Jacques Anquetil

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Denny418, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Denny418

    Denny418 New Member

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    Who knew? Here's a blurb from amazon.com about an upcoming book about him:

    Jacques Anquetil remains one of the most outstanding figures in the history of cycling. He was the first man to the win the Tour de France five times; the first to win all three grand tours (the Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and Giro d’Italia); and the first to win both the Tour and Vuelta in the same year. The fame Anquetil received for his cycling success was matched only by the infamy of his complex and unconventional private life. As this engaging biography reveals, between his races Anquetil seduced his doctor’s wife and acted as stepfather to her children before asking his stepdaughter to bear him a child. He maintained a ménage à trios with his wife and stepdaughter for several years until the threesome fell apart, after which—in a bid to inspire jealousy in his two former lovers and encourage their return—he seduced his stepson’s ex-wife and had a child with her. Containing exclusive contributions from Anquetil’s family, friends, teammates, and rivals, this engaging biography unveils the astounding public and private lives of one of cycling’s greatest legends.
     
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  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    This is on my "to read" list.
    Superb biography by all accounts.

    The book also details a lot JA's financial matters.
    The chateau he lived in, by all accounts, was magnificent.
    How he funded his lifestyle was a mystery.

    I've got to buy this book - I would say it's a great read.

    Incidentally, I've visited a number of French cities and I notice that many of them have rues/avenues named in honour of Maitre Jacques.
     
  3. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    after the debates below concerning the greats, i went and popped in the dvd which chronicled anquetil's career. i wish god had blessed me with a pedal stroke like his. so powerful and yet monsieur chrono made it look so effortless. another book to put on the must read list. thanks for the tip, denny418.
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Very very good point, Slovak.

    Setanta Sports Channel did a programme last weekend on Ireland first international cyclists, Seamus (Shay) Elliot.
    Elliot was signed by Anquetil to St Raphael and cycled with JA for 7 years.

    Some of the footage of Maitre Jacques pedalling is beautiful to watch.
    Smooth as the proverbial well oiled machine, Anquetil makes pedalling look effortless.
    Compare his cadence and rythmn to Coppi : both look really smooth.

    Love wtaching the old footage.
     
  5. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    agreed. coppi definitely (again, dvd recap of his career) was rock solid in the saddle. i remember having watched the coppi dvd first, marveling at fausto's abilities, but when i watched the anquetil dvd...c'est magnifique! there is a scene burnt in my memory of anquetil riding beside the camera car, hunched in that shell back form, hands so light on the drops, head staring forward and just mesmerised watching him turn perfect circles on those cranks. i still think had his cranks been made of glass, he's have ridden just as fast and never coming close to breaking them. just so smooth around the clock.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    See? Prolonged cycling doesn't necessarily lead to Can't Get It Up syndrome.
     
  7. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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    i have a new idol.
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    You could do worse than have JA as an idol, RH

    I could watch him pedal all day.

    I have read that his climbing was his weak point - I would love to see prolonged footage of his climbing to see if there was any change in tempo/style.

    JA was probably the best TT'ist of all time.
    Won the Grand Prix de Nations, something like 500 times.
    Think Cancellara only smoother, less bulky.
     
  9. steve

    steve Administrator
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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3uWs5ULAZE"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil Part 1[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXCQCMo_n34"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 2[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nQxe1RrHRI"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 3[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90LXz5ykuqM"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 4[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W6f_nTAddk"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 5[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5FDfPcrz70"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 6[/ame]

    part 7 ?

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz7kIltIpsY"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 8[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwaroVcKsPU"]YouTube - Jacques Anquetil part 9[/ame]
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Thanks Steve - just watching those documentaries as we speak.

    Fascinating stuff.

    Lovely footage of JA and coppi in documentary no.2.
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Notice the position of his pedal stroke - his feet are pointed downwards.
    Interesting

    Also look at the conditions of the roads on the Galibier and Aubisque in 1957 TDF.
     
  12. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Gavia, Giro 1960 : look at the footage of the climbers and see how difficult those climbs actually are in documentary 5
     
  13. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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    i was talking about the women.
     
  14. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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  15. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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    this was in '05-
    America's cycling golden boy decided to try his hand at cyclocross — a mishmash of off-road cycling and cross-country running — at a race in his hometown of Austin. His participation in this relatively low-key event in the winter of 2002 was a shock to his fellow competitors. More surprising? Armstrong was getting all he could handle at the front of the pack.

