01 March 2011

30,000 views - The Men of the Peloton

"He is easy to lay your eyes upon"
30,000 views and I have been blogging for 10.5 months with visitors from 3,700 cities around the world. Thank you! I like to celebrate these milestones with a fun post. My last celebratory fun post was 15,000 views and counting about the legs of a sprinter, time trialer, or climber. A popular post indeed. Today's special is men.

Usually professional cyclists are tucked behind sunglasses and helmets, wearing matching lycra kits making it difficult to tell one from the other. But some of the world's fastest men on bicycles also happen to be incredibly good looking. Men that not only ride a bike fast, but to barrow a line from a Tour Guide I was following at the Palace in Madrid when describing the Prince of Spain, "he is easy to lay your eyes upon". And so I present my choice, as a fan, of the 15 best looking men in the pro peloton:
Is it any wonder I am a fan of this sport!
Bernhard Eisel (HTC - Highroad) Austrian
 Manuel Quinziato (BMC) Italian
Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) Italian
George Hincapie (BMC) American/Columbian
Ivan Basso (Liquigas) Italian
Philipe Deignan (Garmin-Cervelo) Irish
Pilippo "Pippo" Pozzato (Liquigas) Italian
Thor Huschovd (Garmin-Cervelo) Norwegian
Lloyd Mondory (AG2R) French
Tom Stamsnijder (Leopard Trek) Dutch
Eros Capecchi (Liquigas) Italian
Kristof Vandewalle (Quick-Step) Belgian
Addy Engels (Quick-Step) Belgian

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) Italian
I'm still deciding on #15! Best to save some fun for later, but if I wanted to please the majority of fans, I could simply mention Fabian, or Boonen, or Cavendish, or one of the other riders the fans go crazy over ... but most likely I'd pick Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) Spanish!. 
Good looks aside, if I could pick a table of cycling guests for dinner based on personality, I would choose - Johan Bruyneel, because I am certain there is something more to be said about the ban on race radios. Okay okay, I'm kidding - no Johan! I would choose: Bob Stapleton (charming!), Manuel Quinziato (this guy knows music!), Paul Sherwen (this guy knows wine!), David Zabriskie (a man a few words, but funny!), and Chris Horner (he can talk about anything!). Wait, I did sit next to Chris Horner for dinner one time, with a large group of friends from the old Postal Master's Team in Tucson, Arizona, years ago after the Tour of Tucson. I remember talking about camping and his dog Bear - cycling was never mentioned the entire meal. It was great fun.

Who knows what I will choose to highlight as a celebration of 50,000 views, or 100,000 views, but I can promise it probably won't be Jonathan Vaughter's best outfits but if it is, I apologize ahead of time (although I did learn about a Windsor Knot and a gusset because of him). 
In the meantime I have greatly enjoyed watching the cold rainy weather and the hardy fans and riders return to the cobbles of the Semi-Classics in Belgium. Spring is my favorite time of year as a fan. So far the ban on race radios has proved interesting. This past weekend, a lead pack of 4 riders at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne were immediately disqualified for crossing a red railroad light, which left the rest of the peloton in the dark trying to figure out what was happening to result in a break of 5 riders, suddenly becoming one. Keep racing! That's what was happening. Old-fashioned bike racing. 

Thank you so much for visiting PedalDancer.com over the past year. It has been quite a ride! ~Karen.

Update August 2011: I was going to revisit my list after the Tour de France this year, but why bother since Bicycling.com has done it for me at: 10 Hottest Men of the Tour de France. Although Peter Velits is a fine figure on a bike, and he didn't make any of our lists. I am going to spend a week at the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge and revisit this topic. After all I do need to top my project during the 2011 Tour of California What Pedals do the Pros use. The topic of men is a lot more fun.