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Monday, March 28, 2011

My Man Crush & the Holy Trinity of Cycling

Back of Cavendish, Full-On Fabian 2010 TOC
You’ve seen the video, heard the stories and all of sudden Sasquatch’s thick matted fur is all up in your grill so close you crinkle your nose and squint your eyes at the Yeti stench.  Yeah.  Mmmph.  You urk back a little puke and say to yourself, “That’s a beautiful Big Foot.”  Seeing Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen up close is sort of like seeing Sasquatch, only you’ve never stood on the couch cushions shouting as Sasquatch grits his teeth and pounds the pedals under the red kite with the contorted faces of those he’s dropping in view between his 4 day beard and his shoulder.  I saw Boonen, Cancellara and Hincapie together last year at the tour of California.  My wife blasted me for my giddiness as I angled the camera to capture all three in the same photo.  To her I looked like a tween snapping photos at a Justin Bieber concert.  To me, I was witnessing a cycling holy trinity. 

Stay Thirsty My Friends
Quite a few women read this blog.  While some of you may want to have mad wild Belgian/Swiss RV sex with Tomeke or Fabian after the finish of this weekend’s E3 and Gent-Wevelgem, man crushes are nothing like that.  Let it be clear, I do not want to boom with Boonen.  I don’t want Cancellara to wear my ring on a chain around his neck.  A man crush is nothing sexual or gay.  A man crush is something of appreciation, like seeing the perfection in the Brawny paper towel guy’s beard, admiring the timelessness of Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World, or the suaveness of the Old Spice guy.  Advertisers are well aware of this.  Dos Equis, Brawny and Old Spice would be out of business if a video ever surfaced of Heidi Klum cleaning the bathroom counter with a Brawny paper towel, a Dos Equis beer in the other hand and a stick of Old Spice in view on the cabinet. 

Beautiful, yes.  But, what The hell Am I looking at?
The emotion behind a man crush is why grown men’s mouths gape and eyes rise in wonder at the cornerstone of the Empire State Building.  It’s why men marvel at the bland smooth concrete massiveness of the Hoover Dam and insist on “popping the hood” and peering at the engine of a Ferrari.  It has nothing to do with understanding the engineering principals behind these wonders.  It’s simply the sight of pure blunt-force perfection.    It’s man beauty.

Stoic Boonen 2010 Tour of California
I think that’s what I see in Boonen and Cancellara.  I saw both of them in person, together at the start of the Big Bear state of the Tour of California.  Boonen, minutes later would drop out of the race.  Cancellara would be pack fodder.  It didn’t matter.  Like the great pyramids and Notre Dame Cathedral, their cache of wins and hard-guy moments earns them a timeless respect.   Conversely Frank Schleck winning the Criterium International did nothing for me.

1 comment:

Kimberly Menozzi said...

There is so much I'd like to say here, but none of it is decent enough to be published in a mixed-company blog.

So I'll just say:
Fabian Cancellara.

I think you understand.