HomeCyclingPEZ Picks The Greatest Unhealthy Asses In Professional Biking

PEZ Picks The Greatest Unhealthy Asses In Professional Biking

“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.

Expensive Readers – Our beloved colleague and pal Ed Hood suffered a critical stroke in February.  We don’t count on 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 total publish 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be posting a collection of Ed’s work from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get outdated.

Who was the largest Unhealthy Ass: Biking has its justifiable share of onerous bastards, which isn’t too stunning once you assume what the riders put themselves via to win the world’s hardest races. However some riders take the time period ‘onerous man’ too far. Ed Hood takes his choose of the 13 high ‘Unhealthy Asses’ of the peloton.

Baldato didn’t make it

The British ‘Biking Weekly’ journal lately ran a characteristic itemizing their high 10, ‘Unhealthy Asses’. Their phrases, not ours, however the gist was riders who’re/had been, controversial, powerful or ‘onerous’.

Their high 10 was:
1) Bernard Hinault
2) Sean Yates
3) Sean Kelly
4) Alberto Contador
5) Thomas De Gendt
6) Beryl Burton
7) Thor Hushovd
8) Jacques Anquetil
9) Octave Lapize
10) Alfonsina Strada

Not a nasty premise for a bit we thought, so we had a assume and right here’s OUR high 13 – to make use of a controversial quantity – in alphabetical order:

Joaquim Agostinho: fought for 3 years in Angola and Mozambique throughout Portugal’s colonial wars, earlier than turning professional. The legend is that his captain within the military ‘found’ him attributable to his having the ability to experience 50 kilometres in two hours on a heavy military bike when delivering messages – his contemporaries taking 5 hours. When requested if the Tour de France was powerful, Agostinho replied that it was a lot much less powerful than sleeping within the jungle throughout a guerrilla struggle. . .

Agostinho – Robust as they arrive and a tragic finish

Jacques Anquetil: his private life would make an amazing film however we’ll go away that apart; Biking Weekly rightly focuses on his successful the Dauphine Libere then flying direct to Bordeaux to experience and win the marathon partly Derny paced Bordeaux-Paris. An ‘exploit’ for positive. Englishman Vin Denson was one in all his key domestiques; one in all his principal jobs if Jacques was driving for the win? To ship Jacques his, ‘ending bidon’ – containing champagne and brandy. They don’t make them like Jacques anymore.

anquetil poulidor
Anquetil – Clean rider, however onerous

Lance Armstrong: yeah, we all know, however it is a man who actually did come again from being near loss of life to win the Tour de France – the ‘kitting up?’ Have a wee take a look at the highest 10 of the Excursions he gained. It might be faster to checklist those that didn’t get ‘carried out’ than those that did; would he have gained if everybody was ‘clear?’ That we’ll by no means know.

Armstrong – Very onerous on ‘mates’

Danilo Di Luca: ‘The Killer’ was a pleasure to look at, aggressive to the max, and properly revered by his workforce mates. A winner of the Giro, Lombardia and Liège-Bastogne-Liège – after which he received ‘carried out’ and suspended. Again he got here, aggressive as ever; and promptly received ‘carried out’ once more – that’s ‘dangerous ass’ for positive. The person broke my coronary heart.

di luca
Di Luca – Perhaps not the cleverest rider

Jackie Durand: within the Biking Weekly they checklist Thomas De Gendt for his lengthy, lone breaks – ‘respect’ for positive. However has he ever gained a Monument? Nope – however Jackie did, the Ronde in 1992; and two French Skilled Street Race Championships, Paris-Excursions, the Tro Bro Leon, three Tour de France phases and a spell within the yellow jersey. Thomas has a approach to go earlier than he can match the Frenchman as a tough man, ‘baroudeur’.

