Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PEZ Selections MORE BIG BAD-ASSES In Professional Biking


“I’m by no means happier than after I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, using alongside a degree direction on the Excursion de France.

Pricey Readers – Our liked colleague and good friend Ed Hood suffered a significant stroke in February.  We don’t be expecting Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to lend a hand Ed together with his long term.  Learn the entire publish right here – and please imagine donating.

** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to lend a hand Ed **

We’ll be posting a choice of Ed’s paintings from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get previous.

Extra ‘Greatest Unhealthy Ass’: Ed Hood gave us the highest 13 ‘Unhealthy Ass’ riders within the professional peloton not too long ago, since then the record has grown. Twelve extra of biking’s ‘Unhealthy Ass’ riders have made the minimize – Difficult as they arrive!

Now not many riders beat Eddy Merckx all through his reign – Walter GodeFroot did

A couple of weeks in the past we ran a work that includes, ‘Unhealthy Ass’ riders – this was once all the time going to be subjective; and certain sufficient now not everybody agreed with our possible choices and identified notable omissions. What else may just we do however run with ‘Unhealthy Ass 2?’

Baensch appearing his ‘observe rash’

Ron Baensch:
Again within the days when observe sprinting was once a lot more of a touch recreation, Australia’s Ron Baensch was once one of the bodily. In the ones days the self-discipline was once ruled by means of the Italians, as was once the UCi. The overdue Ron was once lovely rattling fast – 4 time a Worlds medallist – so the Azzurri had their very own manner of coping with this unhealthy Aussie. After I interviewed him a couple of years again he instructed me:

“The UCI would repair the draw in order that I’d come towards the Italians’ 3rd string sprinter within the early rounds. They’d inform him to tough me up, take me to the fence and stuff like that, they’d break out with that, however they have been hoping I’d retaliate – which I continuously did – and so they may just disqualify me.” Sprinting as God supposed; now not the mega-gear drag racing of nowadays. . .

Some other difficult Aussie

Danny Clark:
Sure, some other Aussie – it’s no marvel that a number of of our contemporary crop of arduous males come from the Antipodes. Within the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s there have been no affordable flights, web, Skype, FaceTime or ‘Mondialisation’ – aspiring champions typically arrived from ‘Down Below’ on a a technique price tag, they’d fear in regards to the go back fare later. Clark’s global luck started as a teen when he took the silver medal within the particular person pursuit on the 1970 Commonwealth Video games in Edinburgh. Demonstrating the flexibility that was once his hallmark, he took silver within the kilometre on the 1972 Munich Olympics. As a qualified he would pass directly to win international titles within the keirin and in the back of the large motors and end at the podium within the issues race. He additionally received a couple of Ecu titles throughout omnium, Derny, motor paced and madison disciplines. However it’s a six day guy that the person from ‘Tassie’ is highest remembered, he’s a ‘recordman’ of the sixes for multiple reason why:

# Longest occupation: along side compatriot Reg Arnold he was once one of the vital easiest ‘squirrels’ for some 26 years.
# Maximum six day begins: 235 with 221 finishes – 74 wins, 54 2nd puts and 40 3rd puts.
# The oldest winner of a six day at 49 years.
# Essentially the most selection of other stadiums raced in – 29.
# Along side Bruno Risi he’s the winner of probably the most six days in a single season within the publish struggle generation – 9; with two seasons the place he received seven and two the place he received six. ‘Unhealthy Ass’ evidently.

Two Roubaix wins and Bordeaux–Paris – Gibus was once no softy

Gilbert Duclos Lassalle:
37, the principles of excellent grammar dictate that one must by no means get started a sentence with a host; however that was once Gilbert Duclos Lassalle’s age when he received his first Paris-Roubaix in 1992. Most experts have lengthy ridden their closing cobbled vintage by means of that age. As a more youthful guy Duclos had stood at the Roubaix podium however knew he’d squandered his probabilities of successful by means of using, ‘like an beginner.’ There have been no errors in ’92, I will be able to nonetheless see him on his solo fee to glory, tackling the twists and turns during the villages of Northern France on an enormous tools, now not bothering to switch down as he brutalised the motorcycle out of the corners, bumping up and down kerbs, the Rockshox operating time beyond regulation. A 12 months later and with Father Time on his coat tails it gave the impression of the ‘double’ was once not possible, his face betraying the hassle of putting directly to rampaging bull, Franco Ballerini. The large Italian not noted group orders from Patrick Lefevere within the automotive that he must drop the Frenchman as he might be unhealthy within the dash, given his observe enjoy as a six day guy. However Ballerini had ‘diamonds in his legs’ and was once certain that Duclos was once carried out and the cobble stone could be his to lift over his head. Alternatively Ballerini had underestimated the temperature of the fireplace burning in Lasalle’s chest and historical past data that at 38 years and 230 days the person from Lembeye is the oldest ever winner of the Queen of the Classics.

