August 6, 2016

An Extraordinary Day in Hell

Its no secret that the Spring Classics are defined as much by Paris Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders as the grand tours are defined by the Tour de France. The erratically strewn pave of northern France and the unforgiving cobbles of Flanders in Belgium wreak of the essence of the toughest single day races suited for the hardest of riders willing to embrace the harshest weather conditions and the worst roads bike racing can string together, all glorified through remarkable still life images that highlight in both black and white and technicolor the grit, pain, suffering, joy and glory of the sports most demanding races. But in between the still life images that capture a series of singular moments that glisten (like the well embrocated legs of the men) inside our heads year round, there is always a story that precedes the image and an unknown one that follows it, and more than 99% of the time, it is a story filled not of the man who takes the top step of the podium, but with the elements of bike racing,the people, the terrain and the history that defines the iconic elements these races that have grown- almost outsized- in our sport. And while many want to relate to the winner, to share in the glory of a conquering of the pave, the truth lies behind the dust and mud,not near the front of the pack, but somewhere in the middle, a real time struggle to meet the demands and define the imagery that so often is overlooked or taken for granted, glossed over in a wave of pandemonium that engulfs the winners circle, podium girls and all, and defines, at the level of comprehension for all, the true spirit of the sport of cycling and another reason why it’s the greatest sporting spectacle on earth. Read More



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