Friday File: Final Breakaway, Zoncolan, le patron & Cycling Nirvana

Albert Bourlon making Tour history in 1947.

Friday File opens with sad news...

Albert Bourlon holder of the longest breakaway (253 kms) in the Tour has passed away at the age of 96. That incredible image is Albert Bourlon straining in the burning sun in magnificent solitude to win stage 14.

At the end of this busy season marks the difficult task, for many (about 100 last count) out of contract riders, to find a team for the upcoming season. Four teams have gone, notably the long reign of Euskaltel Euskadi has unfortunately ended. That means there are tons of riders looking for work. One rider looking is Canadian Dominique Rollin, the classy domestique 'horse from the north, is left without a contract for FDJ. His cycling career is undecided. On the other hand, climber John Gradet has signed for Movistar and has a a new lease on his cycling career. He'll be supporting Quintana and Valverde for grand tour success.

Caught in FDJs restructuring...
Rollin is one of the many riders 
looking for a team.

Re-tooled for 2014...
Will we see Gradet punch the sky for Movistar?

The very steep hellish Zoncolan (avg gradient 12-20%) is on the menu in 2014...

Motorcycles have a hard time.

'If you're going through hell, keep going.'
- Winston Churchill

The Brash Badger...

1978 Tour...
The new Patron, resplendent in the tricolour jersey of
French champion, on his way to dominating his first of five Tours.

The Badger was the last great patron - he was charismatic and worthy for such a role. Graham Fife wrote in Rouleur, "He was capable of saying 'today I win' and delivering, and he generally won in flamboyant style."

Taking it on...
the 1978 rider's protest.

"Mutual respect. He was tough, but it's a tough business."

- Paul Sherwen.

The brash take the bull by the horns style that won him respect occurred on stage three, 50 meters from the line in Valence d'Argen. There was grumbling among the riders about excessive transfers. Hinault took notice and dismounted and walked followed by the rest of the riders... a new leader of the pack was born.

Today's Friday File, I'm introducing an amazing cycling photo. It will be a photo that I find, and I hope you find, inspirational as a place to ride. I'll try to find out where the magical place is but many photos are not tagged. So to start off...

Here's the first entry to cycling nirvana...

via Bikes For All (Facebook page)

Update: The spectacular image is from a series from called 'Roadtripping Norway'. Many Thanks to Pat for his timely email!

Enjoy your ride(s) this weekend!