Weighty matters

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carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 11, 2008, 8:12:21 PM7/11/08
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One of the more bizarre tales of Tour de France cheating involves Jean
Robic's lead-filled metal water-bottle.

Robic's special water bottle weighed 20 pounds and was supposed to
help the tiny climber descend the Tourmalet in the 1953 TDF and
preserve his hard-won uphill advantage over heavier riders:

"[Team manager Calvez] knew he had a good rider in Robic, but Robic
could not get down the hills quickly. He could make great time on the
climbs and then lose it on the other side. It wasn't a matter of being
a skilled descender. He was very small, only 5 feet tall. Like many of
the great climbers, he just didn't have the mass to get down fast."

[Lots of riders insist that it's just mass, not a matter of being a
great descender.]

"Le Calvez had a plan. The evening before the first climbs in stage 9
he had molten lead poured into a water bottle--water bottles were
aluminum at that time. At the top of the climb it would be secretly
passed to Robic, who would then have an extra 9 kilograms of mass to
aid in his descent. It had to be done secretly because handing up food
and water could only be done at the designated feed zones. The ruse
(effectively doubling the weight of his bike) probably helped Robic on
the descent of the Tourmalet. He was able to get away fast enough to
stay away and don the Yellow jersey."

--""The Story of the Tour de France: 1903-1964," Bill McGann, p. 194

http://books.google.com/books?id=jxq20JskqMUC&printsec=frontcover#PPA194,M1

***

"Probably helped Robic" is a little vague.

How much would a 9-kg lead-filled water-bottle actually help a
jockey-sized rider roll down the Tourmalet?

In 1953, the Tour climbed up the longer 19 km side of the pass (from
Luz Saint-Saveur) and descended the slightly shorter 17.2 km side (to
Saint-Marie de Campana).

Tourmalet is an average 7.4% grade both ways, reaching 10.4% on the
shorter side and 10.0% on the longer side.

Robic was the leader at the summit in 1953. He was also the leader at
the summit in 1947 when he won the Tour and again in 1948:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col_du_Tourmalet
http://www.pyrenees-passion.info/tour_de_france_col_tourmalet.php

So the little cheat was leading the field that day when he grabbed his
lead-filled water bottle at the top of the Tourmalet and rolled on
down the far side of the pass.

***

Time for calculations.

First, how little was Robic?

Tiny.

Many sites mention that he was only five feet tall, but I haven't seen
any mention of his weight that gave a source. Unattributed claims
indicate 50 kg, a mere 110 pounds, reasonable given that the shortest
rider in the 2005 Tour was 5 foot 2 inches tall, while the lightest
2005 rider weighed 126 pounds:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Tour_de_France#Teams_and_riders

Here's a side-by-side bike speed and time calculator:
http://bikecalculator.com/veloMetric.html

Let's roll some honest and dishonest riders 17.2 km down the 7.4%
Tourmalet, whose average altitude is 1481 meters (from 2,115 down to
847 meters).

They coast (0 watts) on the drops on tubulars on 9-kg and 18-kg bikes.

The 110-pound rider represents Robic, while a 160-pound rider
represents an average rider. (The rest of the table is just for anyone
considering hefty water bottles.)

rider
weight 9kg 18kg diff diff 9kg 18kg diff
lbs kg time time m.mm m:ss.x km/h km/h km/h
100 45.45 17.80 16.49 1.31 = 1:24.4 57.97 62.58 5.61
110 *50.00 17.10 *15.93 1.17 =*1:10.2 60.35 *64.79 4.44
120 54.45 16.49 15.43 1.06 = 1:03.6 62.58 66.87 4.29
130 59.10 15.92 14.96 0.96 = 0:57.6 64.83 68.99 4.16
140 63.64 15.41 14.54 0.87 = 0:52.2 66.96 70.99 4.03
150 68.18 14.95 14.15 0.80 = 0:48.0 69.02 72.93 3.91
160 *72.73 14.53* 13.79 0.74 = 0:44.4 *71.03 74.84 3.83
170 77.27 14.14 13.46 0.68 = 0:40.8 72.97 76.68 3.71
180 81.82 13.78 13.15 0.63 = 0:37.8 74.87 78.49 3.62

Hmmm . . . An unethical dwarf gains 70 seconds on a 16-minute descent
by cheating with a 20-pound water bottle.

