Showing posts from September, 2010

Photos of the Day: Worlds '75

Hennie Kuiper 1975 World Champion.  (photo courtesy Centrum Ronde Van Vlaanderen) Yvoir, Belgium. August 31, 1975. The day Roger DeVlaeminck let his best chance to win a rainbow disappear up the road with Hennie Kuiper.  The Belgians were all too worried about each other - Eddy marking Roger marking Freddy marking Eddy.   A zero sum game.  And the perfect setup for the opportunist late attack that was Kuiper's trademark.  Go ahead, look up ' late   flyer ' in the dictionary.  It should be accompanied by a picture of Hennie Kuiper. Roger?  That day he was best of the rest.  Small consolation, he's not too happy about his silver, judging by the photo.   I bet it still pisses him off.  In the mid 70's, when Flemish domination was expected, losing a rainbow battle in their own backyard was tougher to swallow than warm Rodenbach. Hennie Kuiper took that rainbow jersey back over the border to Holland. Kuiper - now there's a guy who is totally underrated, I

Slán J.J., you'll be missed.

Just found out a few nights ago that my friend Paul McCormack's father, Irish cycling legend J.J. McCormack passed away on Sept. 9 in Dublin.    He was 84. He'd had an over a decade long battle with Alzheimers, which ironically and sadly in this case first had struck a fit cyclist who had a body that could ride 50 miles, but a mind soon afflicted to the point he couldn't find his way home on rides, and later couldn't recognize family.  It was so hard on them all, even tougher on sons Paul and Alan, an ocean away in America.  The Irish diaspora is no less painful in the 21st century.   J.J. I hardly knew ye, but I feel I knew you, by derivative, through your wonderful family. I've known Paul and Alan for years... first banging handlebars in a Back Bay Boston criterium back when  Leprechaun Alan hit the US shore in May 1980.  His kid brother Paul and I later became close friends, and collaborated on putting together the Sean Kelly promotional tour in '95-

Photos of the Day: 1976 Montreal Olympics

Dave Boll (USA) on Mont Royal. Last week's post on past Montreal races struck a chord with lots of Cafesupporters. A good friend who was there at those '76 Olympic games was Ted Furtado.  The godfather of Rhode Island cycling, Ted was an outstanding amateur racer and coach during the '70's and '80's,  A pioneer in bringing the first US Junior teams to the Tour de L'Abitibi, Ted's riders went on to win many State and New England championships and dozens of races across the US. Ted sent these photos he took at the Olympic road race - great shots recording the day when the Yanks proved they could match the Europeans in international road cycling. But wait - there's more!  I even ferreted out that old ABC sports segment of the Olympic coverage.  Check it out here .   I'd forgotten that ol' Frank Gifford did a pretty good job explaining cycling for a football player!   And here's the Swedish version, with Johansson's own account

Photos of the day - Montreal 1974

More Montreal nostalgia madness today.  This one is from the Amateur Road Race in the 1974 worlds. Poland was an Amateur road racing powerhouse in the 70's, and they dominated this championship..the photo shows three of them at the front of the train. Janusz Kowalski (2nd in line) was the winner, and defending '73 champion Ryzard Szurkowski (4th in line) was 2nd.   The Polish team debuted 'screwed-and-glued' Alan aluminium framesets in Montreal that year.... they were considered radical exotic technology back then. Those Alan's were noodles to ride.  Light, comfortable, and springy soft.  They were used a lot for cyclocross back in the '80's.  Alan supplied the Teka pro team in Spain, and their riders rode them for many years. Not a sprinters bike you say?  Guess again.   Jackrabbit fast Flandrien and W.S.C. Torhout alum Noel DeJonckheere used to win sprints in the Vuelta on Alan's.   Yes, the same DeJonckheere who ran the Cycling USA U23 progr

Montreal Memories

Confession:  Despite growing up in a devoted Boston Bruins household, I've always had a certain nostalgia for Montreal. It goes back to 1976.  In the year I fell in love with cycling, the 12.6 km circuit over and around Mont Royal in Montreal was a tenuous thread connecting the exotic, seemingly unreachable world of European cycling to a tangible one we New England amateurs could actually witness first-hand. Merckx attacks with Poulidor: 1974 Worlds It started with the older guys in the club who'd piled into hippie vans to watch the 1974 World Road Championships in Montreal.  They came back and told us stories during rides in 'ol Ireland hedge-school fashion.  Only their stories weren't of Cuchulainn or Finn McCool, theirs were of how a Italian giant named Francesco Moser rode up Mont Royal in the big ring.  Of how Bernard Thevenet rode most of the race solo off the front, and had the race seemingly in the bag by minutes.   And of how the great Eddy Merckx waited