Merci Freddy, Merci Lucien

And, well, what do you do with dome time on your hands in a city like Leeuwarden, your students apparently not needing your help right now and the weather not so nice to sit in a park and read? You walk into this so-so-second hand bookstore. And there it is, as if it’s waiting for you, as if its specially put here for you: Merci Freddy, Merci Lucien, by the Flemish journaliste Jan Cornand and Andre Blancke, an account of the cycling season 1976. This is the first book I read about cycling and I partly ‘blame’ this book for my love of cycling. It has certainly played a role in my ongoing interest in the cycling of the seventies. They had it in the public library of Almelo and I must’ve read it three times from cover to cover. I’ve never seen it in any second hand bookstore. I buy it (5 euro’s). And while eating my dinner in the Irish pub, I read the account of the Giro of 1976, the one Johan De Muynck should’ve won, the one that the Brooklyn-squad dominated, and I enjoy every single word of it.

Interestingly: I find out that in 1976 the Giro-director had tried to come up with some ‘inventions’ to make the race more interesting, namely: putting two new cols (well, a col and a climb) on the programme that both were not paved yet. There’s nothing new under the sun. The Valjolet ( a climb somewhere around the Sella) and the Manghen. (The Manghen comes easily in the top 10 of my favorite cols: when I ‘did it’ a narrow paved road of very black asphalt and no soul to see.)

cycling,en,reading matter | June 25, 2007 | 21:08 | Comments Off on Merci Freddy, Merci Lucien |


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