Board­man: ‘faults and com­pro­mises’

Cycling Weekly - - Feature -

To the on­looker the Lo­tus­board­man part­ner­ship looked like a fairy­tale. The leg­endary British motorsport man­u­fac­turer and the thrust­ing young cy­clist tak­ing first the Olympic gold in 1992 and then the Tour de France pro­logue two years later.

How­ever, Board­man and Lo­tus in fact split “ac­ri­mo­niously” shortly af­ter the Olympics ac­cord­ing to Board­man in his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Tri­umphs and Tur­bu­lence in 1992. Lo­tus only got Board­man to ride the 110 two years later by strik­ing a deal with GAN team man­ager Roger Legeay rather than by ap­proach­ing Board­man him­self.

At first Board­man not only didn’t like the idea of rid­ing a Lo­tus but he also didn’t like the new bike. “Lo­tus had opted for a full-size front wheel, which wouldn’t have mat­tered if the bars had sat low, di­rectly on the crown of the fork as they had on the orig­i­nal track ma­chine. But the 110 utilised a stan­dard bar/stem ar­range­ment which put the tri-bars a whop­ping eight inches higher than on the Barcelona ver­sion,” he said.

“In fact, all of the ge­om­e­try was that of an up­right road bike, some­thing it couldn’t be used as be­cause there was nowhere on the frame to bolt a wa­ter bot­tle.

How­ever, once he rode the 110, Board­man be­gan to change his mind: “The ad­van­tage of hav­ing large wheels and a slack head an­gle was that it han­dled re­ally well for a TT bike. And although it was heavy, the faster I went, the more I be­lieved the Lo­tus had some­thing to of­fer... By the time I set off for the Tour I was fa­mil­iar with ev­ery as­pect of how it han­dled.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.