Some photos from Lance's early career

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by BobHWS, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. BobHWS

    BobHWS New Member

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    Now that Mr. Armstrong's great career is over, I decided to take a look back at the beginning of it. So I dug in to my old shoeboxes full of photo prints and pulled out some shots of the young Lance: pre-7 time TDF champion, pre-cancer survivor and pre-legend. I scanned them, cleaned them up a bit with Photoshop Elements 3.0 and posted them here as my own modest little tribute to Lance's career:

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/lance:

    I took these photos during the 1995 Tour de France (where I followed the first 4 days of the race) and the 1992-96 Tour du Pont (for those of you who don't remember, this used to be the premier stage race in the US, and took place in late April-early May in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern US).

    I used an old Nikon point-and-shoot camera for these photos so the resolution on some is not so great (now I have a Nikon D70).

    My favorite photo is this one of Lance posing for the photographers in May 1992 in Richmond, Virginia. He is sitting astride his new Team Motorola Eddy Merckx bike. I think he had recently signed a pro contract with Motorola but at the time he was still riding as an amateur for Team USA. I like this photo because I think you can see that the guy had the look of a champion about him even at the age of just 20 years old.

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/46620808

    My other favorite photo is this team photo of Motorola taken before the start in Perros Guirec in Brittany. The guy on the far left is Fabio Casartelli who was to die in a tragic accident about 10 days later:

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/46620823

    While I watched Lance in the 1995 tour I was hopeful that he would win a stage, which he did and which he dedicated to his fallen teammate. But I never imagined in my wildest dreams that he would one day go on to win 7 Tours in row :eek: ...all after surviving cancer. Formidable!
     
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  2. spockroyaltea

    spockroyaltea New Member

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    it is amazing to look at those bikes and think that it was just a decade or so ago. technology has changed cycling so much in the past couple of years.
     
  3. mr tibbs

    mr tibbs New Member

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    i think 1995's "cycling babe" is a nice touch. and pertinent.:p
     
  4. spokeking

    spokeking New Member

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    Those are some great photos! I miss the Dupont!
     
  5. BobHWS

    BobHWS New Member

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    There's no doubt that today's bikes are better than those of 10-12 years ago in most categories--weight, stiffness, componetry, wheels, etc. Yes, better in all except one category--beauty.

    Look at the Lampre team's Colnagos in this photo:

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/46620798

    They are works of art. IMHO, today's carbon fiber bikes with their ugly sloping top tubes, flat-black paint schemes, mountain-bike style headsets etc. just don't compare in the beauty department. Most of the bikes in the pro peloton, with the exception of those of a couple teams (maybe Discovery's Treks and Rabobank's Colnagos), are just plain ugly. :(

    On the other hand, both the technology and the look of helmets are much better than they were 10-15 years ago.


    If you like her, then take a look at my F1 babe photos. :D There are several folders on my pbase.com home page:

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert
     
  6. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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  7. Ullefan

    Ullefan New Member

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    Do you work for the AFP?
     
  8. BobHWS

    BobHWS New Member

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    Lance won the 1995 Beech Mountain stage ahead of the Polish rider Zenon Jaskula of the AKI-Gipiemme team. Lance also won the 1994 Beech Mt. stage, but he finished 2nd to the Swiss rider Jorg Muller of the Clas team in the 1993 Beech Mt. stage (according to my 1996 Tour du Pont program).

    :confused: I'm just an amateur photographer...which should be obvious from my photos. :D
     
  9. BobHWS

    BobHWS New Member

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    Speaking of Beech Mountain (near Boone, North Carolina), I ran across this article by Chris Carmichael that speaks about the significance of this place to Lance's career. Carmichael recounts how Lance almost retired in 1998 but decided to do one more race, the USPRO championship. To prepare for his "last race" he returned to the mountains of North Carolina where he had enjoyed much success in the Tour du Pont during the first half of the 1990s:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/news;_ylc=X3oDMTBpcWU3ZWcyBF9TAzk1OTEyNTc0BHNlYwN0aA--?slug=ap-tour-armstrongcoach&prov=ap&type=lgns

    To prepare for his last race, Lance, Bob Roll and I traveled to Boone, N.C., for a 10-day training camp. Lance still had reasonable fitness from his time in Europe, but he needed one good block of training to go out in style in Philadelphia. Rain again factored into the equation. It rained for 10 days straight, but this time Lance wasn't climbing off his bike. He rode next to Bob, talking about life and bike racing, for hours. Toward the end of the camp, I had Bob and Lance head over the same route the Tour DuPont had covered years before, to where Lance had won the hardest stage of America's premier stage race atop Beech Mountain. Somewhere on that mountain, the champion within Armstrong finally won the battle that had been raging in his mind and body. He wasn't going out like this.
     
  10. Ullefan

    Ullefan New Member

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    You've been an amateur photographer for the past 15 years?
    How did you get to access montreal f1 if you're just an 'amateur', you have a access all areas pass around your neck.
     
  11. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Well Maybe my memory is just fuzzy! I bet it was 1993...

    EDIT: The riding there is epic...

    :)
     
  12. steve

    steve Administrator
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    This got me thinking, if it wasn't for Lance winning 7 tours none of us would have seen that page :( It really does put everything into perspective.
     
  13. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    Here's Lance and Paul Sherwen:
    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/46620813

    Glad I'm not the only one getting older.
     
  14. BobHWS

    BobHWS New Member

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    Ulle, that's a ticket holder around my neck. :rolleyes: Almost everyone who attends an F1 race (or other major race) wears one of those, because you have to keep showing your ticket in order to pass into restricted (and expensive) seating areas. It's just a convenience so that you don't have to keep pulling your ticket out of your pocket.

    As for having access to all areas, I only wish that were true. I do have some photos that might make it look like I have some special access, e.g.:

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/45347285

    But anyone can take a photo like that if you have the right equipment and you go down on the track after the race when everyone is allowed to do so.

    But I will admit that sometimes I do try to look like a pro photographer (just hang a good SLR camera around your neck, wear a photo vest and put your hat on backwards :D ). Occasionally it works. For example, I took this photo of Bobby Julich just after he signed in for the final stage of Paris Nice:

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/41132038

    You can tell from the photo that I'm standing inside a fenced-in and sort-of restricted area. But I just wandered in there like I belonged with the real pro photographers and nobody stopped me, so I kept snapping away. :D

    Speaking of pro photographers, I did get to briefly meet Graham Watson after the Cannes stage in this year's Paris-Nice. He's a truly great photographer and a nice guy.

    http://www.pbase.com/bobhebert/image/41132046

    If only I could ride around on the back of a motorbike photographing the Tour like he does...that would be my ultimate photography fantasy.
     
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