The extra weight lets him average 40 mph, but he still winds up about
84 seconds behind the honest 160-pound rider, who averages 44 mph.

(Actually, the difference is even smaller because we could subtract
about an honest pound of water from that 20-pound lead-filled aluminum
water bottle, but let's not be too fussy.)

Of course, riders have to brake and corner. If you knock a third off
the 7.4% grade, reducing it to only 5%, the 70-second advantage for a
16-minute descent increases to about 95 seconds in a 23-minute
descent.

But if the riders pedal out of turns and on gentler sections, they go
a little faster, which reduces the time and the water-bottle advantage
again.

***

So Robic cheated to gain a little over a minute on one stage.

And that's if we believe that skill doesn't matter in descending, just
raw mass, and that Robic could brake and corner as well as the
competition, despite having no experience with his 20-pound bike
suddenly turning into a 40-pound bike.

***

Did the 20-lb water bottle and its theoretical 70 to 95 second
advantage down the Tourmalet have any effect on the outcome of 1953
Tour?

Nope. Not even close.

Bobet finished 14:18 ahead of second place.

http://www.kc3a.com/pj_divers/tourdefrance_en.php?dat=39&y=1953

And where did sneaky little Robic finish?

He didn't. Robic wasn't one of the 76 riders who finished out of the
119 starters that year.

As McGann noted, Robic's climb and lead-water-bottle descent of the
Tourmalet gave Robic the yellow jersey at the end of stage 9.

But two days later, Robic's lead-pipe cinch collapsed:

"Robic missed the move [a 9-man break] and then crashed while chasing.
He finished seventy-third, 38 minutes behind the stage winner Nello
Lauredi. Barring a miracle, Robic's chances for a win were eliminated.
He retired from the Tour the next day."

--""The Story of the Tour de France: 1903-1964," Bill McGann, p. 195

Maybe Robic insisted that it wasn't a matter of skill while chasing?

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

D'ohBoy

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Jul 11, 2008, 8:33:02 PM7/11/08
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On Jul 11, 7:12 pm, carlfo...@comcast.net wrote:
> One of the more bizarre tales of Tour de France cheating involves Jean
> Robic's lead-filled metal water-bottle.
>
> Robic's special water bottle weighed 20 pounds and was supposed to
> help the tiny climber descend the Tourmalet in the 1953 TDF and
> preserve his hard-won uphill advantage over heavier riders:
>
> "[Team manager Calvez] knew he had a good rider in Robic, but Robic
> could not get down the hills quickly. He could make great time on the
> climbs and then lose it on the other side. It wasn't a matter of being
> a skilled descender. He was very small, only 5 feet tall. Like many of
> the great climbers, he just didn't have the mass to get down fast."
>
> [Lots of riders insist that it's just mass, not a matter of being a
> great descender.]
>
> "Le Calvez had a plan. The evening before the first climbs in stage 9
> he had molten lead poured into a water bottle--water bottles were
> aluminum at that time. At the top of the climb it would be secretly
> passed to Robic, who would then have an extra 9 kilograms of mass to
> aid in his descent. It had to be done secretly because handing up food
> and water could only be done at the designated feed zones. The ruse
> (effectively doubling the weight of his bike) probably helped Robic on
> the descent of the Tourmalet. He was able to get away fast enough to
> stay away and don the Yellow jersey."
>
> --""The Story of the Tour de France: 1903-1964," Bill McGann, p. 194
>
> http://books.google.com/books?id=jxq20JskqMUC&printsec=frontcover#PPA...

Hi, Carl -

I've noticed a certain almost *ahem* unnatural interest in applying
these calculators to everything.

Maybe ride more?

Just a suggestion. Altho the story WAS interesting - thanks for that.

