In 1986 it was Moreno Argentin’s bouquet to carry and stripes to take home in Colorado Springs — that was the last time the UCI Road World Championships came to the United States. Charly Mottet took second, and Giuseppe Saronni third. Jeannie Longo won the women’s edition, with American Janelle Parks silver.
The Worlds have returned to Richmond this year, a storied city in both American and international racing. To mark the occasion, Rapha has printed three special edition Doppios featuring collaborations with some of the sport’s best photographers and writers.
Online, we present here a selection of features from the printed editions, but if you’re lucky enough to be in Richmond, come and pick one up at our ‘village’ on 811 West Cary Street. We’ll be there, celebrating the beauty of Worlds and the story of Richmond.
– Doppio editor Matthew Beaudin
’86 Colorado Springs
Heading up the U.S. team at the ’86 Worlds was pre-race favorite and former rainbow jersey wearer Greg LeMond, who had won the Tour de France just two months prior. The 25-year-old had been forced to battle with his own teammate Bernard Hinault (left) – known as ‘The Badger’ for his pugnacious tendencies – for three weeks in France, however, and many considered him exhausted from the efforts of winning yellow. Badgers don’t give up easily, after all, and the Frenchman Hinault was – and still is – as belligerent as they come. As it turned out, the La Vie Claire pair didn’t have to reprise their rivalry on the road at Worlds, however, as Moreno Argentin of Italy survived from the breakaway to beat Charly Mottet of France in a sprint.
Photo: Kevin Hatt
The Worlds has been to Richmond before. In the early 1990s, riders met each Friday morning at the corner of West Cary and South Sheppard Streets for a challenging 25-mile course west of the city and back. “Friday Worlds” was the high point of the week for the staff of Two Wheel Travel, a bicycle shop in Carytown.
‘Friday Worlds’ was the high point of the week for the staff of Two Wheel Travel, a bicycle shop in Carytown.
A rivalry had grown between two factions in the store, leading to the transformation of an irregular weekday training jaunt into the most hallowed of rides, the world championships. No other race moniker conveys the distinction and importance of a road cycling contest to its participants than the race for the rainbow jersey.
The Carytown riders did not compete for a jersey with horizontal bands of green, yellow, black, red and blue across the chest, though. The distinction of this jersey belongs only to the winner of the elite world championships. Cycling culture has many rules for its devotees and while many of them are fatuous, carve this one in stone.
It is a funny thing that most reverential fans of the sport will refuse to wear a replica of the champion’s jersey yet will host a local training ride affixed with the ‘Worlds’ title. But so it was with the races from Two Wheel Travel almost 25 years ago. Each of the two teams, Shop Apes and Counter Creeps, wanted the win, the trophy, the adulation of customers but, above all, to beat the other side.
The Shop Apes were Richmond’s finest bicycle mechanics and their well-tuned bicycles were as silent as they were. Back among the workbenches and truing stands in jeans and black t-shirts they rarely made a sound other than when coaxed onto the sales floor to confirm a technical detail. The Shop Apes were pragmatic, making use of numerous ‘broken’ or ‘worn out’ components abandoned by customers eager for the latest and lightest to trickle down from the pro ranks.
The Counter Creeps wore collared shirts and “belts on pants with belt loops.” It said so in the employee manual. The Creeps knew what every frame tubing decal of the shopfloor bikes meant in exacting detail and they knew how to say Mavic, Campagnolo, or Vitus. Or at least they said them in novel ways that made them sound as if they did. They had loud bicycles in bright colors and the new component sales pitches they gave were so good that they ended up buying the gear themselves. Faster, lighter, smoother; it simply had to be better. Three Shop Apes versus three Counter Creeps each week for the world championships, right here on West Cary Street, Richmond.
In a time before Twitter, the shop would broadcast the weekly winner to customers by way of a trophy and medals. Those crafty Shop Apes spray painted an old Campagnolo rear derailleur with gold paint, mounted it to a small plaque-sized board, and adorned it with rainbow-stripe finishing tape from a box of handlebar cork ribbon. For second and third place, pulleys, one painted silver and one bronze, were hung from necklaces made of Benotto ribbon.
While it was never proven with sales data, there did seem to be an upturn in Friday business once customers began dropping in at lunch or after work to see where the trophies were mounted. Long before the 1996 ‘Super Sweep’ by Team Mapei-GB at Paris-Roubaix, the Shop Apes would take the top three positions on several occasions. A change in staffing saw the Counter Creeps take on a new rider who would dominate the summer weeks. It was always a fierce affair.
The bike shop is now a restaurant and the trophies were no doubt deposited in a rubbish bin long ago. As for those Friday Worlds riders, it is likely that many are among the crowd in Richmond this week cheering for their favorite rider, the one most Apeish or Creepish. Virginia’s capital, for some, remains their home, while others are scattered across the globe. No matter where they ride, though, they will certainly line up soon to race yet another world championships of their own.
Photographer Andy Bokanev examines the lively criterium scene in the U.S.
