“I’m by no means happier than once I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, driving alongside a stage route on the Tour de France.
Pricey Readers – Our beloved colleague and buddy Ed Hood suffered a severe stroke in February. We don’t anticipate Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to assist Ed together with his future. Learn the complete submit right here – and please take into account donating.
** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to assist Ed **
We’ll be posting a number of Ed’s work from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get outdated.
The Wild Males of the Bunch: The peloton has its characters, however biking is such a tough sport that having a wild time just isn’t a good suggestion. Then again there are a couple of riders who’ve managed to have an excellent time between racing. Ed Hood has his decide of the ‘Peloton Occasion Animals’.
Gilberto Simoni didn’t make the checklist
It’s stated that former world champion and Primavera winner, Maurizio Fondriest’s thought of a ‘wild evening’ was to cosy up in mattress and watch a DVD on his laptop computer. However we’re not right here to speak, ‘Monastic,’ the topic of in the present day’s outpourings is, ‘celebration animals.’ How rather more may they’ve executed in the event that they’d left off the sauce, the quick vehicles and the women?
Jacques Anquetil – ‘an excellent pheasant, some champagne and a lady.’
Jacques Anquetil: ‘Maitre Jacques,’ 5 time Tour winner, Giro and Vuelta winner, and the ‘chronoman’ supreme with at least 9 Grand Prix des Nations wins; and this was no 40 or 50K ‘jolly,’ 142 kilometres, ‘alone and unpaced.’ However the Norman preferred the finer issues in life, he owned a riverside chateau, drove sizzling vehicles, wore the best threads and was an actual ‘bon viveur.’ His most well-known quote on the topic is; ‘To arrange for a race there’s nothing higher than an excellent pheasant, some champagne and a lady.’
Not a porn star on this picture, however there are images on the market
Mario Cipollini: Ought to we embody him? Regardless of his declare that; ‘If I weren’t knowledgeable bicycle owner, I’d be a porn star,’ nobody wins 42 Giro levels after partying all evening. Nonetheless, the ‘celebration animal’ picture grabbed the headlines for his sponsors and it’s true that he by no means received the race which was made for him – Paris-Excursions. He’d been on the seashore for weeks by that point of the season.
‘Occasion boy’ Colombo
Gabriele Colombo: The 1996 Milan-Sanremo was Max Sciandri’s to lose – and he did simply that. It was the Italian with the boyish beauty and flowing locks who ‘stole’ the win. I put it to Sciandri that Colombo by no means actually received that a lot earlier than or since; ‘That’s true however he was an aesthetic rider, he preferred to celebration although – the great life, you realize?’ So you’ll be able to celebration AND win the Primavera, if not a lot else. . .
Hair too lengthy for an actual professional – Thomas Dekker
Thomas Dekker: Tirreno-Adriatico is a prestigious race, received by a few of the greatest names within the sport – De Vlaeminck, Moser, Rominger, Contador, Nibali. . . Dekker received it as a second 12 months skilled, he was class. The ‘however’ is that the great wanting Dutchman was additionally a celebration animal with maybe the, ’too lengthy for an actual professional’ hair giving him away, quick vehicles, drink, girls and the inevitable medicine. Not only for partying however for his career too, leading to a two 12 months suspension. Learn his ebook, The Descent then checklist the contemporaries he names who received’t be exchanging Xmas playing cards with him.
Class act and the perfect title in biking – Fons De Wolf
Fons De Wolf: One other man whose hair gave a clue as to his extra-curricular actions. However few males have seemed cooler on a bicycle than Fons – and he may speak the speak when he was within the temper; two wins in Het Volk, Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Lombardy, Trofeo Baracchi and levels within the Vuelta and Tour de France. However his palmarès may have been a lot broader had he preferred the ‘good life’ much less. Paradoxically, for a ‘celebration animal,’ he’s now an undertaker.
Robert Dill Bundi – High performer, however…
Robert Dill Bundi: Twice a world junior pursuit champion, Olympic pursuit champion in Moscow 1980, the tall Swiss was pure class. Nevertheless it was, ‘an excessive amount of too younger’ for the person from Chippis, as with many precocious athletes, sustaining the self-discipline that’s required to perform on the highest ranges of the game is tough if the ‘life-style of denial’ begins within the early teenagers. There was a Giro stage win, while on the observe he was an excellent performer within the six days and bagged a world keirin title in 1984; however there’s a clue to his thoughts set by wanting on the day he deserted the Tour – then requested the driving force of the sag wagon to cease at an off licence so he may purchase a bottle of vino.