D'ohBoy

Ryan Cousineau

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Jul 12, 2008, 1:25:51 AM7/12/08
to
In article <h9tf74ttedv6cnot2...@4ax.com>,
carl...@comcast.net wrote:

> One of the more bizarre tales of Tour de France cheating involves Jean
> Robic's lead-filled metal water-bottle.
>
> Robic's special water bottle weighed 20 pounds and was supposed to
> help the tiny climber descend the Tourmalet in the 1953 TDF and
> preserve his hard-won uphill advantage over heavier riders:
>

> --""The Story of the Tour de France: 1903-1964," Bill McGann, p. 194
>
> http://books.google.com/books?id=jxq20JskqMUC&printsec=frontcover#PPA194,M1

> How much would a 9-kg lead-filled water-bottle actually help a


> jockey-sized rider roll down the Tourmalet?

> Hmmm . . . An unethical dwarf gains 70 seconds on a 16-minute descent


> by cheating with a 20-pound water bottle.
>
> The extra weight lets him average 40 mph, but he still winds up about
> 84 seconds behind the honest 160-pound rider, who averages 44 mph.
>
> (Actually, the difference is even smaller because we could subtract
> about an honest pound of water from that 20-pound lead-filled aluminum
> water bottle, but let's not be too fussy.)
>
> Of course, riders have to brake and corner. If you knock a third off
> the 7.4% grade, reducing it to only 5%, the 70-second advantage for a
> 16-minute descent increases to about 95 seconds in a 23-minute
> descent.

> So Robic cheated to gain a little over a minute on one stage.


>
> And that's if we believe that skill doesn't matter in descending, just
> raw mass, and that Robic could brake and corner as well as the
> competition, despite having no experience with his 20-pound bike
> suddenly turning into a 40-pound bike.
>
> ***
>
> Did the 20-lb water bottle and its theoretical 70 to 95 second
> advantage down the Tourmalet have any effect on the outcome of 1953
> Tour?
>
> Nope. Not even close.

[Robic DNF'd]

I have to say, this misses the importance of both stage wins and wearing
the yellow jersey in the Tour. Jean surely hoped for more, but a bad
break and then a crash meant it was not to be.

However, assuming your calculations are correct, the interesting
question may be what, if any, prizes did Robic illegitimately win?*

It took a bit of digging, but Memoire du cyclisme came through:

http://www.memoire-du-cyclisme.net/eta_tdf_1944_1953/tdf1953_11.php

Robic was 1'27" up for the stage win, suggesting that whether or not the
bottle was decisive in the stage win is uncertain. Depending on which
end of Carl's calculations you prefer, the bottle was either more or
less than the margin of victory.

However, Robic was only 18 seconds up on GC at the end of this day, and
that seems well within the net positive margin of The Bottle.

So Robic's bottle may have won him the stage, and probably won him the
yellow jersey. If you offered a pro cyclist a weird equipment change
that was predicted to transform them from a rider good enough to race in
the Tour to a rider good enough to win the yellow jersey for a day,
there's not one of them that would not take it.

Thanks, BTW, for analyzing this little tidbit of cycling lore. I had not
thought of running the numbers on Robic's bottle, and it's fascinating.

*I'm not sure there was any rule against Robic's exact behavior at the
time, but it seems hard to believe that a commissaire could not have
found that 9 kg hand-ups violated the spirit of the sport, and Robic and
his team were certainly surreptitious enough that they desired to avoid
detection. In fairness, that may only have been to preserve their
advantage, or simply because, technically legal or not, the honor of the
peloton might have been so insulted that it was all against Robic from
then on.

--
Ryan Cousineau rcou...@gmail.com http://www.wiredcola.com/
"In other newsgroups, they killfile trolls."
"In rec.bicycles.racing, we coach them."

carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 12, 2008, 2:40:05 AM7/12/08
to
On Sat, 12 Jul 2008 05:25:51 GMT, Ryan Cousineau <rcou...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Dear Ryan,

Thanks for the link to a nice historical site!

Even if legal, the leaden water bottle was handed up illegally outside
the feed zone, as the passage from McGann pointed out:

"It had to be done secretly because handing up food and water could
only be done at the designated feed zones."

