Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mad Props Vol. 16

Petit Charly en route to a second straight stage victory in Le Tour.

Little Charly Mottet was my favorite rider back in the early 1990's. I had an affinity or all things French back then. Gitane, Peugeot, Mavic, Time, Miroir du Ciclisme, etc., stimulated a yearning in my impressionable young mind for that romantic mise en scène I'd seen in old photographs. The ones in which gallant riders were ensconsced in a Gaoloises induced fog of european sophistication as they sipped espressos in wool jerseys and black leather shoes. Mottet was clad in lycra, but that did nothing to supress my idealized version of the euro-pro lifestyle.

Charly was a little guy. A grimpeur and a fighter. He had the attributes that any grand tour hopeful needed to challenge for the throne. He was a capable time trialist, a frisky climber, and held his own on the long flat stages with high speeds and brisk winds.

Mottet and his crooked teeth inspired me for many miles as I emulated him astride my Mavic SSC (Modolo calipers and painful levers, not the Dia-Compes with mushy hoods) equipped Gitane RS in an ill fitting RMO jersey and Time equipe shoes. I also sought, and failed, to acquire the Liberia bike that he rode in 1991.

Petit Charly retired from cycling with 65 career victories including the Dauphine Libere (3), Grand Prix des Nations (3), Tour of Romandie, Championships of Zurich, Tour of Lombardy, and 3 stages in le Tour (with back to back wins in the 1991 edition.) He also finished 4th overall in le Tour in 1987 and 1991.

Allez, Petit Charly! Mad props.


STC Captain said...

Mottet was indeed a class act and a visciously tough rider. One of my favs as well.

Once known as The Badger said...

What is more beautiful or more cruel than a bike race?

Ari said...

Mottet was so cool. I remember that he also wore the elusive Rivat Shoes.

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