Just a good old shot of a good old solo artist to connect today with 'my generation bay-baaay'...
|Andersen in the Ardennes. Fleche Wallonne, 1984. |
Photo: Miroir du Cyclisme, Feb. 1985
|Photo: Miroir du Cyclisme, Feb. 1985|
Here's a look back to the year he was at his peak of his powers: 1984. That April, he soloed to win the Fleche Wallonne, after pulling along a nine man early break containing Henk Lubberding of Panasonic and eventual second place finisher Willi Tackaert. Andersen left them all, and authored a long solo to a four minute victory.
The quinessential rouleur, Andersen was a master of the long solo escape.
Later that same year, he tried to pull off the same stunt during the World Road Championship on the hilly Montjuich circuit in Barcelona. On a super hot day while other favorites like Hinault, Kelly and Moser wilted, he took his chance with a 45km solo. This time, it didn't work. The Italians chased, Kim was reeled back in, and like most that day, he ended on the sidelines.
Andersen's solo wasn't the only one that day. His came after American Tom Broznowski's. Broz had won the Nationals at Bear Mountain in NY '81 I recall, a pretty strong boy!
After that, Spain's Juan Fernandez gave it a go, but to no avail. Finally, it was Claude Criquielion whose solo lasted to take the arc-en-ciel. It was a day of one after the other heroic, suicidal efforts. A killer-hard worlds.
Ah, the solo. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But every glorious time, it requires guts and character - as well as fitness and strength - just to even attempt.
Something that will fortunately never change in cycling.