Pro Tour Pin-Ups Calendar
We’ve seen it all before: a sport or movement in need of a nudge and, as if by some external force, clothing falls off while a nearby photographer takes command and snaps off a few frames. Voilà, a calendar with a gimmick. Catch the monthly candidates in a pose to titillate and sales, the theory must be, take off.
Ah yes, nothing is immune. There have been firemen in awkward poses, netball players showing off their skills, rugby men and their pecs, waterpolo players in the buff with their balls, soccer’s ‘Matildas’ attracting attention for more than their playing… and numerous other examples. You know the routine, right? End-of-year, time to generate some publicity. And cycling is not immune either. There’s been an annual release for the past couple of years… you may know the culprit: and it’s as contrived as all the rest.
It’s men and women doing what they do, often in a sports environment, and regularly with less clothing than they generally use for such activities. And they have all been shot – ah, photographed – for the sake of raising revenue for some cause or another.
And for 2014 the routine is repeating… only this time it’s different.
The trap, it seems, is taking the whole ordeal seriously. Time and time again it happens: what started out as a drunken discussion late on a lazy off-season Sunday afternoon begins to become a reality and before long there are g-strings and oiled skin, big rugs and open fires, flesh and more flesh… and sleaze – always plenty of sleaze.
But Laura Fletcher is doing things differently.
She wanted the big stars. She wanted classic poses. She wanted skin. And she wanted to bloody well parody the stupid things that have been sold in the past.
Twelve charming gents stepped forward, stripped off and let the camera do the work. And the results are now available for your consumption in the inaugural edition of the ‘Pro Tour Pin-Ups’.
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Of course there are causes linked to the project that included poses by the likes of Alex Dowsett, Adam Hansen, Taylor Phinney, Thomas Dekker, Steele von Hoff and the über-popular veteran Mr Jens Voigt.
See them fawning over exotic cars, fishing in their knicks, playing guitar or, of course, picking olives without a shirt on. These are the activities of the everyday pro cyclist and now you can see them doing it without all their clothes on. Amazing.
It’s innovation but without being innovative. It’s tomfoolery without being foolish. It’s pro cycling without any bikes. It’s abs with computers, fake tans and Mercedes cars, hair brushing and reflections, fishing in lycra, Champagne guzzling in a kiddies pool, reckless motorcycling with firepower…
It’s sleazy but not even close to raunchy. It’s cheesy without any scent. It’s masculine with a bit of feminine. It’s 12 pages to hang on your wall and giggle at when you need prompting about a date.
“Laura asked me back in May about the possibility, to see if I would be interested,” Hansen told RIDE. “My first thought this is kind of funny. Skinny cyclist don’t have fireman bodies. So for me it was a bit of a joke and a laugh – or we are the joke and others laugh at us.
“I originally was wanted to do a funny photo, me in the mountains in Czech cutting firewood or something like that with a touch of humour, I could not resist due to the whole idea of this. Then there were some logistic problems of Laura not being able to make it over to Czech Republic. Then it was meant to be at the worlds in Italy, but also that did not work. So I said I knew someone who could take the photo in Czech. Laura heard about my cars and asked for them to be in the shot which was okay as I love cars. Then I thought about the laptop, as Im always working on it. The place of the photo is a few kilometres from my house and the cold wet weather is what I race good in. So the photo says a lot about me.”
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And, above all, it’s a small investment that contributes a little bit of funding to a couple of charities – Dowsett’s ‘Little Bleeders’ foundation for kids with haemophilia, and Phinney’s father’s foundation relating to Parkinson’s Disease.
A percentage of the take will also be set aside as cash rewards for daily winners of the women’s Tour of Britain in May 2014.
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RIDE Media publishes RIDE Cycling Review, a quarterly magazine all about cycling.
RIDE Cycling Review is now available in a digital format via Zinio.