Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Spring is the time when emblamatic new life emerges from those things that lie dormant.  And frequently, we take inspiration from such things.  So too, in the world of cycling, which of us is not inspired by seeing those whose careers have taken a bit of a slide come forth once again to carry the day.  One might assume I'm speaking of Floyd Landis' second place performance at Battenkill last weekend.

Or maybe Cadel Evan's winning both the World Championships and also today's Fleche-Wallonne on an attack up the Mur de Huy, besting Alberto's entire index finger with merely his thumb.
There are other recent tales, like Riccardo Ricco winning the second stage and taking the leaders jersey at the Giro del Trentino today.  Ricco, of course, is trying to resurrect his career after being away from the sport due to convictions of doping, then leaving his girlfriend, racer Vania Rossi and their unborn child, when she too tested positive.  Susbsequently, Rossi's B sample came back negative and Riccardo "The Cobra" Ricco had a brand new head set design painted on his Bianchi.

Certainly, nothing inspires like a doper who leaves his partner and child, who then wins.  But two other recent tales of cycling resurrection have tickled my niggles even more.  The first is involving Lance Armstrong.  As everyone is well aware, in March of 2009, LA fractured his clavicle in the Castilla Y Leon race.  As he lay slumped over in the gutter, he began Tweeting about the occurence feverishly with his good arm (one-armed people can both drive AND twitter, in case you didn't know) and within moments, his became the most well-known collar bone in the world.  So momentous was this occasion, that the very ground upon which the bone was splintered became hallowed, such that the people of the nearby village of Antiguedad erected a monument to mark the exact location of the event consisting of a blue fendered bike, secured in a pedestal of cement and stone.
A plaque on the pedestal reads:

"La Clavicula de Armstrong

I'm not sure why the good citizens of Antiguedad sacrificed what appears to be a perfecly good bike in honor of this event, or moreso why they angled the bicycle upwards like a giant erection....but I guess it's the thought that counts.  And by all accounts, people across the street from the monument   Europe reportedly stumbled upon flocked to the commemorative sculpture while walking their dogs to pay homage to Armstrong's fallen bone. 
Well disturbing news arrived last week when it was discovered that the monument had been vandalized and the bicycle stolen.  (I expect it to show up on FixedGearGallery any day now but with some deep-V Velocity rims, bright orange Oury handlegrips and an Aerospoke front wheel).  But town officials have assured the cycling community that not only will the site be resurrected, but it will now be made more difficult for vandals to get to.  Blessed be the bike that represents the collar bone.  Amen.

But none of these tales of resurrection is as exciting to me as the news that the Angle has risen.  Yes, the former Specialized Angel that used to appear at domestic and European races to represent the Specialized brand has been brought back and renamed the Angel of Echelon.  The organizers of the Echelon Gran Fondo series have "restored and resyled [The Angel] to emulate a protector and healer while still maintaing her celebrated allure and charisma."  In other words, she's still wearing tight clothes. 
"The angel character serves a dual role: one to inspire and support those off the bike and the other to captivate and cheer those on the bike," said Echelon Event Director, Hunter Ziesing regarding the Echelon series' new symbol which is designed to raise money for cancer initiatives.

I notice that the new angel comes complete with a bronzed breast plate that she didn't sport before.
I wonder if the new owners of the Angel thought she needed more protection.  Especially considering what happened to the old Specialized Angel at the hands of Cannondale.
Because as we know all too well, just because you've been resurrected doesn't mean you can't fall again.  At least we can hope so in the case of Ricco.



  1. For the "Haters" out there (especially of either Armstrong or Contador) please consider the "Ricco" character. He seems like a really good candidate.