(Hard to call solid lead food or water.)

Of course, Robic might have also re-used his leaden water bottle for
the other two lesser climbs of the day, Aspin and Peyresourde.

(I wonder if the leaden bottle still exists, sitting forgotten on some
dusty shelf in a local bike shop?)

Robic's 1953 Tour disaster was the first of four failures. The 1947
winner "failed to finish the Tour in his last 4 attempts (1953, '54,
'55, '59)." (McGann, p. 243)

A notably obnoxious fellow, Robic didn't need to cheat to turn the
peloton against him. He had been dropped from the French national team
that year, leaving him to ride for a regional team. He was probably
going downhill (in more ways than one) as a competitor, but his
unpleasant attitude didn't help.

His short entry in Wikipedia leaves no doubt about his personality and
is well worth a minute to read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Robic

As the wiki entry notes, the poor fellow ended up in impromptu
dwarf-tossing contests, working as a referee small enough for the
wrestlers to throw out of the ring.

There's no mention of whether Robic wore his famous leather bicycling
helmet while he was flying over the ropes, but Frank Krygowski may
enjoy this Robic helmet story:

"Jean Robic was niet om een straffe uitspraak verlegen, wat er toe
leidde dat hij nooit meer voor de Franse selectie mocht rijden.
Raphaël Geminiani herinnert zich een anecdote waar hij samen met een
paar andere renners grappen aan het maken was over de helm van Robic.
Waarop Robic antwoordde: "Mijn helm is héél stevig hoor. Ik heb hem
zelf met de hand gemaakt. Kijk maar en Robic nam een hammer en sloeg
deze op zijn helm." Geminiani herinnert zich dat hij en de anderen
stomverbaasd naar Robic bleven kijken en in zichzelf dachten dat die
helm inderdaad héél sterk moest zijn. Op dat moment liep er een streep
bloed vanonder de helm op het voorhoofd van Robic. Hij had zijn hoofd
open geslagen, Robic ten voeten uit."

http://www.cyclingwebsite.net/coureurmemofiche.php?coureurmemoid=733&coureurid=4542

Babelfish's crude translation suggests that Robic, boasting to other
riders that he had made his own leather cycling helmet, whacked
himself with a hammer to demonstrate his helmet's protection--leaving
blood streaming down his face.

Perhaps one of our Dutch posters will check the passage.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

Message has been deleted

James Thomson

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Jul 13, 2008, 6:50:49 PM7/13/08
to
<carl...@comcast.net> a écrit:

> First, how little was Robic?

> Tiny.

> Many sites mention that he was only five feet tall, but I
> haven't seen any mention of his weight that gave a source.
> Unattributed claims indicate 50 kg, a mere 110 pounds,
> reasonable given that the shortest rider in the 2005 Tour
> was 5 foot 2 inches tall, while the lightest 2005 rider
> weighed 126 pounds:

French sites describe Robic thus:


http://aquitaine.france3.fr/emissions/44458790-fr.php

Biquet mesure 1m 60 et pèse 60 kilos


http://users.skynet.be/lenetducyclisme/1947.htm

1,60m pour 60 kilos


http://pagesperso-orange.fr/kerbreizh/stars/robic.html

un mètre 61 mal foutu


http://www.cyclismag.com/article.php?sid=4204

le faible poids de ses 1m61


http://www.astrotheme.fr/tailles/1m63

Jean ROBIC mesure 1m63


So 5'3" to 5'4", perhaps, and maybe 60kg.

The first link above leads to a short video segment (in French) describing
Robic's all-day solo break in the Pyrenées in 1947. Having announced that he
would win the stage, he rode away on the first climb and led the race all
day, finishing ten minutes clear of the
chasing pack.

James Thomson

James Thomson

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Jul 13, 2008, 6:59:53 PM7/13/08
to
<carl...@comcast.net> a écrit:

> Babelfish's crude translation suggests that Robic, boasting to other
> riders that he had made his own leather cycling helmet, whacked
> himself with a hammer to demonstrate his helmet's protection

> --leaving blood streaming down his face.

