Surprising Moments in Cycling History (A Legacy)
Presented by the 2016 Manual for Speed Surprise Me! Kit. With writing by Klaus.
At the 1985 Tour de France, Greg Lemond ate a bad peach before stage 13, causing him to spend much of the day with severe stomach pains. Eventually, diarrhea began to run down his shorts and legs, prompting him to ask a teammate for his cap, which cap he maneuvered into his shorts, filled up with shit, and threw into some roadside hedges . Unfortunately this did little to alleviate his problems. At the finish line he ran to the La Vie Claire motorhome, used by staff during the race. In a panic, he opened the door to the bathroom only to find the toilet covered by boxes of team rider postcards. Unable to move the boxes in time, Lemond opened one and relieved himself onto countless postcards featuring Bernard Hinault’s smiling face.
MORAL OF THE STORY Be prepared for surprises by carrying an extra cap for various contingencies—don’t worry, the 2016 Surprise Me! full kit includes a cap. Also, it clearly doesn’t matter what that cap looks like.
I’VE GOT THIS! SHIT, DO I?
Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour of Turkey delivered what can easily be described as one of the most tense finishes in recent cycling history. With 3km to go on a flat run-in, Iljo Keisse left the breakaway group. With 2km to go, while holding a 17 second gap to the break and 31 seconds to the peloton, Keisse took a 45-degree turn carefully but crashed anyway, sliding slowly toward the barriers. He got back on his bike and tried to pedal away, but quickly realized his chain was off. By that time the peloton had caught the break and was only seconds away from Keisse. Keisse fixed the chain, got on his bike, pedaled for the finish—slowly at first—looked over his shoulder, realized he was about to be caught, and, somehow, managed to summon the legs to stay ahead of what was now a full-on sprint involving the entire peloton. He won by two bike lengths.
MORAL OF THE STORY It’s never over until it’s over. You might think it’s in the bag, but is it? Point is, don’t wait until the 20th to buy your Surprise Me! Kit.
Even though Franck Bouyer (retired in 2013) suffered from narcolepsy, the UCI would not grant him a therapeutic use exemption for the medicine to treat his condition (Modafinil) because it was believed it may provide an unfair advantage in the form of performance enhancement. As such, the French Cycling Federation refused to give him a license if he insisted on taking the drug. And so… he didn’t take the drug. While Frank never fell asleep mid-race he admitted he came close on several occasions. Apparently, when he felt an “episode” coming on, he pulled over and stopped on the side of the road.
MORAL OF THE STORY You have no idea what the guy next to you is suffering from and whether or not he’s taking the proper precautions (i.e. drugs) to mitigate the symptoms. Also, you never know when you might wake up in a ditch on the side of the road. Life is full of surprises. The only thing you can do is make sure that when you do wake up in a ditch on the side of the road, you look good AF. Buy theSurprise Me! kit.
Dayer Quintana, Nairo’s brother, raced for an amateur team in Colombia supported by the armed forces. Since men in Colombia have to serve in the army for 18 months of compulsory service, it was agreed that the riders on the team would ride in lieu of their service. This plan worked well until he team folded prematurely, and riders were suddenly forced to serve out the remainder of the contract as auxiliary officers of the national police. Dayer spent that time patrolling city streets at night. When his service was over, he moved to Spain to race, and is now with Movistar.
MORAL OF THE STORY
You never know when you’re going to be forced to wear a military uniform. As such, take advantage of your freedom to wear whatever the fuck you want. Get weird, have fun, take chances! For example, maybe you should buy the Surprise Me! kit!?
WAIT, TWO WEEKS?
In 1985 Andy Hampsten, on loan from SRC Levi’s, raced the Giro d’Italia for 7 Eleven. He had only been a professional for two weeks when he won stage 20 (a short 36 mile stage with a mountain-top finish) much to the disbelief of fans and the Italian media as evidenced by this comedic exchange at the end of the race:
Italian TV announcer: “How many years have you been racing professionally?”
Andy Hampsten: “Two weeks.”
The Italian TV announcer translates Andy’s answer for the Italian TV audience. “Secondo anno de professionista” or “this is his second year as a professional.
Andy catches the error and corrects the TV announcer right away. “No, two weeks.”
MORAL OF THE STORY TWO WEEKS. You have two weeks to buy the Surprise Me! kit. Wait, as of right now you have less than that. What are you waiting for?
David Millar was (is) an exceptional professional cyclist who had an illustrious career racing at the World Tour level, in the sun. Unsurprising, as bike races are generally outside, where it’s often very sunny. The thing is, David Millar is allergic to the sun. But that didn’t stop David. He wore kit, he used extreme sunblock, he did what he had to do.
MORAL OF THE STORY Wear kit (like the Surprise Me! kit), don’t get sunburned, do what you have to do.
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