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I like to picture modern racing heroes in old black and white, tires strapped elegantly and efficiently across their shoulders, cap flipped up. Tadej Pogačar has elements of a young Jacques Anquetil, don’t you think? Jonas Vingegaard, his face creased beyond his 25 years, seems made for aviator goggles and a singlespeed. And Mathieu van der Poel, he reminds me of someone. Can’t put my finger on who.
These photos are arranged in roughly chronological order because the ways our sport has changed, and the ways it hasn’t, are an endless source of fascination.
If you missed part one of this series, which explains the premise, you can find it in
the first Mood Board. The short version is that these are photos dumped into a folder on my desktop over years, each pulled out and saved because it sets some mood I want to someday replicate or capture. As before, we’re limited to photos we have rights to, mostly via the Getty Images archive. But there’s plenty to peruse nonetheless.
We set off in the 1930s, as Victor Cosson, a year after his third-place finish at the
Tour de France, collects himself post-stage.
1939. Victor Cosson. Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
Gino Bartali, Victor Cosson, and Mario Vicini on a stage from Briançon to Aix-Les-Bain in 1938. Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images
Maurice Archambaud is congratulated by his parents after winning the stage into Cannes on July 9, 1933. He took the yellow jersey the same day. Archambaud won ten stages of the Tour de France and took the hour record in 1937, riding 45.767 km in 60 minutes. Photo by AFP via Getty Images
Today’s advertising caravan has a few more speakers but the same general goal. Here, musicians provide entertainment in a village during a stage in July 1934. Photo by STF/AFP via Getty Images
Spaniard Federico Ezquerra at the summit of the Galibier during the 7th stage, Aix-les-bains-Grenoble, of the Tour de France 1936. The Tour will tackle the Galibier once again this year, this time with a few more gears. Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
This is a photo of me, week 2.5 of the Tour, outside the press room somewhere with Iain Treloar looking on wondering how he ended up here. Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
The shades, the hair. What’s up with the guy with the facial bandages? Fausto Coppi in July, 1949 after winning the Tour de France. The race finished in the Parc des Princes in Paris. Photo by: STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
Jean Robic loves a lobster. This particular crustacean was found on stage four of the 1951 Tour. Photo by STAFF / AFP) (Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Maurice Blomme pumps his own tires up. Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
Algerian Ahmed Kebaili at the Tour de France in 1950, with some superb eyewear. Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystine via Getty Images
Photo by Milou Steiner/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images
If this photo was in color, you could see that the jersey Fausto Coppi is napping next to is yellow. This photo is from a rest day in 1952, up on top of Alpe d’Huez. Coppi took yellow the day before and would hold it to Paris. Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
Raphaël Geminiani on the old Col du Tourmalet, 1952. Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images
The Tour is hot. The sea is cool. Some things never change. In this shot, from 1950, Antoine Frankowsky (R), Belgian Marcel De Mulder (2nd R) and other riders take a quick dip into the Mediterranean near Sainte-Maxime. They were quickly ordered to get back on their bikes by Tour de France’s organizer Jacques Goddet. Photo by AFP via Getty Images
Ferdi Kübler could play the piano. Rest day, July 17 1954. Photo by AFP via Getty Images
Anquetil, Evian. Big French mood. Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Could Anquetil ski? Here he is with his wife Jenine in Megève, 1963. Photo by ATP/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images
There’s a lot to love in this photo. The luft, the knit gloves. World Champ stripes on Jean Stablinski. Evian as the official water sponsor, with some sugar cubes for 1963 Gatorade. If you were wondering where Rapha got its name, it’s this team. Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
This one isn’t from the Tour. Jacques Anquetil prepares his bike for track racing at Herne Hill in 1964 in London. Photo by Don Morley/Getty Images
Mathieu van der Poel Raymond Poulidor on his way to winning the 16th stage of the Tour de France between Seo de Urgel (Spain) and Saint-Lary-Soulan on July 15, 1974. Eddy Merckx finished fifth to retain his yellow jersey. Poulidor, 38 in this photo, finished second overall of the Tour de France behind Merckx, who won his fifth Tour de France. Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images
Eddy Merckx plays beach soccer, 1972. Photo by AFP via Getty Images)
Fast forward to 1994. Riders say they get chills riding onto the Champs, even after years of doing it. Photo by PASCAL PAVANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Marco Pantani and his dog. Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Time trial helmets peaked in 1996 and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. This one is on Miguel Indurain. Photo by Pascal Rondeau/ALLSPORT
This shouldn’t work, and yet it does. Bring back low profile wheels. Photo by Franck Seguin/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Now we’re getting into some more modern Tour Mood. Jan Ullrich, just a kid trying to eat his breakfast. Photo by PASCAL PAVANI/AFP via Getty Images
Erik Zabel being a silly goose. Photo by PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP via Getty Images
I’m stunned and slightly ashamed that there isn’t more Mapei in my Mood Board, but here’s Olano in 96 to help. Photo: Getty
If ’90s time trialing were just one photo. Photo by Mike Powell /Allsport