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1973 Giro

Jul 1, 2009
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What a raw slugfest. Leaders taking off on solo attacks, taking time on stages that aren't all mountain top finishes, bridging up, EM accelerating away. Low cadences, grinding away seated. No radios.

Maybe we're missing something here.
Oct 29, 2009
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trompe le monde said:

Yes, first time I saw that it had me in stitches. When bottle openers were still part of the waterboy kit. There's quite of bit of superb vintage footage kicking around the place, and several movies worth hunting down. I love these "general footage ones" best. What went on during a stage, and the circus around it, is often as interesting as what actually happened in the race towards the end.

My dad recalls a race in Belgium, over half a century ago, when his uncle took a much younger him on his annual spring pilgrimage, biggest journey he had been on in his life. How they had set up camp in a pub, waiting for the race to come by, when suddenly a rider walked in, surprising all of them. The rider had broken out of the pack, gone 10 mins up the road, came in for a drink, beer off course, then another one, and rushed out in a hurry after he got a glimpse through the open door of the entire peloton rushing past, who had heard he had quite an advantage built up, and were chasing him like mad.

Thankfully we are blessed with race radios, to make racing more interesting.
Both this (Stars) and especially "Greatest Show on Earth" are two incredible docs on cycling from a great era. They are somewhat slow, but completely captivating once you start watching. You'll feel the power of Merckx, and cheer for Fuente.

There were so many great GT's from that era, it's too bad we didn't see more films like this, as many of them were covered by often film, and video, though not always by master Jorgen Leth.

I'd love to see one on the 1972 Tour (Ocana's crash) 1975 Tour (Thevenet over Merckx) and 1976 Tour (arguably the most brutal Tour; over 4100km and 7 mountain stages in a row! Won by Van Impe on attrition, with Martens winning 4 of the first 7 stages, plus the prologue).