Jacques Anquetil

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

  1. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    this is the documentary i referred to way above. picked up my copy from world cycling prod. for better or worse, the dvd has p. liggett reading the script in translation, otherwise i'd have been in way over my head. just the same, that's what i figure they were getting after. if i'm reading the narration correctly, it's due to his manual labour before and during his early career with dad on the farm.

    just to pick up on a point we were making earlier--that whole toe down pedal style is what caught my attention. goes against everything i've been told about how to turn the cranks, but his results make me wonder about that "mystery" source of power.
     


  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Slovak : well spotted regarding JA’s pedal stroke.

    Looking at the footage, it is clear that JA’s position, on the downward pedal stroke, looks “exaggerated”.
    Exaggerated in the sense that you would not train a rider to ride using that foot position during the pedal stroke.
    Very unusual action by JA. How he managed to ride as smoothly as he did with that stroke surprises me.

    Also notice how his body is hunched over the frame of the bike. Again a very interesting body position and not one that would be considered conventional by any means.
    On certain images, it looks like his whole body (from pedal stroke position to his body position) is forced forward and downward in relation to his bike.
    Was this a conscious method adopted by JA? Curious
     
  3. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much. The old man has nearly every copy of International Cycle Sport from 1969 until when it folded in the 80's. I'm sure I read Anquetil talking about his 'egg' shaped position.

    They reckon his stylishness and smooth action was deceptive too, the great man could really dig deep and had an incredible ability to suffer in a TT. Roche was a bit the same. His class and style meant he never looked like he was trying......then you'd see the sweat spraying off him and his face a mask of pain.
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Thanks.
    Yeah, i've read about his "egg" shape position - I was just wondering if it was natural or if he had to learn to adopt that position.

    What is really killing me is that i would have assumed that JA would have been exhausted from racing.
    But it seems he had plenty of energy left for wine/women/song!
    Lucky bugger!
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Even now I don't think that many know how brutal some of the legendary Giro and Vuelta climbs are, especially after they spend a bunch of time watching the 'brutal' climbs of the Tour de France and their whopping 8% to 10% gradients where people rave about how steep the Joux Plane is... those foolios should check out the Angliru and watch even Contador come to a snails pace in 39x27.
     
  6. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    The roads have improved heaps, even since the 80's. Watch an old 80's video on youtube and you see big cracks in the road (not **** ones), rough chip and seal surfaces, melting tar etc. You rarely see that on the Tour climbs now, they are like motorways.
     
  7. Denny418

    Denny418 New Member

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    I got that part, Alien. Also the part about them both impregnating the corpse.
     
  8. Denny418

    Denny418 New Member

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    Thanks, Guy.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    True... I was more getting at the fact that just to climb, the legendary Tour climbs aint that hard to ride - to race up, anything is hard if the pace is fast enough. The more famous climbs in Italy and Spain have silly sections of 15+% and steeper on roads that are not all that wide... things that you rarely see in France.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Swamp : if you look at the footage of Gaul on the Gavia, on the JA documentary, you'll see one of the greatest climbers ever, at a virtual standstill.
    Ditto JA : he stopped.

    Personally I think what you see on that footage is real climbing.
    And is a more accurate representation of just how difficult those climbs are.
     
  11. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Oh, real climbing! Didn't know that. I guess the mountains round here and elsewhere are only pseudo or fake climbs.

    Of course it is a doddle to talk about real climbing from an easy chair. No doubt you zoom right up little flea bites like Mont Ventoux, and it's likely you'll find nary a challenge in the Alps.

    You should write a book or pen an instructional column in a magazine.
     
  12. poulidor

    poulidor New Member

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    There is no snow in Spain and Italia !:p
     
  13. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    what astounds me isn't so much that they had to climb these goat paths to the top, it's that they descended on those goat paths like mad men for stage victories. somewhere in those clips, they mention anquetil made up something like four minutes on the pack having been dropped on the climb.
     
  14. n crowley

    n crowley New Member

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    Late Reply :

    http://www.thebikecomesfirst.com/jacques-anquetil-the-man-the-mystery-the-legend-video/

    That "mystery" source of power can be explained by the fact that he knew how to make use of the most powerful and most fatigue resistant muscle in the hip/leg with over 20% more slow twitch fiber content than the glutes or quads. All other cyclists leave this soleus muscle lying idle and as a result their peak torque is restricted to around 3 o'c.
     
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