Walter Godefroot: ‘hewn from a work of cast mahogany then hit within the face with a shovel’

Walter Godefroot:
As a teen I take note studying a work from a kind of oldschool 70’s journos who described Merckx’s domestiques as taking a look as though they’d been hewn from a work of cast mahogany then hit within the face with a shovel. That description similarly implemented to Walter, one in every of a only a few males who may just hassle Merckx the Mighty over the cobbles. His nickname; ‘The Bulldog of Flanders’ says all of it. He received the Ronde two times, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Gent Wevelgem, to not point out 10 Excursion de France phases. And if there was once any doubt about his toughness he eradicated that together with his two wins in Bordeaux-Paris, that’s over an insignificant 577 kilometres. There are few footage of Walter taking a look ‘cool’ a l. a. Roger De Vlaeminck or Merckx – however there are lots photographs of him coated in dust bludgeoning his motorcycle around the pave taking a look scarily arduous. The person defines the phrase; ‘Flahute’.

We don’t know if Raas was once a smoker, however 3 at a time is ‘unhealthy ass’

Jan Raas:
The Dutchman was once a made from arguably one of the vital biggest breeding grounds for newbie motorcycle racing ability in historical past – The Netherlands all through the 1970’s. Raas raced along the likes of Fedor Den Hertog, Cees Priem, Hennie Kuiper, Gerrie Knetemann and Johan Van Der Velde as an beginner. He became professional with the mighty Raleigh group for 1975 however was once let pass by means of group boss Peter Put up after two seasons. However a extremely a hit 1977 season with Frisol, which integrated a win in Milan-Sanremo made Put up rethink and Raas got here again to Raleigh the place he would turn out to be a mainstay of the group’s ‘General Biking’ philosophy thru till 1983 when he left to sign up for Kwantum. His function of honour is without doubt one of the easiest; nationwide titles, a global identify, the Primavera, de Ronde, Paris-Roubaix, Het Volk, Kuurne and naturally, the Amstel Gold ‘Raas’ some 5 instances. Raas was once famend for his tactical acumen and Dutch trait of figuring out the price of a guilder; no shrinking violet he did what needed to be carried out to win and if that integrated taking tows from group associates at the climbs and dumping frisky Italian Giovanni Battaglin at the deck within the end instantly en direction his international identify on house soil, smartly. . .

They breed them arduous in Australia – Allan Peiper

Allan Peiper:
It was once PEZ reader Kev Dakin who identified to us that ahead of Allan Peiper – sure, some other Aussie – raced with ACBB within the early 80’s, turning professional with Peugeot as the start of a decade lengthy professional occupation which noticed him experience for the mighty Panasonic group and Tulip Computer systems, there was once a 3 12 months spell when he raced in Belgium as a junior and beginner within the 70’s. Sickness ended that marketing campaign and he returned to Australia ahead of his 2nd a hit sojourn to Europe. However the ones years in Europe, a lot of it spent with the mythical Planckaert circle of relatives there was once little time for the decorum and etiquette of the pro international but to come back and cash needed to be made. If he was once in a damage and unsatisfied with the paintings charge of one in every of his partners, then they’d be unceremoniously proven the obstacles. All over that point he amassed an enormous selection of podium finishes however now not such a lot of winner’s bouquets – native heroes pay handsomely for the ones. . .

peter post
Unhealthy ass rider and unhealthy ass supervisor – Peter Put up

Peter Put up:
‘Classicer’ with the quickest Paris-Roubaix in historical past, degree race winner – the Excursions of Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands all went his manner – a couple of nationwide and Ecu Champion at the observe; however as with Dany Clark he’s highest remembered as rider as, ‘The Kaiser’ of the sixes. Put up received 65 ‘races to nowhere’ together with 11 instances in his house Antwerp race. When his occupation was once shortened by means of harm he moved seamlessly into six day race path, and – group control. He dominated his TI Raleigh and Panasonic groups with a fist of iron, his ‘General Biking’ philosophy guiding them to wins in each and every primary race at the calendar. However now not with out lowering grown males to tears or leaving them to a protracted experience again to the group resort after a race if he didn’t really feel they’d given in their highest. ‘Tremendous Unhealthy’.


‘Rambo,’ aka Niko Eeckhout:
A depressing overdue June Sunday in Antwerp, 2006. The Belgian Elite Street Race Championship on a treacherous, diesel slicked ‘crash fest’ city circuit. Twister Tom is within the damage and has group mate Kevin Van Impe there too – it’s a formality. Alternatively, Vik, Dave and I aren’t so certain, that stocky, brick-built outhouse of a person, Eeckhout is there and we all know that that is his more or less day – rainy, chilly, difficult, a struggle of attrition. The chilly and rainy will get to Boonen, the younger Phil Gil can do no higher than silver and the person who has invested such a lot within the Belgian sunbed trade dons the purple, yellow and black of nationwide champion. Some 20 seasons a professional with 100 plus victories to his identify, no marvel they christened him, ‘Rambo’.

