Where are you now, black-and-white cyclists?

A deep dive into faces of the past.

Thierry Marie has a trumpet.

Iain Treloar
by Iain Treloar 10.11.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Every so often, the photographer Cor Vos dumps a vast collection of vintage photos in a folder. The pictures themselves are seldom anything special – no Gruber-esque vibes, no Kramon-esque framing – but they’re evocative as hell, mostly because of the glimpse they provide of an era long before most of our journeys in cycling began. Accompanying these black and white snapshots is sparse metadata, usually little more than a rider name and sometimes not even that. 

Divorced from a knowledge of who these people are or what they were good at back in a pre-colour era, one is left to guess – or, sometimes, Google. And half the time when you do that, you learn of bonkers lives or tragic ends.

I don’t know who many of these riders are, but I felt compelled to find out more about them; to fill in some notes under these faces of the past, to make a black and white photo mean something more. Maybe you’re the same.  

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