We, as Americans, did not invent criteriums, but we sure as hell love them as if we did. We want to see the racers go round and round inches away from each other. We want to feel the gust of wind as the riders duel for the limited real estate that each apex has for sale. Maybe it’s our short attention spans. Maybe we can’t relate to waiting half a day on the side of the mountain for a 120-pound human being to pedal his way to the top a few seconds or minutes ahead of other 120-pound humans. Maybe it’s because we like a party, a tailgate, a spectacle.
These were the questions and thoughts going through my head at the beginning of this season as I agreed to follow Team CLIF Bar around the country for Peloton Magazine.
Above are some of my favorite photographs from Athens, GA, Tulsa, OK, Boise, ID
and St. Louis, MO.
The radler isn’t a beer drinker’s beer, it’s a cyclist’s beer, writes Mat Allyn.
The name radler is German for bike rider, and the beer-lemonade cocktail has its origins in Bavaria almost 100 years ago. The common tale holds that innkeeper Franz Xaver Kugler constructed a bike path through the forest outside of Munich to his establishment in the summer of 1922. On the first Saturday it was opened, 13,000 cyclists descended upon his inn, and he quickly realized that the only way to sate all of their thirst was to mix sparkling lemonade with lager, otherwise his supply would run dry.
The ‘radlermass’ (cyclist’s liter) Kugler served that day certainly introduced the concoction to thousands of unfamiliar riders. The story is backed by the Bavarian Brewers Federation and endorsed by accomplished beer historian Horst Dornbusch, but a 1912 book, ‘Erinnerungen einer Überflüssigen’ (Memories of a Superfluous Woman) by Lena Christ references the radler as a possible lunchtime beverage. Most likely, radlers were first mixed a few decades before Kugler’s big day by German cycling clubs looking to ride on more than water, but still hold their lines.
Radler variations abound within Germany alone. In the north near Hamburg, it is named ‘alsterwasser’ in reverence of the pure waters of the Alster River that flow into the Elbe. In eastern Germany and Berlin, it is a ‘potsdamer’ — though that name can apply to any type of added soda. And should you swap the lager for a wheat beer, your beverage becomes a ‘russ’, or ‘russ’n’.
Beyond Germany, France and French Switzerland share the same cocktail, now called a ‘panaché’, though it is slightly weaker and the alcohol can dip down to 1% ABV. England’s own beer cocktail, the ‘shandy’, swaps lager for ale and lemon soda for ginger beer. It predates the radler by a few decades. The earliest known reference comes in 1853, but its most notable came in H.G. Wells’ 1910 ‘The History of Mr. Polly’.
In the U.S., the radler and shandy first appeared as sweet, mass-produced fruit beers, but more recently they have caught on with craft brewing’s lower-alcohol session beer movement. Naturally, some brewers, like Ohio’s Hoppin’ Frog, still follow the American beer tradition of amplifying European beers with, in their case, the 7% ABV Turbo Shandy (which also comes in bourbon and tequila-barrel variants). And most American radlers worth drinking (Boulevard and 10 Barrel to name two) still top 4%.
But Christ’s early, off-hand mention of the radler as an afternoon beverage speaks to the heart of its appeal. Your standard radler, whether premixed by a brewery or your bartender, should clock around 3% alcohol. Today’s quintessential bottled radler, Stiegl, hits just 2.5%, with a mix of the Austrian brewery’s Goldbräu lager and either grapefruit or lemon soda (either version is excellent).
To commemorate the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, and accommodate the influx of thirsty cyclists, Rapha has teamed up with local brewery Ardent Craft Ales to create its own radler. For the first U.S.-hosted Worlds since 1986’s Colorado Springs — where Italy’s Moreno “The Boss” Argentin took the men’s win and Ohio’s Janelle Parks claimed second behind the legendary Jeannie Longo — Rapha’s radler has an American flair. Instead of the traditional German lager base, the radler uses Ardent’s strong, golden Honey Ginger ale.
Ardent co-founder, head brewer, and keen cyclist Kevin O’Leary had not created a production radler before, but adores the style’s long cycling tradition and supreme thirst-quenching power. Ardent began by creating its own house-made soda, a blend of grapefruit and lemon. While most radler breweries make separate grapefruit and lemon brews, O’Leary explains that the mixture offers both the citrus bite of lemon with a complementary grapefruit juiciness. Then Ardent began blending the soda with their range of beers — as well as with a handful of competitors’ brews they knew they could make too. O’Leary and his crew found the perfect match in the Honey Ginger on their last trial.
Brewed with local wildflower honey and fresh ginger, this 7.8% ABV ale is designed as a tasty yet potent summer drink. The Honey Ginger makes the perfect radler, says O’Leary, because unlike Ardent’s brews that already feature radler-like fruit flavors, its herbs and spices fully complement the soda instead of competing with the lemon and grapefruit. The resulting radler strikes 3.9%, and is by far, says O’Leary, the most thirst-quenching beer of the trials. While it may not follow Kugler’s famous recipe, it is true to the spirit of the cyclist’s beer. So drink up.
Rapha’s radler will be available from the Rapha Pop Up Store Richmond, located on 811 West Cary Street during Worlds.