Form Studies

Anna Grace Christensen rides like Jacques Anquetil.

She speed past the three of us who were sitting in the shade of an overhang at corner one of the Franz Crit. She’d been away for three, or four, maybe five laps at that point. I can’t when I pointed it out, but it was after she’d been away for a while when it occurred to me.

I’d seen her lay down power like this the year before when she bridged to a teammate who was in a three person break. Two of those woman were on the same team. Anna Grace rode with them for a bit, two or three laps before she attacked. After that she was away. For good, just like she will on this day.

This day, just like the one a year ago, she was putting time into the chasers behind. I say that she rides like Anquetil based solely on the photos I’ve seen of the great cyclist, and this video of the famous Double.  I don’t mean this to say that she could hang with Jacques, though she would probably rip your legs off like he would (I’ve followed her into a break — rest assured it hurts quite a bit).

What I mean, when I say she rides like Anquetil is that her form is its mirror image. Her back is flat and her slender legs end with toes pointing down at the ground.

Its a form — meaning a way of riding — that has gone out of style. Today we are told that our feet must be flat, not dropping nor raised at the top of the pedal stroke. But watching that video of Jacques, and watching her race last weekend you can’t deny that it not only works, but has style.

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