Rikho Suun – A celeb in the back of the ‘Iron Curtain’

Rikho Suun:
If ever a race was once misnamed it was once the, ‘Peace Race’. In addition to being seen within the East as an ideological combat towards the decadent West there was once the truth that the race was once one in every of a only a few arenas the place international locations below the Soviet yoke may just categorical themselves. Poland and Czechoslovakia particularly have been anything else however content material to be a part of the Soviet Bloc and the Peace Race gave them a chance to chunk again. Sarcastically, one of the vital males who was once within the thick of the Peace Race battles as a ‘Soviet’ was once if truth be told from Tartu in Estonia. Rikho Suun rode the race on 3 events, successful 5 phases alongside the way in which regardless of, as a feared large finisher, attracted the attentions of his Polish and Czech dash opponents. Getting ridden off the street and crashing was once all a part of the sport and not using a bleating to commissars; select your self up, test the motorcycle and ‘get on with it’, regardless of extra highway rash in your highway rash. However Suun in addition to being case hardened was once no, ‘one race pony’, he received the nationwide championships of Estonia and the Soviet Union, to not point out successful phases within the Excursion de l’Avenir, Excursion of Luxembourg – towards the pros, Excursion of Slovakia, Excursion of Yugoslavia, GP Inform, Excursion of Sweden – additionally towards the professionals and Excursion of Poland. Bizarrely, he selected to show professional in Spain for Kelme as soon as ‘the wall got here down’.

At first glance you might think this was Matthew van der Poel at the finish of a cyclocross, but no, it's his father Adrie at the end of the 1989 Tour of Flanders. Pic:CorVos/PezCyclingNews.
‘By no means consider a Dutchman’ – Adrie van der Poel

Adrie van der Poel:
VdP in addition to being a Vintage winner, international cyclo-cross champion and father of the phenomenon this is Mathieu was once additionally the ‘Capo’, of the peloton. If a favour was once required then Adrie was once the person to invite. However ‘flick’ him at your peril. The tale is going of a tender rider who was once main his personal nationwide excursion, he minimize a maintain VdP for lend a hand all through the rest of the race, duly received the GC however did not stay his a part of the cut price and didn’t cough the guilders to the Dutchman. The person in query discovered lifestyles within the continental peloton very tough thereafter, no person steered of hazards or would paintings with him in a breakaway. Easiest to not ‘flick’ Adrie. . .

Hoogvliet - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - archief - archive - stock - Andre Dierickx en Frans Verbeeck in de finale van Gent - Wevelgem - foto Cor Vos ©2008
Frans Verbeeck – Onerous is a sarcasm

Frans Verbeeck:
The tale is going that milkman became professional motorcycle rider became again to milkman went to peer a kermis together with his dad. Unimpressed by means of what he witnessed he bleated on about it within the automotive at the manner house; Verbeeck senior retorted that if he idea he may just do higher, then he must get again on his motorcycle once more. Frans did that very factor and turned into the archetypal disciple of the, ‘Classics are received within the wintry weather’ philosophy. There have been hours, extra hours and period coaching within the sand dunes. His downside was once that his group associates didn’t percentage his bull rhino charter and he wanted a large pool of group associates as maximum have been burned up by means of the top of April. He by no means landed a ‘Monument’ however was once a prolific winner, taking the Belgian Nationwide Championship, Het Volk two times, the Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold, Scheldeprijs, Brabantse Pijl and GP E3 as a part of a wonderful palmarès.

wiggins burton
Gary Wiggins – Now not a person to get the fallacious facet of

Wiggins G:
No, no the shaved headed, bearded, tattoo-ed ex-Olympic and Excursion de France champion became EuroSport pundit, reasonably his father, Gary. But some other Aussie who purchased that a technique price tag again within the early 70’s, to start with to race for the London based totally Archer Street Membership want was once subsidized by means of Cutty Sark whisky. The membership’s supremo, Stuart Benstead ceaselessly welcomed Aussies in to the fold and so they repaid his religion with various wins, elevating the membership’s profile and preserving the sponsor satisfied. However the Cutty Sark was once however a stepping stone for Wiggins, he became professional in the United Kingdom with Falcon in 1976 ahead of crossing the Channel to Belgium the place he embarked upon his quest to wreck into the arena of the six days. Season 80/81 noticed Wiggins rated forty ninth at the Six Day circuit, off 3 begins. By way of 83/84 he was once seventh off 13 begins; should you apply that Hans Henrik Oersted was once eighth, Tony Doyle ninth and Urs Freuler tenth – international champions all, then you definately realise the extent the person was once at. In 84/85 he was once 8th within the scores, once more off 13 finishes. Season 85/86 noticed him eleventh off 10 begins; on the other hand in 86/87 he was once 53rd off seven begins and the top was once nigh. However to come back from the opposite facet of the arena and fight his manner in to the best possible ranges of that milieu instructed you all you had to find out about Gary Wiggins. ‘Onerous’ doesn’t do him justice.

Peter Put up wasn’t shy of a controversy with the UCI commissar

Like PEZ? Why now not subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter to obtain updates and reminders on what is cool in highway biking?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Stories