The anecdote exists in French:

http://vcvp.free.fr/histcipale.htm

Un jour, Jean Robic s'était mis en tête de fabriquer un
casque avec du caoutchouc. Fier de lui, il était allé voir
Raphaël Geminiani avec sa trouvaille et pour lui prouver
sa solidité il avait empoigné un marteau et s'était tapé
sur le crâne. "Tu vois que c'est solide." Une minute plus tard,
un filet de sang avait coulé sur sa joue.

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/kerbreizh/stars/robic.html

"tape tape fort" ordonne-t-il à André Mahé pour vérifier
la solidité de son casque avec un marteau; Dédé s'éxécute
"tu vois je n'ai rien senti" dit Robic alors qu'un filet de sang
coule sur son visage.

In the first version, Geminiani is witness to the solidity of Robic's rubber
helmet. In the second, Mahé swings the hammer hard at Robic's insistence.
"See, I didn't feel a thing!"

A few weeks ago I found the following page, which in turn links to the INA
archive, where you'll find many of Robic's exploits recorded in moving
pictures.

http://www.cumul.net/RayonsdAction/Pages/velorium.htm

I was particularly taken with his thoughts on the use of stimulants in
racing:

"Il a existé de tout temps, le doping, mais il faut savoir
ce qu'on appelle doping. Je me souviens dans l'étape
Vannes - St Brieuc, un contre-la-montre de 139 km,
j'avais fait remplir un bidon de trois-quart d'ersatz de
café et le reste de calva. J'avais avalé, je ne sais pas,
un bidon ou deux, et j'avais fait une bonne performance.
J'avais relégué le porteur du maillot jaune à dix minutes
derrière moi. Dans la toute dernière étape, en passant
au ravitaillement à Rouen, j'avais demandé à une tierce
personne qu'elle me mette la même chose dans le bidon,
trois-quart de café, du calva, et avec une gorgée tous les
dix kilomètres, j'avais l'impression que je pouvait aller
au bout du monde!"


"Doping has always existed, but what do you call doping?
I remember during the Vannes - St Brieuc stage, a 139km
time trial, I'd had a bidon filled 3/4 full with coffee substitute
and the rest Calvados. I drank one or two of these, and had
a great ride - I beat the race leader by ten minutes! In the
final stage, passing through the feed station in Rouen, I'd asked
a third party to put the same mixture in my bidon - 3/4 coffee,
1/4 Calvados - and with a mouthful every 10km I felt like I
could ride to the ends of the earth!"

This clip describes that last stage of the 1947 TdF, where Robic and
Fachleitner attacked Brambilla in yellow. Robic was eventually dropped from
the lead group, but won the race ahead of Fachleitner and Brambilla thanks
to the time bonuses he'd picked up in the Pyrénées.

http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/index.php?vue=notice&id_notice=I00006061

"...Enfin, mon cher Robic, vous fîtes ce que vous pûtes et vous
m'épatâtes..."

James Thomson


carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 13, 2008, 7:36:36 PM7/13/08
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Dear James,

There's a little more to Robic's 1947 win:

It's worth noting that Robic's eventual win was not just due to a
lead-filled water bottle or talent:

One possible advantage was was food rationing. In pampered modern
times, it's hard to say how much this mattered, but some thought that
Robic was better-fed than his rival:

" . . . But the Breton's victory was also due to him having a more
plentiful supply of food parcels than rival Rene Viatto [sic]."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/4091366.stm

Darned if I can see why French fans would send more croissants to one
Frenchman instead of another, particularly to one with such an
obnoxious reputation.

But McGann notes the advantage of food parcels in the 1947 TDF:

"Things were very tight in those early post-war years. DUring a time
of rationing, a calorie-gobbling, gasoline-buring bicycle races
prestented problems. Fans set food to their favorite racers, something
far more valuable than mere money."

