It is being kind of strange, everyone getting back together, cowering in fear, huddling in the back of the bus in terror of one of the Jan’s legendary rages, but something’s missing. The Vino isn’t here.
The Jan had high hopes for little Vino. It is being true. He was being like a little mini-Jan. Everyone knows the unholy might that is the Jan, they know that the Jan strides this trembling earth like some dark colussus, dealing death and pain with every turn of his massive gear. But the Vino is being pretty evil too. He not only is looking like a punk kid who would toilet-paper your grandmother’s house and then push her down and steal her purse when she came outside, but he is actually being kind of an asshole, too. When the Jan dropped a bar of soap inside a sock and then used it to beat the holy living hell out of Klodi, it was always Vino who would be holding him down. Vino is not on the level of the Jan, of course, but still, he is about 10 pounds of evil in a 5 pound bag, and the Jan will be missing him.
The Mighty Uniballed One, the Lance, is now telling people that he thinks Jan is going to be winning the Tour this year. To which the Jan is being saying, Ja, no shit, dumbass.
Ivan Basso, Valverde, Floyd Landis, it doesn’t matter. No one can drop the hammers on the climbs AND the time trials like the Jan. It is being like the Highlander. Or like Lance’s nuts.
…TO BE QUICKER THAN THE REST, AND PARTICULARLY THAN THE OTHER STARS, INVOLVES A LOT OF PAIN.
"BEING A MOUNTAIN SPECIALIST IS VERY HARD. NOT THAT I’D RATHER BE ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE I DON’T THINK YOU CAN BECOME… A BETTER HUMAN BEING WITHOUT EFFORT. YOU CAN BEAT THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE MUCH MORE EASILY IF YOU’VE MET HARDSHIP.
IT SOMETIMES LOOKS AS IF THE FIRST RIDER TO THE TOP HAS DONE IT FAIRLY EASILY; YOU TEND TO FEEL MORE SORRY FOR THE MEN WHO’VE KNOCKED THEMSELVES OUT TO MAKE THE CLIMB AT ALL; BUT BELIEVE ME TO BE QUICKER THAN THE REST, AND PARTICULARLY THAN THE OTHER STARS, INVOLVES A LOT OF PAIN.”
I enjoyed kicking your ass at the weekends. We’d do the messenger thing, and party till five in the morning at some party or club… Then at 6am, I’m on the start line: I win 50 bucks, and go take all my buddies from that party the night before out to breakfast. They’re all waiting for me, so I had to win. It was one of those pressure things – like, “You’d better win some money ‘cause you’re buying breakfast!”
NELSON VAILS - FORMER NYC MESSENGER AND INDIVIDUAL SPRINT SILVER MEDALLIST AT THE LA OLYMPICS.
CHECK OUT HIS STORY - AND THE NEW T-SHIRTS AND PRINTS OF HIM - AT URBAN HUNTER.
"HIS HANDS WERE FROZEN AND HE WAS UNABLE TO DO THE REPAIR SO HE TORE THE TYRE OFF WITH HIS TEETH"
IN CASE YOU THOUGHT THIS WEEK WAS BAD. TRY THE 1921 PARIS-TOURS:
The Paris-Tours race of April 18th, 1921, was one of the all-time most difficult events in cycling history. The 85 starters who lined up that morning would face 342 kms of violent snow squalls, freezing rain, and massive winds. Only 8 riders would finish - the last man, Frenchman Pierre Herbette, came in alone, four hours and 21 minutes after the winner, Francis Pélissier (Fra). Here we see Francis Pélissier leading his brother Henri, and Belgians Louis Mottiat and Albert Dejonghe, struggling through heavy snow between Chatres and Châteaudun. Henri would quit the race at the feed station in Châteaudun. Francis Pélissier covered the 342 kms in 14h56’20”. Mottiat was second at 1’32”, with Eugène Christophe (Fra) in third at 1’40” and Dejonghe in fourth at 9’10”……
……The Paris-Tours route was lengthened after 1919, they added a detour through Chinon thus adding the hilly lanes on the south bank of the Loire up to the finish at Tours. This race normally had good weather and was known for high speeds, all changed in 1921 as the picture depicts. It snowed. Nearly half of the peloton climbed off at Chartres leaving the Pellissier’s, Louis Mottiat and Albert de Jonghe to race ahead. At Chateaudun conditions were so dreadful even for the iron man Henri Pellissier. He took off his cape and handed it to his brother Francis. He wore two capes for the rest of the race! Legend has it that this swop was done in a cafe over a glass of Martinique Rum. Whilst this was happening Eugene Christophe caught the leaders by a superhuman effort, typical of the man who thrived on hard days. He went clear. Meanwhile Pellisier had several stops to repair his bike and himself but he chased hard and caught him three times, with Mottiat, the only other rider in the chase, who was struggling to hang on. Finally Pellissier got clear by a couple of minutes but he then punctured. His hands were frozen and he was unable to do the repair so he tore the tire off with his teeth. Riding on the rim, Pelissier caught Christophe once more and then dropped him on the climb out of Azay-le-Rideau finishing alone.”
EXCELLENT RADIO PROGRAMME ‘THE LIMITS OF ENDURANCE’ HERE FROM NPR’S RADIOLAB, WHICH INTERVIEWS JURE ROBIC - WHO HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY - ABOUT HIS RACE ACROSS AMERICA TRIUMPHS. HE DESCRIBES IN DETAIL THE HALLUCINATIONS HE EXPERIENCES - IT’S FAIRLY HARROWING.
IT ALSO INCLUDES A PRETTY TOUGH TRIATHLETE WHO IN HER FIRST RACE SHAT HERSELF AND HAD TO PULL HERSELF ACROSS THE LINE USING HER FINGERS.
NOT THAT I APPROVE OF TRIATHLETES, MIND, BUT YOU’VE GOTTA BE PRETTY SOUND IF YOU PUSH YOURSELF UNTIL YOUR LEGS STOP WORKING.