The Cobblestone Classic
I was on a shoot recently with photographer Ian McCausland, and the subject of cyling came up in conversation – which isn’t necessarily unusual, because Ian knows I am a cycling nut, and is something of a cycling nut himself. Ian is also one of those rare people who can talk to anybody about anything. On shoots, I’ve seen him talk to a gorgeous male ballet dancer in hot pink underwear as easily and naturally as a seventy year-old breast cancer survivor from Norway House First Nation.
When Ian mentioned he had some old film (yes kids, real film) he’d come across of the Winnipeg Cobblestone Classic, I almost peed my pants. Here are just a couple of shots he’s found so far and was kind enough to share.
The Cobblestone Classic was a circuit race held in the Winnipeg Exchange District in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, back when I was busy chasing college boys (who were much slower and easier to catch than bike racers). I’d heard about the races and assumed they were off-the-grid events featuring the finest in crazy Winnipeg bike couriers.
From what I can gather, it was a legit race sponsored by 7-11 and attended by their then “A” race team, as well as other mid-tier pro teams. I think it was part of the Coors Classic series of races, but I’ve found little to no information online. I did find this picture of the 1991 race, posted by one Blair Saunders. I was unable to contact him, so I hope he doesn’t mind me showing it to you.
I wanted to show it because according to the caption, the photo includes Mr. Saunders, Roberto Gagiolli, and none other than Alex Steida. In addition to being on the 7-11 Team in 1991, Alex Steida was also the first North American to win the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
That’s pro racing, people. Right here in Winnipeg. How cool is that? I know there are people out there who know lots more about these races – I’d love to hear your stories. I think this stuff is The Shit.
Thanks Ian for digging out these cool shots and sharing them with us!