Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Alberto Contador's Stage 18 Special Specialized

Alexandre Gordeyev, the world's preeminent authority on photographing the Astana team at the Tour de France, snapped an amazing series of images detailing the "special" Specialized bicycle that Alberto Contador abortively piloted through some of the 18th stage of this year's Tour de France. Gordeyev contribute the photos to the thriving Astanafans.com website, which celebrates the eponymous professional cycling team.

Hopefully Gordeyev doesn't mind if we reproduce some of the images here - they are simply spectacular:


But strangely for a manufacturer as adept at PR as Specialized, their "Signature" edition hardly merited discussion in the coverage of that day's race, perhaps owing to the fact that Contador abandoned it midway through the day, and reverted back to his primary machine. Cyclingnews.com hosts the only picture I could find of the actual bike change: 


Given the lack of copy, we'll revert to Gordeyev's own notes from that day, and his reference to Specialized's "War-Horse"!!!

"Wakening and breakfast was as usual according to the schedule.

Technicians woke up earlier this morning. Specialized requested Alberto to use new frame bike on this stage. War-horse is seldom changed during the race , only Frenchmen could afford themselves to change frames, but Astana had serious task , and horses are not to be changed during the race. The request of bikes’ suppliers couldn’t be ignored so thus the technicians prepared the bike.

The frame was unusual with its painting. There were names of people who paid 30 Euro for placing of their names on the frame. This is what I’ve got from my conversation with a technician. The conversation was “with fingers” as we spoke different languages."

Bravo, Alexandre!





Photos (c) 2010 Alexandre Gordeyev 

Nevertheless, for as "different" a bike as the Signature edition was, we must not lose sight of the fact that it was a mere curiosity compared to a truly majestic steed: Vino's Golden Eagle (pictured above).

While Vino races aboard a bicycle adorned with a solitary bird of prey, the quiet Kazakh is a fiercely loyal teammate, dedicated to maintaining the unity and focus of his squad. So perhaps its fitting that the final image that Gordeyev would shoot that night was an after-dinner portrait of Vino at the head of a round table (lol), surrounded by his teammates, minus Contador, who was conspicuous by his absence.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos. Thanks for the link to the fansite. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete

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