Prendas Ciclismo 'Memoires du peloton' 2010 calendar

Iconic images from 40 years of professional cycling

by Dave Atkinson   December 3, 2009  

Your calendar is running out of squares: you need a new one. Luckily, Prendas Ciclismo have just been in touch to tell us about their new 2010 calendar, Memoires du Peloton, which looks to be a shoe-in at the top of the cycling buff's Christmas list.

The calendar is a collaboration between the guys at Prendas Ciclismo and acclaimed cycling photographer John Pierce. John's an instutuion at the Tour, having covered 43 Tours de France as a photographer and journalist; his images of the blue riband event of cycling have graced more than 600 magazine covers. Needless to say he's got an extraordinary library of images to choose from – not just of the Tour, but of all the top races – and Andy at Prendas tells us they've really enjoyed to process of putting the calendar together. "If you think the calendar's good", he says, "you should see what we left out!" The photos are a combination of John's personal archive and dhots from his photo library, Photosport International, which represents nearly 30 professional photographers.

The photos themselves go back through more than 40 years of professional cycling history and there's a hatful of iconic riders featured inside. There's a quick rundown of what's inside below, and Prendas have kindly sent us images of the pages - have a look through the gallery, there's some cracking shots. You can pre-order the calendar – it's available from 10 december – at Prendas Ciclismo

Front cover: “Hinault-Sprint” Tour de France. Circuit Zolder, Belgium 1981.
This photo shows Belgian Eddy Planckaert (1st) leading team mate Guido Van Calster (3rd) and World Champion Bernard Hinault (6th) wearing the race leaders’ Yellow Jersey. Freddy Maertens was 2nd.

Rear cover: Bernard Hinault, Paris Roubaix Arenberg Forest 1981.
Bernard Hinault the 1980 World Champion had crashed along with others in the Arenberg. He emerged behind the crowd running and carrying his bike cyclo-cross style. This is the shot of him remounting his bike to chase none other than Roger de Vlaeminck.

January: Tom Simpson and Eddy Merckx, Paris Nice 1967, Col d Eze.
An iconic shot at the end of an era, the older Simpson and the younger Merckx - only 21 years of age in this photo. Simpson won the Paris Nice in 1967, alas later that year Simpson was dead.

February: Bernard Hinault, Paris Roubaix 1982.
This shows the outstanding power of Bernard Hinault who has several Paris-Roubaix winners on his wheel. Hennie Kuiper, Johan Vandervelde, Gilbert Duclos- Lassalle, Jan Raas (Winner), Ludo Peeters, Jonathan Boyer and Dirk DeWolf fight to hold the wheel of “Le Blaireau”.

March: Roger De Vlaeminck, Paris-Roubaix 1977.
De Vlaeminck rode Paris-Roubaix on 14 occasions, winning four times (1972, 1974, 1975, 1977), finished second four times, third once, fifth once, seventh twice and abandoned only in 1980.

April: Gilbert Duclos- Lassalle, Paris Roubaix 1992.
Here we see Duclos powering to victory at 37 years of age after twice finishing second in the 1980 and 1983 editions of the race. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, he won again the following year in 1993.

May: Marco Pantini, Tour de France Col du Galibier 1998.
Here we see Marco Pantani on the Col du Galibier. With the temperature dropping to minus 2°C and snowing, Pantani’s lone break would see him take a famous victory and the Yellow Jersey from the shoulders of Jan Ullrich after dropping him for nine minutes. It was the most awful wind and rain, so cold there was a worry about riders not being able to use their brakes on the descents because of cables and fingers being frozen

June: Greg Lemond, Coors Classic 1986.
Lemond actually rode for Celestial Seasonings, using the same La Vie Claire jersey design. His team mate and controversial leader was Bernard Hinault who won overall. Lemond was not very happy about it and it was indeed Hinault’s last race win before retiring.

July: Robert Millar and Greg Lemond, Tour de France Col d’Izoard 1989.
In this group Robert Millar leads Greg Lemond, Gert Jan Theunisse (KoM), Raul Alcala, Laurent Fignon, Steven Rooks and two La Vie Claire riders. It was at this stage finish where Fignon ‘lost’ this Tour de France. Fignon was dropped on a small uphill lane, just meters from the line in Briancon, he was the only rider to lose contact. It cost him12 seconds, but had he not lost time here, he would have done sufficient to win the overall in the final Paris Time Trial, instead of losing the Tour by just 8 secs.

August: Pedro Delgado, Tour de France, Alpe d’Huez 1986
This was Delgado’s first year with PDM, I really love that jersey! The photo was taken at Virage 1 on Alpe d’Huez. It’s not possible now as barriers are placed in the last 3km. Accredited photographers can still stand in the road inside the barriers, but not at the corner where this was taken. I used some white tissue around the flash to soften the extra light.

September: Luis Ocaña, Tour de France Paris Time Trial 1970.
This picture shows Ocaña in action during the 54km final time trial from Versailles to Paris. The great Eddy Merckx caught Zoetemelk on his way to victory in Paris recording a time of 1-09-39. Ocaña finished second on the day with 1-11-26 and went onto win the Tour in 1973.

October: The Maertens chase group, Paris Roubaix. Hem 2km Arrivee 1978.
This photograph was taken about 2km from the finish. The race winner on this day was Francesco Moser who made a lone break for his first of three consecutive wins in Roubaix. This is the powerful chase group. Multi Road and Cyclo-Cross World Champions and Roubaix winners, Roger De Vlaeminck (back) won the sprint for second beating Jan Raas (middle) and Freddy Maertens (leading).

November: Fabio Parra and Lucho Herrera, Lans-en-Vecors 2km Arrivee Tour de France 1985.
On the 12th stage Morzine to Lans-en-Vercors, Bernard Hinault was alone in the Yellow Jersey as was Ireland’s Sean Kelly wearing the Green Points Jersey. Fabio Parra (here on the left) won the 269km stage, assisted by his team-mate Lucho Herrera seen wearing the Mountains Polka dot Jersey.

December: Eddy Merckx, Mur du Grammont and Tour de France 1974.
The photograph on the left shows Merckx climbing the Mur de Grammont at Gerrardsbergen during the 1974 Tour of Flanders. The portrait photograph on the right was taken at the sign-in for the Plymouth stage of the 1974 Tour de France (Plympton
by-pass). Beneath his Molteni track suit, Merckx wears the White Combine Jersey, in later years it became the Best Young Riders Jersey.