Sym­met­rics Pro Cy­cling Team

Comic Book

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - VIN­TAGE VELO -

“I f you’re in a bike shop and Svein Tuft walks in, it’s like see­ing Cap­tain Amer­ica. Or if he showed up on your group ride, it would be like rid­ing with a su­per­hero. So, it’s wasn’t that big of an ex­ten­sion,” said Matt Hansen, the creator of the Sym­met­rics Pro Cy­cling Team comic book, Steam.

Sym­met­rics is a Cana­dian con­ti­nen­tal team that ran from 2005 to 2008. Hansen, a comic book edi­tor and for­mer bike racer, knew the team prin­ci­pals, Kevin and Mark Cun­ning­ham, and pitched them on the idea of cre­at­ing a comic book for team. It would be the main mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial for the team and its spon­sors, which in­cluded Shi­mano and Norco, in 2007. Kevin Cun­ning­ham got be­hind the project. Hansen scripted the story, drew early sketches and re­cruited artist Ed­uardo Feri­gato for the fi­nal im­ages. In June 2007, copies of the comic made their way to bike shops and schools.

The comic has a loose story. It opens with Svein Tuft, An­drew Ran­dell and An­drew Pin­fold rid­ing in a hurry to a team photo shoot. They’re late. When they make it to the shoot, there’s a two-page spread with ev­ery­one in­volved with Sym­met­rics. There are rid­ers such as Zach Bell, Eric Wohlberg, Ryan An­der­son and Ge­off Kabush. Ge­off Brown, who has been wrench­ing for Slip­steam Sports (Can­non­dale-dra­pac) for years, is there as the Sym­met­rics me­chanic. Hansen is in the “team photo,” too. His comic-book self is speak­ing with a woman, listed as a “Jolly Fan,” who doesn’t seem too im­pressed. “That’s sup­posed to be An­gelina Jolie talk­ing to me,” Hansen said. “Orig­i­nally, it was sup­posed to be Paris Hil­ton, but she was ar­rested around that time.” The comic presents the cy­cling he­roes as role mod­els who keep fit and com­pete fairly. A celebrity with a re­cent ar­rest for drunk driv­ing wouldn’t have fit with the team’s image.

While the run of the comic was roughly 15,000 copies, it’s pretty hard to find 10 years later. Hansen him­self can’t seem to find his copies. Ran­dell can’t find his. Tuft, who rides for Orica-scott and is based in An­dorra, thinks he has some copies in Canada. The im­ages here come from a copy gen­er­ously lent by Kevin Cun­ning­ham.— Matthew­pi­oro

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