Jacky Durand
Durand – Flanders winner

Bernard Hinault: onerous to argue with Biking Weekly’s inclusion of the Breton, he gained nearly all the pieces there was to win together with probably the most savage World Skilled Street Race Championships ever, Sallanches in 1980. Then there was his 80 kilometre solo to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a snow storm, he nonetheless suffers from the frostbite in his fingers. He gained the Tour with a damaged nostril after a ‘face plant’ crash at high velocity and wasn’t averse to driving into strikers protesting on the parcours at full pelt with fists flying. Not a person to mess with. And naturally, he challenged younger workforce mate Greg LeMond all the best way to complete of the ’86 Tour de France after having pledged his assist to the American. He defined that he was simply ensuring that LeMond’s win was a ‘worthy’ one. Proper, Bernard.

Hinault – Sure, onerous

Sean Kelly: one other Biking Weekly choice we’ve got no quibble with; the ‘King of the Classics’ and a Vuelta winner, his dash battles with Eric Vanderaerden would have even Carlton Kirby misplaced for phrases and the commissaires reaching for the smelling salts.

sean kelly
Kelly – Head wound harm stitched with out anaesthetic

Johan Museeuw: Absolutely the ‘Recordman’ for the Ronde with eight podiums and thrice a winner of Paris-Roubaix the place a nasty crash in Arenberg Forest in 1998 nearly noticed him lose his leg as gangrene set in. Two years later he would cross the road within the Roubaix velodrome, triumphant with aforementioned knee raised to depart us in little doubt that he was again. Hardcore.

Johan Museeuw was in zijn leven nog nooit zo teleurgesteld als na afloop van Parijs-Roubaix 1994. Op de foto zit de klasrijke Belg gedesilusioneerd in de bekende douches., foto Cor Vos ©
Museeuw – Almost misplaced a leg

Luis Ocaña: we’ve excluded Eddy Merckx from this checklist, it goes with out saying he was the ‘baaddest’ by any measure. Many mentioned that they weren’t afraid of Baron Edouard Louis in his 70’s prime however few really put their cash the place their mouth was. Ocaña did, savaging Merckx within the mountains within the ’71 Tour de France till his notorious crash on the descent of the Col de Mente which noticed him must abandon with the maillot jaune on his again. Ocaña would win the Tour in ’73 however within the absence of Merckx who rode and gained each the GC and factors classifications within the Vuelta and Giro that season. However Ocaña’s ’71 ‘failure’ is now a part of our sport’s archive of legends.

Ocaña – Unfortunate or a tragic life?

Tom Simpson: none tougher, a person who might experience himself into someplace past the pale – and on the Ventoux he simply went too far. The king of French biking journalism, Philippe Brunel referred to as him as a ‘genius’. I wouldn’t argue with that evaluation.

sanremo 64
Simpson – He went too far

Rik Van Looy: together with Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik II is one in all solely three males to win all the monuments; tougher than onerous and a person who’s phrase was value – properly, not a lot. Englishman, Vin Denson rode for Van Looy and Jacques Anquetil and while the Norman’s phrase was his bond, Rik’s was something however. . .

Rik van Looy, foto Cor Vos ©
Van Looy – Robust and tough

Rik Van Steenbergen: one other man whose private life would make an excellent film with playing, medicine, smuggling, police busts and. . . starring in a mushy porn film. There’s a college of thought says that had he raced much less – he’d typically race twice a day, wherever the cash was robust – then he’s have gained extra that his three World Skilled Street Race Championships and eight Classics.

Van Steenbergen
Van Steenbergen – He led fairly a life

Sean Yates: a younger Russian rider who had simply had a tongue lashing from the ‘Large Sean,’ rode as much as his workforce captain, Evgeni Berzin asking who the Englishman thought he was? Berzin counselled the teenager that it could be greatest to chew his lip, it wasn’t a good suggestion to tangle with Yates. A person even the younger, cocksure Lance Armstrong didn’t reply again – not often called, ‘The Animal’ for nothing.

Roubaix - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Sean YATES pictured during Paris-Roubaix 1994 - archief - stock - archive - archivbild - photo Cor Vos © 2017
Yates – Large and onerous

# And now we’re ready for the ‘hate mail . . . . #

Fiorenzo Magni didn’t make it in to the highest ‘Unhealthy Ass’

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