Former Canadian pro Steve Bauer carrying Pan Am torch


The Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) has revealed nine Canadian celebrities—including former pro road racer and yellow jersey wearer Steve Bauer—to participate in the TO2015 Torch Relay, which will begin on May 30.

Bauer will be carrying the Torch in the Town of Milton, Ontario, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, using his preferred mode of transportation. He’ll ride his bicycle to complete the leg of the relay from the Town of Milton Sports Centre to the Milton Centre for the Arts.

“It’s a wonderful honor to be nominated to participate in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Torch relay,” Bauer said. “In my competitive years as a cyclist, I was so focused on the competition of my sport that I never engaged in the ceremonious events. This time I will join the celebration in Milton, where I have developing programming at Canada’s new velodrome. It’s truly a pleasure to join the Torch Relay team and contribute in the build up of excitement prior to the games. I would like to extend my gratitude to OLG for my nomination and this opportunity!”

Bauer, 55, rose to prominence when he won the silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic road race, weeks before taking bronze at the world championships pro road race in Barcelona. Bauer spent 14 stages in the leader’s yellow jersey of the Tour de France, and is best known for his tenure with Team 7-Eleven and Motorola. He was inducted into both Canadian Olympic and Sports Hall of Fames in 2005.

Bauer will be joined by celebrities Blue Rodeo lead singer Jim Cuddy, Olympic freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau, and Olympic figure skater Patrick Chan on the Torchbearer team.



Book: “Goggles & Dust”

From the Horton Collection comes a 120-page hardcover book celebrating cycling’s glory days, when cycling was the world’s most popular sport and racers wore spare tires criss-crossed over their chests like Mexican Revolutionary General Pancho Villa wearing two bandoliers.

Maurice DeWaele fixing a flat during the 1929 Tour de France; no neutral support back then!

Maurice DeWaele fixing a flat during the 1929 Tour de France; no neutral support back then!

The 8” x 7” book was produced using original silver gelatin prints, restored and published for the first time since their original publication in newspapers and magazines of the day. Images of racers hunched over their steel machines turning their single gear (this was during the pre derailleur days; Tullio Campagnolo hadn’t conceived his new mechanism yet) with wool jerseys, cotton caps and aviator looking goggles abound in this collection. The wear and tear on the racer’s body took its toll; in many images the men look a couple decades older than reality, with cratered faces and tree-trunk legs popping out from page. You can see the pain etched on the faces of Victor Fontan, Eugène Christophe and Leon Scieur throughout.

Antonin Magne attacking the 1934 Grand Prix des Nations time trial.

Antonin Magne attacking the 1934 Grand Prix des Nations time trial.

For as much that is made about modern cycling technology and our ‘newfound’ love of gravel, check out “Goggles & Dust” to see how real men raced bikes, and how they were revered for their exploits. You might be inspired to get out and ride in conditions you normally deemed too extreme.

A happy Lucien Buysse celebrating with a toast in Paris after winning the 1926 Tour de France.

A happy Lucien Buysse celebrating with a toast in Paris after winning the 1926 Tour de France.

An ideal holiday gift, found where better books about cycling are sold. Well worth the $16.95 asking price.



New ESPN film examines Lemond vs. Hinault battle of 1986

Greg Lemond Tour de France

Image courtesy of ESPN Films

Before Lance Armstrong, there was the three-time Tour champion Greg LeMond. LeMond was the first and is currently the only American to officially win the Tour de France. In the mid 1980s he was a quickly rising star in international pro cycling, but the riders at the top of the sport, including his own teammates, were reluctant to step aside for a new challenger.

Then the reigning Tour champion, Benard Hinault (known as “The Badger”) had seemingly promised to help LeMond to his first victory, in return for LeMond supporting him when he struggled in 1985 when they were teammates. But in a sport that purports to reward teamwork, “Slaying the Badger” demonstrates that sometimes it’s really every man for himself.

The documentary features interviews with Greg and Kathy LeMond, Greg’s father Bob LeMond, Hinault, former team coach Paul Koechli, former teammate Andy Hampsten, cycling journalists and others. The film is based on the book with the same name written by Richard Moore.

ESPN Films’ award-winning 30 for 30 series will take air “Slaying the Badger” on Tuesday, July 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.



Group Hug: Paul Smith, Mr. Porter and Mercian


The 2014 Tour de France begins Saturday in the United Kingdom, and to commemorate the special event, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has developed a surprisingly understated steel bicycle made by U.K.-based Mercian Cycles, to be sold online by mens fashion outlet Mr. Porter.

The collection is called Paul Smith 531, named after the famous Reynolds lightweight bike tubing used by Tour de France champions up until the early 1980s; the number 531 refers to the ratio of manganese (5), molybdenum (3) and carbon (1) in the steel alloy.

Click through to see video of Sir Paul talking about his love for cycling and the making of the bike.

Watch it here.

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