Sunday, December 18, 2011

Photos of the day: Kim Andersen going solo

Wow.  That last little rant on top end pro bike pricing went pretty viral.   Flahute's building me up to add fuel to the fire with addtional commentary to come.  But for now, something completely different!  

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
Many may not remember that the Directeur Sportif for Leopard Trek this year (and with Riis at Saxo Bank in prior years), Denmark's Kim Andersen was quite the monster back in the day.

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.

3 comments:

  1. Great pictures from Miroir. How do you get them?

    Also: Originally from RI (good friend of Ted) now in Tucson but moving back to Northeast this summer. 60+ Cat 3 road and track. Looking for a new team. Does Flandria Cafe accept new members?

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  2. You're in 50x15...love to have you join us. Find us through BikeWorks in Swansea MA when you get back. Enjoy the warm winter and keep pedalling!

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