Santucci’s Red Hook bike throw — how does it stack up?
A new bike throw entered the canon of angry bicycle abuse on Sunday at Red Hook Milan, the final race of Red Hook’s international series. We haven’t seen a good throw since Chris Horner’s slo-mo throw at Philly in June, so this is an important moment. We’ve taken the liberty of updating our list of all-time best bike throws.
Jeremy Santucci: The fixie tantrum
Jeremy is NOT okay. Jeremy is having a temper tantrum at Red Hook Milan because his fixie is broken. It’s the adult kind of tantrum, not the toddler kind, so instead of throwing food at his mother he throws his poor, borrowed bicycle at the finish line (which has spurned him) with such force that it instantly and catastrophically explodes. Did it make him feel better? We hope so. He appears to be wearing eye black, like a football player, and that stuff runs like Michael Johnson when you cry.
We appreciate the passion of this professional model turned fixie crit racer and give him high marks for anger, velocity, and artistry. But what really sets Jeremy’s throw apart is the damage inflicted, which is so impressive our jury decided to award him two bonus points, one for each separate piece of bicycle.
BONUS damage points: 2
The bike throw canon:
Chris Horner: The slo-mo throw bro
Perhaps we are mistaken, but this appears to be the first complete, slow-motion dissection of a professional bike throw. It is thus an important moment for science, much like the first images from the Hubble Telescope. Our eyes are suddenly opened to a world of mouthed curse words, fascinating bike wobbles and interesting wheel wiggles. Recording technology has turned a violent act it something like art; an angry dance that usually passes too quickly for the human eye. The bike throw itself is average at best — Horner fails to attain the distance, height, or velocity of top throws. But our insight into his every movement places Horner’s Philly Throw into the canon of all-time greats.
Height: 5/10 (mostly for the bounce-back)
Bjarne Riis: The classic catapult
Riis’s chuck at the 1997 Tour de France may be the gold standard of bike throws, a perfect balance of velocity, distance, high-stakes racing, and expensive equipment. Apparently that carbon wünder bike cost nearly $20 million to develop.
David Millar: The ballet toss
You’re in a breakaway with three guys, 300 meters from the finish line. You like your chances. The sprint opens up, one hard stroke and then another. Then, SNAP. Your chain breaks. You whack your gentleman’s area on the saddle with unfortunate force. What’s to be done? You dismount to the left and in one beautiful, ballet-like motion, you remove the offending bicycle from your sight.
Millar’s throw at the 2008 Giro is the most artistic of all time. The motion is poetic, unstoppable, beautiful.
Marcel Kittel: The hulk smash
Now that’s a bike throw. Designed for optimal destruction, Kittel’s throw at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2014 is a sibling of Horner’s throw. It seeks neither height nor distance. Rather, it wants to break every bone in that goddamn bike’s body. It was probably successful.
Bradley Wiggins: The soft landing
There is a common thread across all bike throws: a deep and unstoppable need to distance oneself from the offending steed. Wiggins is no different, but he does not do so violently. He sends his bicycle to embrace the rock wall, to kiss it. He is calm. It is a quiet sort of genius.
Jack Bauer: The ditch shot put
There was quite a lot of power behind Bauer’s throw at Gent-Wevelgem in 2015, but we would have liked to see the toss go all the way over the ditch.
Chris Horner kicking his water bottle