Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dreams, the Milk Race, & the NBA

The Buggles saw the writing on the wall in 1979 with their one hit wonder 'Video Killed the Radio Star'. The Radio Star video was the first music video to air on MTV USA at 1201 am on August 1st 1981. That was an absolute game changer for the music world. I would like to think that Trevor Horn of the Buggles had another hit folded up in one of his leather jackets in the early 90's that went like this, 'The NBA Killed the Milk Race". The Milk Race was a famous British all amateur stage race where countless cyclist gracefully launched their pro careers (or not).

When the NBA began lobbying for the "dream team" in 1991, that was the beginning of the end for the all Amateur Olympics and stage races. Events like the Milk Race and pre-pro Olympics gave the young amateurs the opportunity to train, ride, and race like a professional and rise to the occasion without racing anyone of them. What I am getting at here is that not every racer wanted to be a "pro". Is that blasphemy to the contemporary racing model?

I can remember sitting with Andrew and Kev and talking about "trying" out for the (amateur) Olympic team and at the same time flipping through our endless stacks of Winning Magazines that showcased all the European Professionals. Looking back we were fortunate to have that separation which allowed us to dream big or small (take your choice). As it turns out, it was a good thing we all stayed in school. There is only one Tim Petty just ask Shapleigh and the other marked men at the Olympic Trials.

Santa Cruz's own Andy Paulin found himself on the podium at the 1985 Milk Race. I have placed a call to Andy to get his view on the transformation from all amatuer to professional. Please enjoy this all amateur version of the Milk Race. I watched it five times and its funny I can't find any chain ring marks on their calves or fans that seem disappointed in these amateurs abilities. Although at the very end, the young Russian amateur World Road Champion goes rubber side up after hitting a cameraman. Even though it is just the "amateur" rainbow jersey, it obviously still carries a little weight.

The Milk Race


Click on picture to play video

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