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Surprising Moments in Cycling History (A Legacy): Vol. II

Bonus Treasures

Surprising Moments in Cycling History (A Legacy): Vol. II

Presented by the 2016 Manual for Speed Surprise Me! Kit. With writing by Klaus & illustration by Thomas Slater.

Surprising Moments in Cycling History (A Legacy): Vol. II


I Giddy Up!

Álvaro Pachón, who won the Vuelta a Colombia twice, tells this story about the most unusual thing he ever saw while racing: “In 1963, I was climbing badly at the Vuelta a Colombia. It was a tough day for me. I was fighting to maintain my lead in the young riders competition. My biggest rival was Adolfo Buritica. I was feeling dejected, riding badly, and suddenly I saw him ride by. He was being towed by a horse! He was holding onto its tail. Despite my anger, I found myself laughing uncontrollably. At the end of the stage, I complained to the officials. They told me that the rules didn’t say anything about being towed by a horse. A car, yes, but nothing about horses.”



It’s not against the rules unless it’s against the rules. For example, there’s no rule that states one should see something before one purchases it. You do what you want with that information.

Surprise Me! Kit

In order to preserve the shroud of secrecy surrounding the Surprise Me! Kit, we can’t really tell you a whole lot about it. Here’s what we do know, though: it’s designed by Yoko Honda, who designed the world-famous LA Sweat kit last year; it’s constructed by Castelli, who has been constructing our paradigm-shifting kit for years; it’s only available for a few more days. Don’t miss your chance. More info HERE, if you’re not convinced.

II “I don’t care what you think so… surprise!”

Jacques Anquetil won 16 Tour de France stages. Won the GC 5 times. Paris-Nice 5 times. Held the hour record. All this among many, many other victories. But to many, it’s his personal life that was most amazing. The Frenchman was well known for drinking excessively during stage races, and joked about doping. He once disguised himself as a plumber so he could secretly meet up with his doctor’s wife, who he later married. He then had a child with his wife’s daughter, and the three lived together for 12 years. Anquetil would later go on to have a child with his stepson’s ex-wife as well.



Maybe Lance Armstrong isn’t the BIGGEST dick in cycling? Surprise!

III A Box of Illegally Obtained Chocolates

Jose Beyaert won the first Olympic road race and eventually moved to Colombia, where he was asked to compete in demonstration races to celebrate the opening of a new velodrome in the city of Bogotá. He stayed in Colombia for the next fifty years where he raced, then became a coach, and eventually started several businesses, including a restaurant and a hair salon. Over time, he became friendly with some of the most dangerous drug smugglers in the world, which is likely what led to him start smuggling emeralds into Europe, and (according to the book Olympic Gangster) more than likely becoming a hired assassin for the Italian mob.



Life is like box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Embrace it. Buy the Surprise Me! Kit.

IV Who’s Going to Win it for Your Father?

Joel Pelier was a French domestique whose parents (almost) never saw him race because his brother was severely disabled and needed constant care. The one day that they were able to see him was stage six of the 1989 Tour de France. On that day, Pelier went on a lone breakaway for 102 of the day’s 161 miles. He rode through rain and punishing wind, and won by 1 minute and 34 seconds. It was the only major stage win of his career.



Family is just about all we have in the world, and surprise!—you’re part of the Manual for Speed family. Support your family by buying a Surprise Me! Kit.

V Errrrrr, Urs

After the 11th stage of the 1991 Tour de France the entire peloton flew together from Saint-Herblain to Pau. All of them except Urs Zimmermann. He was disqualified as a result. In his defense, Urs cited the fact that he was afraid of flying. In support of Urs, the peloton protested his disqualification until he was allowed to remain in the race. Years later, Zimmermann admitted that he didn’t have a fear of flying, he just wanted a break from his teammates and the other cyclists in the race. Interestingly, three years earlier, a Swissair flight that crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia killing 228 was piloted by a man named Urs Zimmermann.



It’s no surprise that people get boring. Hanging around all those cyclists talking about watts and thresholds gets old. Urs needed break, perhaps he needed to spice it up. Had he bought a Surprise Me! Kit there’s no doubt he would have hung with his teammates and won the 1991 Tour de France.

VI If the gap fits, wear it

Stage 11 of the 1976 Tour de France was a mountainous one, finishing in the village of Manosque. Jose Luis Viejo Gomez broke away early quickly creating a gap of over twenty minutes. Hours later, when he crossed the finish line of the 139 mile stage, the gap was still 22 minutes and 50 seconds.



Sometimes surprises are gifts that just keep on giving. I broke away in the first hour of the race! I put 22 minutes on the field! I kept that lead for over 100 miles and up an Alp or three. I won! Surprise bitches!!!!!!! Surprise!

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