    Houston's Will Black was an emerging force on the cyclocross scene in Texas. After nearly 10 years of success as a mountain bike professional, Black, now 37, was transitioning to this cycling hybrid as a means of staying in shape. Little did he know going into that race at Walnut Creek Park that he was going be part of a duel with cycling royalty.

    "We were about 10 minutes into the hour-long race, and I was able to break away from a small group and get a bit of a gap," Black said. "I was able to build a lead of about 30 to 35 seconds and was really feeling good."

    Leading a Tour de France champion tends to have that effect. With his confidence growing, Black covered the next 10 minutes with his lead intact. Thirty minutes in, Armstrong was looking at Black's backside.

    Then, with a lap and a half to go, Armstrong made a move. He decided he would not lose — not on this day. Armstrong used a short climb to inch past Black and claim an ever-so-slight lead. Armstrong would hold on to win. Black, in the race of a lifetime, was only 20 seconds behind in second.

    "He was working," Black said. "Not to take anything away from him, but he was definitely working to bring me back. When he passed me, I dug so deep to try to stay with him, but I just couldn't go."


    The stuff of legend
    The story of what unfolded at Walnut Creek that December morning has turned into cyclocross legend in these parts. Armstrong, then a four-time Tour de France champion, was getting all he could handle from an up-and-coming cyclocross racer chasing a storybook victory.

    From that point on, Armstrong's story is well documented. He added two more Tour titles, and is on the verge of a seventh. Black's legacy isn't quite in the same stratosphere, but it's impressive in its own right.

    Black was a top-notch BMX racer growing up in Clear Lake. He gave mountain biking a shot at the age of 19 and won the first race he entered. He quickly ascended the ranks in the mountain bike world, turned pro in 1991 and began competing at the national level. At last count, his win total hovered around 250 races — not bad for a racer whose access to mountains in Houston is, well, nonexistent.

    "Other riders used to tell me all the time that I needed to move," Black said. "They said I couldn't be competitive in mountain bike racing by living in Houston. But I've always enjoyed living here and didn't want to relocate for just half a dozen big races a year. I've always been proud of being from Texas and being able to compete at a high level."

    To simulate mountain riding, Black would do long intervals — upwards of 20 minutes — in a big gear. That combination of high resistance and low speed on area trails was as close as he could get to a difficult mountain pass without leaving Houston.

    It was that type of training that prepared Black for one of his sternest tests, the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado. The so-called "race across the sky" is considered one of the toughest races in the sport for its 100-mile distance and extreme altitude. Despite not having the benefit of true mountain training, Black took fourth place in 2003 — the highest finish in the race's storied history for a competitor who lives at sea level.


    Family-friendly pursuit
    He still carries his pro license, but Black effectively has retired from the pro mountain biking circuit. His competitive focus is on cyclocross, which is more conducive to another favorite pursuit, spending time at home with wife, Melanie, and their 18-month-old daughter, Ellie.

    "The races are just an hour long, so cyclocross doesn't require as much training to be in good shape," he said. "I have more time to do other things."

    But that doesn't mean Black has traded his world-class status for a spot in the middle of the pack. He finished ninth at the masters cyclocross world championships last year, and has his sights set on winning the event this year.
     
  16. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Anquetil certainly consumed some amount of food/drink.
    Docu's 4,5 and 6 tell a very interesting story on the lifestyle of Maitre Jacques.
     
  17. Denny418

    Denny418 New Member

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    I watched the documentary that Limerickman posted, but my French is quite out of shape and I missed a lot of it. What did they say about his autopsy? I think I understood that his heart was bigger than normal? But something about his back muscles being "flat" and not out of the ordinary? Help!
     
  18. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    It said that in order to honor Jacques, the coroner and his assistant drank heavily before and during the autopsy.
     
  19. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    they didn't really do an autopsy on anquetil. the documentary talked about his heart being larger than most (something like 31 bpm at rest). the bit about his back was how "overdeveloped" his lower back muscles were. his masseuse said that unlike most people who have a dip before the backside, anquetil was flat from the ribcage on down. quite out of the ordinary.
     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    thanks.

    I could follow the bit about his heart/heart rate.........but my schoolboy French could not understand the translation of what the narrator was saying (it didn't appear to make sense to me - but my translation was probably poor).

    So maitre jacques had overdeveloped lower back muscles!

    Funny that, because when we used train, the older guys training us always insisted that a strong back was responsible for the transmission of power to the legs/arms.
    We used to spend a considerable amount of our winter training strengthening our core muscles (stomach, abdomen, back) doing countless curls.
    maybe they were working on the Anquetil presmise?
     
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