The Tour of Poland finished today. Trudi sent a photo of her with Francesco Moser. He was an Italian version of Eddy Merckx when I started racing. I had the opportunity to race against Moser a couple times in Canada. I wasn’t into the history of the sport so much then. I was more into the actual racing.
The first time I raced with him was in a criterium in downtown Toronto in the mid ’80’s. The race had paid for a few European Pro’s to come over and race against the best from North America. Moser got into a break with my team mate from Levis/Raleigh, Hugh Walton and Steve Bauer. That wasn’t too good a move for him to be in. Anyway, Hugh won the race, Bauer 2nd and Moser finished 3rd. I remember listening to the interview with Moser after the race through a translator. He said something like he was at a disadvantage because he didn’t know the riders he was riding with and they knew him. I was thinking that maybe he should of been paying more attention when they announced Hugh to the start line and said he was something like 20 times Canadian National Champion. Same with Steve. I though, man, kind of lame.
Then a couple years later, late 80’s, I was racing in Hamilton Ontario and the race flew in Moser, Sean Kelly and a few other guys. I was riding for Wheaties/Schwinn then. 4 of us were at the race. Big money prize list. The course was a crazy hard circuit climbing a harder hill than the used more recently at the World Road Championships in Hamilton. Moser had broken Merckx’s hour record, but was essentially retired from the sport. He schooled us. All the Europeans were combining, but he went around and lapped the field on a long circuit, over 5 miles. We finished 2nd and 3rd on the day with Alan McCormick and Roland Gunther. Tom Broznowski and I also finished in the top ten. Very good pay day. But, for a washed up retiring Pro, he made us look silly.
Moser looks pretty good. I’ve read he rides a ton still. I guess there was a celebrity race at the Tour of Poland and Moser was all pissed off that they gave him a shitty bike with toe clips to race. Pretty competitive still. I like that.