When We Were Kings

When We Were Kings is an exhibition of portraits and interviews with some of road racing’s greatest protagonists, by German artist Oliver Soulas. Opening this Friday 16th January at the Rapha Cycle Club Manchester, there will be the de rigueur food and drink plus a Q&A session with Oliver and Rouleur magazine’s assistant editor Andy McGrath.

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Freddy Maertens

“It started with Rudi Altig. Two years ago I drove to his house with those normal interview questions going around my head:

‘Your most emotional moment in cycling?’

‘What do you think about doping?’

Then I realised that I’m not interested in those normal questions.

It appeared to me that it’s about what’s important in life, so questions like:

‘When were you last drunk?’

‘What do you sing in the shower?’

At first, it was just going to be four or five German cyclists. Then afterwards, Rudi said ‘do you need something else? You know, more riders?’ I reeled off the ones I wanted: Gimondi, Moser etc. There and then, he picked up his mobile phone and called Felice Gimondi – ‘ciao Felice, sono io Rudi’, and told him about me. And so it went.

Raphaël Géminiani offered Champagne,

Roger De Vlaeminck gave me homegrown potatoes,

Joop Zoetemelk provided coffee and cookies,

And Federico Bahamontes sat me in his Mercedes.

Over a period of two years 12 large format black and white portraits emerged, featuring many of the greatest riders of the 60s and the 70s. And an accompanying newspaper containing transcriptions of the interviews also emerged alongside the photographs.”

Felice Gimondi

Opening party January 16th, 6pm-8pm

Exhibition runs between 16th January and 15th March 2015
Cycle Club Manchester
5 St. Ann’s Alley
M2 7LP

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