. That’s all. »

Do you condemn doping now?
Why would I say otherwise? Of course, it’s necessary to fight against doping. Some people still play with fire but you need to work to get anywhere. This is why I want to show what I can produce now. In 2007? I don’t want to go back there. I have done my two years of suspension. We’re here to talk about my win.

What are your dreams from now on?
I hope, after the Giro, to participate in the Tour de France and to win the yellow jersey with Contador. I will help him and support him. After that, I think that I will have won enough races. I would think about perhaps finishing my career. We will see after the Tour. But before [retiring], I would like to go to the time trial world championships to beat Fabian Cancellara. Even if his is unbeatable!

I have translated this myself, so I could discuss it with people, but I did not have permission. I hope you’ll either discuss the comments here, or in French over at www.cyclismerevue.eu. If you want to reuse the information, it’s only right that you reference www.cyclismerevue.eu.

I take a few things from this interview: Vino seems a little more willing to confront the doping issue but still glosses over the past quite a lot. His comments about thinking he could win the race and his inherent class as a rider belie an arrogance that has turned many fans against him, but that is also the hallmark of a winner. He also fully expects to get a ride in the Tour.

Cobbled rides- for mortals

Further to today’s discussion of the Road to Roubaix documentary, Jim Speakman pointed me in the direction of Rapha’s own Hell of the North ride on April 11th. It’s billed as North London’s version of Paris-Roubaix with 20 sections of pavé in 100km.

I found a google map which looks to cobble together (sorry) a resource of pavé roads in Britain and beyond. It’s discussed on Bikeradar here.

The idea of a Scottish version was floated – Edinburgh is full of cobbled streets and canal towpaths have some fearsome cobbled secteurs, but it would take quite a bit of figuring out. (and I might be doing a Super6 race in Fife that day- wonder if it goes up Kirk Street in Culross?)

Culross, originally uploaded by Ipoh 子.

The Road to Roubaix

Watched The Road to Roubaix recently- a good documentary on the Queen of the Spring Classics. Thanks to @StumpyRider for lending it to me- the power of twitter strikes again!

The race is of course famed for it’s brutal cobbled sections. One of the most interesting things I took from it was that most of the bikes used in the race will never be ridden professionally again.

The pros all shower in an ancient concrete/stone changing room, with separate stalls badged with the names of the winners. It had the feel of a local race- everyone washing down together, no primadonnas here.

As a photography enthusiast, I also enjoyed the creative process of Timm Kölln with his series of gritty post-race portraits, titled The Peloton.