Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Eagle of Toledo

Frederico Bahamontes born in Cuba and grew up in Teledo Spain. He won the 1959 Tour de France and the King of the Mountain jersey six times. Not for nothing he was called the Eagle of Toledo.

Bahamontes was a talented climber but a poor descender, sometimes taking one foot off the pedal to take mountain bends like a speedway rider. He landed in a cactus bush descending the Montsara as an amateur and thereafter refused to descend mountains alone, once waiting at the top of a col in the Tour de France for other riders to arrive. He reached the top minutes before a chase group arrived, and famously passed the time eating ice cream by the side of the road.

He was also temperamental, throwing his bike down a ravine to stop any pressure to continue riding when he dropped out of the 1956 Tour de France on the Col de Luitel. The following year he dropped out again, however this time he held on to his bike, but threw off his shoes.

A very temperamental eagle indeed.

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