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Through the Lens: Never Before Seen Photos of the 1984 and 1985 Coors Classic

December 3, 2009
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Seattle based photographer John Maynard has a long history in action sports photography. In the past twenty-five years he has shot countless cycling events with his work gracing the pages of Road Bike Action on several occasions. Recently, John came across some rare archived photos he took at the 1984 and 1985 editions of America’s greatest stage race ? the Coors Classic.

Ron Kiefel in the sprint leaders jersey. Kiefel became the first American stage winner in a grand tour when he won Stage 15 of the 1985 Giro d’Italia. Kiefel also competed in seven editions of the Tours de France, and won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in the Men’s Team Time Trial.

Ron Kiefel and Davis Phinney. Phinney became the first American to win a road stage at the Tour de France when he took a stage in the 1986 edition riding for 7-Eleven. Phinney is credited with being the most successful American cyclist in terms of wins, with more than 300 category 1 and professional victories.

After he retired, Phinney was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and established the Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF). The Boulder, Colorado, based foundation is devoted to funding research to aid in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.

Ron Kiefel follows an unidentified La Vie Claire rider around a corner in the 1985 edition. Kiefel first came on the scene in 1983 by winning the national championship in the road race, individual time trial and team time trial events. Kiefel would go on to be a corner stone of the American 7-Eleven and Motorola teams.

The legendary Bernard Hinault on the attack with a young Andy Hampsten following close behind. Hinault and the La Vie Claire team came to the Coors Classic in 1985 to support Greg LeMond. LeMond won the overall title while Hinault took home two stages.

Another photo of Bernard Hinault on the attack.

Phil Cassidy pushes his teammate Paul McCormick after both riders went down in a crash. The Killians team was made up of five riders; Paul Kimmage, Martin Earley, Phil Cassidy, Seamus Downey, and Gary Thompson. The team was directed by now UCI president Pat McQuaid.

Merckx riding in an American stars and stripes jersey at the Coors Classic in 1984. Merckx had long since retired, but was there to promote his company and the race.

Race director Michael Aisner (L).  In 1979, Michael Aisner, the race’s then PR director, bought the race for one dollar from Mo Siegel, one of the founders of Celestial Seasonings, and took the concept of the race to Peter Coors of the Coors brewing company. The rest is history.

Aisner’s one-dollar investment helped establish the careers of Greg LeMond, Davis Phinney, Connie Carpenter, Twigg, Steve Bauer, Andy Hampsten and Raul Alcala.

An unidentified French rider goes on the attack. The Coors Classic was truly an international affair and at the time was one of the few races outside Europe that was respected within the old world peloton.

Alexi Grewal (L) before winning the 1984 Olympic road race. After winning the Olympics, Grewal turned professional and signed with the Panasonic team before riding for 7-Eleven and Coors Light.

Connie Carpenter in full flight at the 1984 edition. Carpenter went on to win the gold medal in the road race at 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, as well as twelve U.S. national championships. Carpenter would later marry fellow Olympian Davis Phinney and is the mother of rising US star Taylor Phinney.

Connie Carpenter (R) and Maria Canins (L). Canins would win the overall Coors Classic in 1984 before going on to win the women’s version of the Tour de France in 1985 and 1986.

Phil Cassidy of the Killians team chases the peloton after being involved in a crash. Cassidy is on a neutral support Specialized Allez. Specialized provided neutral support for the race in 1984.

The legendary Jeannie Longo of France in the leaders jersey of the 1984 edition. Longo is still racing today and earlier this year won the French national time trial title and Chrono Des Nations at the age of 52.

To view more of John’s work visit: www.maynardphoto.com


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