CYCLING CHARACTERS, PART II: JACKY DURAND.

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Jacky Durand. AKA Dudu, The Teddy Bear.

Jacky Durand. AKA Dudu, The Teddy Bear.

French professional cyclist and nutter of the Nineties, famous for his (mostly) suicidal lone escapes and sunny demeanour. Velo magazine even used to print a Jackymetre, logging his lonely mileage at the head of a races for each month. Strangely I remember him with his tongue hanging out semi-permanently, wracked with pain.

Jacky Durand. AKA Dudu, The Teddy Bear.
Comedian Jacky Durand

I say mostly suicidal….He won the Tour of Flanders with a breakaway 217 kilometres. TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN!! The Belgians have treated him as one of their own ever since.

1992 Tour of Flanders

He admitted he wasn’t the strongest rider, but his balls-out style of riding where other ‘journeymen’ were too cautious gained him three Tour De France stage wins, including a the 1995 Prologue time trial.

“I’m not a revolutionary of any sort, but on the bike, I’ve always refused to come out of a mould. It astonishes me that most riders are followers, even sheep. A lot of them, the only people who know they’re in the Tour are their directeurs sportifs. I couldn’t do the job like that. They finish the Tour without having attacked once, maybe the whole of the season, even the whole of their career. I’d rather finish shattered and last having attacked a hundred times than finish 25th without having tried."

Jacky Durand. AKA Dudu, The Teddy Bear.
Durand Wins 1998 Paris-Tours

He now is now a commentator on French TV and I’d imagine he still sticks that enormous tongue out.

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