When Chris Horner threw his bike in disgust after a mechanical at this week’s Philadelphia Classic race, memories of bike tossers past resurfaced. While Lance Armstrong is undoubtedly the biggest tosser ever to infiltrate cycling, he refrained from launching his bike in anger, preferring to launch lawsuits instead. What of those others who earned their tosser status by doing just that though? We take a look at some of the more infamous tosses from recent years.
Horner’s effort is notable for its use of pure rage, but it’s the bidon kick at the end which makes it special. Kind of like Hulk Hogan slamming some guy hard onto the canvas, and then pulling a carnation from his trunks and picking off the petals one by one.
David Millar is one of our favourite riders, not because he got busted for doping and then came clean, not because of his gutsy riding, but mainly because he’s a funny, stylish dude who knows that looking good on the bike is as important as going fast on it. His bike toss at the Giro in 08 after a broken chain in the sprint is still one of the benchmarks, with the spinning motion of his machine as it floats over the barrier earning the term Millarcopter.
Mr 60% Bjarne Riis might have been amped up on some pretty good shit in the 97 Tour, but it seems all the strength he had gained was restricted to the legs, judging by this pedantically limp effort. Mr 60cm, more like.
He’s got the Mod style down pat, and it appears that Brad Wiggins’ credentials to join The Style Council isn’t solely based on his haircut. His first effort is pretty lazy, more a drop than a toss, possibly with a tad too much respect for the machine. Which does earn some points with those of us who have to buy their bicycles and don’t even like other bikes leaning against ours.
Wiggo took it up a notch in an Italian race a couple seasons ago, with a sublime toss/roll to wall park manoeuvre that was so smooth it looked like it had been rehearsed at one of Team Sky’s high altitude doping training camps.
Marcel Kittel’s effort is a strange mix of calm and rage. He has enough time to be thinking about what comes next, so isn’t in an instantaneous fit of rage but a more considered approach. “Well, that was a bit of bad luck, not much I can do except… ah FUCK IT! That’s better, think I need a bit of a lie down after that though.”
The heat of Dubai looks to have melted the usually cool persona of Peter Sagan here. Cyclists should never use their arms for anything except holding the bars or a beer.
Cocaine is a hell of a drug. It may cause you to forget that you’re in the middle of a bike race, it may prompt you to hold up your leg warmers with safety pins on the outside of your shorts, and it usually ends in a bad mood. Luca Paolini knows better than most.
As a former Wellington bike courier, Jack Bauer would’ve had his share of bad shit happen to him on cold and wet days. In the Pro peloton, bad shit could mean anything from getting dropped to someone dropping their jacket in your wheel. Why bother to pull it out when there’s a Belgian ditch so handy?