--McGann, "The Story of the Tour de France," p. 151

A better-documented advantage may show why Robic ended up going into
professional wresting as a referee:

"Fachleitner wanted to drop Robic [on the final 1947 TDF stage] and
get up to the riders further up the road, thereby gaining enough time
to surpass Robic and possibly win the Tour. Robic is famously to have
said to him, 'You can't win the Tour, Fach, because I'm not going to
let you go. Work with me and I'll pay you 100,000 francs.' The deal
was made. Robic and Fachleitner powered away from Brambilla. Robic
rode into the Yellow Jersey. Belgian Brik Schotte won the stage, but
Robic beat Brambilla, Ronconi, Vietto and Camellini by over 13
minutes. Robic became the first man to gain the final General
Classification victory on the final day. The only time he had
possession of the Yellow Yersey in the 1947 Tour was when he donned it
on the final podium. It wasn't done again until Jan Janssen won the
Tour in the final time trial in 1968."

--McGann, "The Story of the Tour de France," p. 155

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 13, 2008, 7:36:46 PM7/13/08
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On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 00:50:49 +0200, "James Thomson"
<yosn...@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear James,

Thanks for digging up Robic's weight!

I'm disappointed to find that he was such a behemoth, tipping the
scales at 132 pounds--I liked him better when I thought he was
smaller.

Gargantua (!) picks up less than 57 seconds with his lead-filled water
bottle, instead of the 70 seconds that a true 110-pound dwarf might
have obtained by cheating:

rider
weight 9kg 18kg diff diff 9kg 18kg diff
lbs kg time time m.mm m:ss.x km/h km/h km/h
100 45.45 17.80 16.49 1.31 = 1:24.4 57.97 62.58 5.61
110 *50.00 17.10 *15.93 1.17 =*1:10.2 60.35 *64.79 4.44
120 54.45 16.49 15.43 1.06 = 1:03.6 62.58 66.87 4.29

130 !59.10 15.92 !14.96 0.96 =!0:57.6 !64.83 68.99 4.16


140 63.64 15.41 14.54 0.87 = 0:52.2 66.96 70.99 4.03
150 68.18 14.95 14.15 0.80 = 0:48.0 69.02 72.93 3.91
160 *72.73 14.53* 13.79 0.74 = 0:44.4 *71.03 74.84 3.83
170 77.27 14.14 13.46 0.68 = 0:40.8 72.97 76.68 3.71
180 81.82 13.78 13.15 0.63 = 0:37.8 74.87 78.49 3.62

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

travis...@gmail.com

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Jul 13, 2008, 10:00:13 PM7/13/08
to
On Jul 13, 7:36 pm, carlfo...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Jul 2008 00:50:49 +0200, "James Thomson"
>
>
>
> <yosnap...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> ><carlfo...@comcast.net> a écrit:

Carl:

1. Referring to your earlier reservations, and to pack your pocket
with an extra sou (for a quicker descent through hell) available
through confession of error, please note that you've correctly
insisted, elsewhere, that the bike and rider are tightly coupled. So,
when Robic picked up extra weight, the appropriate denominator for
consideration of effects on handling was {bike + rider] not [bike].

But, please remind us whether in those TdFs water bottles were carried
on the handlebar or on the frame. If on the handlebar, then you fly to
heaven without apology, and Robic's bike handling would have been
quite skillful to handle so much new mass up there, and even farther
out from the steering axis, as he was going downhill.

2. I have a pair of near-new Bernard Hinault branded cycling shoes
whose resale value I take be nil due to the accumulation of unkind
things presumed true of that rider. Until those shoes sell, please,
less hearsay about presumed obnoxious cyclists in the TdF.

Harry Travis

carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 13, 2008, 10:48:58 PM7/13/08
to

Dear Travis,

1. a) Er, take another look at the headings of the table.

The times and speeds are for the rider weight, plus 9kg (bicycle) in
one column, or plus 18 kg (bicycle plus lead-filled water bottle in
the other column.

1. b) If you aren't aware of where aluminum water bottles were mounted
in 1953, perhaps you should do some reading and browsing.