Dmitri Konychev – Fashion factors for the glasses
Dmitri Konychev: One of many first Russian riders to trip within the skilled peloton he burst onto the scene with a silver medal, behind Greg Lemond within the epic 1989 Worlds. However maybe it shouldn’t have been such a shock, he’d received the ‘Child’ Giro the earlier 12 months and was an aesthetic rider. He spent quite a lot of his profession using for Italian groups, a nation the place there are a lot of distractions – seashores, discos, good vehicles and people large haired stunning Donnas. Dima was famed for pulling a rabbit from the contract renewal hat at simply the best time, leaving his DS’s shaking their heads and considering; ‘why can’t he trip like that on a regular basis?’ as he pulled off a late season large win to safe his future for one more 12 months.
Nico Mattan – Appreciated a drink
Nico Mattan: I interviewed Nico as soon as, after a stage on the Three Days of De Panne, a race he received in 2001, I enquired; ‘can I get you a Coke or mineral water, Nico?’ The Belgian checked out me quizzically; ‘no, a Carlsberg!’ After he received the 2005 Gent-Wevelgem he headed straight to his supporters membership the place he; ‘danced on the tables into the small hours.’ No warm-down on the rollers or ice baths for that man.
Merckx would have greater than tea
Eddy Merckx: Regardless of taking his career very severely, Merckx’s urge for food was legendary. The explanation his weight ballooned after he retired was that he was nonetheless consuming like a horse however not doing the 300 kilometre coaching runs to burn off the dreaded energy. And he preferred a drink. On the French criterium circuit – which had been normally ‘choreographed’ there’s a practice of partying after the race. Maitre Jacques Anquetil was nearing the tip of his profession with Merckx the rising star. The French star reckoned that while his bike racing prowess could also be on the wane, he may nonetheless out drink the upstart Belgian. Lesser males slipped quietly off to mattress while Jacques and Eddy went at it till one in every of them needed to be carried to his mattress – it wasn’t Eddy.
Stuart O’Grady: Is a pleasant man and was a high rider; an Olympic champion on the observe and a winner of Paris-Roubaix, to not point out a Tour de France yellow jersey wearer. However like many Antipodeans, he does like a beer. Folklore has it that having had, ‘one too many’ throughout a stage race, he discovered himself locked out of the workforce resort and needed to sleep in a workforce automobile. The following stage was a time trial, he was in such a nasty method that he needed to be assisted onto his bike. Not solely did he get around the time check, he received the race total. Legend.
Bruno Risi – Useful with beer
Bruno Risi: Seven occasions a world champion on the observe between the factors race and madison, Olympic silver medallist within the madison and fifth within the all-time six day wins rankings with 61 victories, the mulleted Swiss star was additionally useful with beer, wine and Schnapps. When runners like me had been forcing ourselves to remain awake to get the washing executed, Bruno and his brother-in-law and 6 day associate Kurt Betschaert can be utilizing up their surplus adrenaline.
Fredy Schmidtke (left) – had a watch for the ladies
Fredy Schmidtke: I used to be there that chilly evening at Leicester Velodrome in 1982 when the unthinkable occurred, East German Kilometre King – he’d received the final 5 world championships straight – the late Lothar Thoms ‘parked up’ on the final bend and the late ‘Quick Fredy’ turned champion of the world. Freddy went on to take Olympic kilometre gold in LA in 1984. However for all his successes on the bike, biking was properly down his checklist of ‘favorite issues’ coming someplace round fifth after ladies, extra ladies, vehicles and extra vehicles. . .
The unhappy story of Frank VDB
Frank Vandenbroucke: He was cool, pure class, gifted, winner of Het Volk, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Good, GP Plouay, the Scheldeprijs. . . Adored by the Belgian public, the late ‘Franky Boy’ was a basic case of ‘an excessive amount of too younger,’ dwelling the lifetime of knowledgeable bicycle owner from his early teenagers. As his profession spluttered amid doping investigations his column inches turned extra about nights in town, dashing fines together with his Porsche and his tumultuous relationship together with his spouse, quite than palmarès. A tragic method for a beautiful athlete’s profession to finish.
Not fairly the ‘Wild Bunch’