2004-05 was a pivotal era for the strong men of the Spring Classics.
Fabian ‘We Know Where The Fingers Are‘ Cancellara was on the rise. The Lion of Flanders, Johan Museeuw, was in the twilight of his career, his mane getting ever so slightly more ragged with each passing season. His heir and protégé, Tom Boonen, was midway through his ascent to godlike status, on the cusp of scoring a rainbow jersey and, at points thereafter, assorted white powders.
In the heady swirl of that era, photographer Cor Vos was busily snapping away, capturing candid moments of these star riders: at races, at team camps, at black tie galas. Whether from a working connection to the QuickStep team or a patriotic throb for the Belgian superstars, Cor’s lens often strayed toward Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen.
And as I discovered on a dive through the Cor Vos archives, the photos of these two hanging out together are frequently very funny.
There is paternal affection. There are embarrassing t-shirts. There are ornate sideburns. There are lips hovering puckered over champagne flutes, and most of all, there is a goddamn ridiculous jumper.
These images are not mine to hoard. I transmit them into the ether, entrusting that you will enjoy them as much as I do.