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The Grand Tours of cycling conjure up many things. Like sunshine, air-horns, motorcades, screaming fans, inflatable giraffes and glorious mountain passes. Each summer, the roads along which these races travel become decorated with a spectrum of names, messages, slogans and images as a declaration of support, disdain and love.
To have your 12 by 12 foot daubing of "ALLEZ ANDY" or “FORZA PELIZOTTI!” (the Italians, of course, giving us the term ‘graffiti’) on the tarmac of Ventoux captured on camera by a Eurosport helicopter is an accolade any cycling fanatic or pirate artist could wish for. Even a small message of “HAVE IT NEVILLE” to your brother-in-law on the 12th hairpin of Alpe d’Huez is a valuable token of faith and a small reminder that everyone can ride and conquer in the greatest arenas of the sport.
These colourful letters and shapes we see along the mountain passes of Europe written with cans, brushes and rollers add to the personal nature of the sport (which other sporting event allows you to scream encouragement down the neck of your hero as they climb?). It is an enduring icon of road racing and an artform in itself.
Graffiti, Geoff Waugh’s entry in this year’s Rouleur Annual, pays tribute to this fanatical vandalism, with an introduction by Johnny Green.
© Geoff Waugh & Rouleur
- No change overall at the Ras today, Rich Handley remains in 5th, and Mike Cuming stills leads KOM
- RT @anpostras: Provisional GC after Stage 5: Bialoblocki, McConvey, Guldhammer <all @st, Handley & Pelletier-Roy @24secs, Fodor @46secs, Hu…
- RT @anpostras: Mike Cuming (Rapha Condor JLT) Will wear Mountains Jersey again, after Stage 5 #Ras2013
- RT @NickLathamPhoto: @raphacondor Photos of Kristian House winning Durham stage in a blog post at http://t.co/wHX8d0mlQc #tourseries Pls R…
- RT @IonaNiDhalaigh: Yahhh mountain jersey in the bag!!! Nice one @mike_cuming!!! @raphacondor http://t.co/GrGqSL0Kgl
- RT @CondorWarehouse: Nice to see the @raphacondor JLT team bike on display @campagnolosrl HQ with so many top pro teams http://t.co/5CgE0tY…
- RT @anpostras: GC after Stage 4: Bialoblocki,, McConvey, Guldhammer, Handley, Pelletier-Roy, Hunal, Simon Yates, Fodor, Roger Aiken, Archbo…
- Spare a thought for @Porterelliott who punctured out of the yellow jersey group, when will he get some luck!
- Took the @anpostras on today. Didn't quite pull it off. @RichHandley90 4th on GC and @mike_cuming in the KoM jersey.
- Tour series update from Stoke up on the site http://t.co/aVdcnGnkOX