2. If you have something to counter the consensus on how obnoxious
Robic was, feel free to quote it.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

travis...@gmail.com

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Jul 14, 2008, 12:15:19 AM7/14/08
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On Jul 13, 10:48 pm, carlfo...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Sun, 13 Jul 2008 19:00:13 -0700 (PDT), "travis.ha...@gmail.com"

Touchy, touchy, dear Carl:

"And that's if we believe that skill doesn't matter in descending,
just
raw mass, and that Robic could brake and corner as well as the
competition, despite having no experience with his 20-pound bike

suddenly turning into a 40-pound bike. " CF

That's I referred to, your text, not to the table. So the experience
was much more one of moving a 160lb package of {bike + rider} to a one
of 180lb of {bike + rider} . On the one hand-- or in another thread --
a 5 lb wt difference is imperceptable to the rider. Now, in your text
you ponder the thrill or terror Robic may have had pondering a 10 lb
difference.

Cruel of you to deny your erudition to other readers here and not
remind us where the bottles were in 1953, let alone where Robic
stashed his, if his was in a different place. You have recently had
the TdF book in front of you.

Anyone else wish to remind us if CF has a stronger point,-- about
mitigating of benefits through changed handling -- than he may have
considered, because bottles were on the handlebar in 1953?

hpt

Carl Sundquist

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Jul 14, 2008, 12:28:19 AM7/14/08
to

<travis...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:e11526d5-6469-46e1...@m73g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...

2. I have a pair of near-new Bernard Hinault branded cycling shoes
whose resale value I take be nil due to the accumulation of unkind
things presumed true of that rider. Until those shoes sell, please,
less hearsay about presumed obnoxious cyclists in the TdF.

Harry Travis
-----------------

With Bernie's performance on the podium after stage 3, they have probably
gone up in value considerably.

carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 14, 2008, 1:35:43 AM7/14/08
to

Dear Harry,,

Sorry, but you're becoming even more incoherent.

Adding a 20 pound weight to a 20 pound bicycle turns it into a 40
pound bicycle.

Try not to confuse 7 pounds with 20. Or uphill with downhill. Or high
speed cornering with plodding uphill.

And do let us know if you ever find out where the aluminum water
bottles were mounted in 1953.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

James Thomson

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Jul 14, 2008, 2:43:49 AM7/14/08
to
<travis...@gmail.com> a écrit:

> Cruel of you to deny your erudition to other readers here and
> not remind us where the bottles were in 1953, let alone where
> Robic stashed his, if his was in a different place. You have
> recently had the TdF book in front of you.

In the late forties, most riders still carried two bottles on the handlebar.
Here's Robic in his "experimental" helmet in 1949:

http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/aldoross/1949TdF/01179+robic+jpg.JPG.html

http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/aldoross/1949TdF/01182+robic+jpg.JPG.html

But by the early fifties, the fashion had changed to one on the bars and one
on the downtube:

http://terrot.dijon.free.fr/Palmares.html

http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/aldoross/pd/ventoux52jpg.jpg.html

http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/aldoross/pd/Star.JPG.html

http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/index.php?vue=notice&id_notice=AFE85005178

James Thomson


b...@mambo.ucolick.org

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Jul 14, 2008, 4:54:20 AM7/14/08
to
On Jul 13, 9:28 pm, "Carl Sundquist" <carl...@cox.net> wrote:
> <travis.ha...@gmail.com> wrote in message

Bernard Hinault-badged shoes have always been
the seasoned rider's choice for kicking ass.

Ben

carl...@comcast.net

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Jul 14, 2008, 4:15:11 PM7/14/08
to

Dear James,

Thanks for digging up all those pictures (and even a movie!) of Robic
in 1953 with the new water-bottle setup versus Robic with the old
two-abreast water-bottle setup.

I hope that they explain where Robic's single lead-filled water bottle
was placed--not too many cheats would hang a 20-pound weight
off-center on the handlebar.

This photo that you found of the older water-bottle setup is
particularly nice, showing Robic in the 1949 TDF with the older
two-abreast setup:

http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/aldoross/1949TdF/01182+robic+jpg.JPG.html

Dussault has both handlebar bottles, Bobet has only his right-hand
bottle, and Robic has a bottle in his right-hand handlebar holder and
a snack in the other.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

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